June 18, 2010 – The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a 2010 Leadership in Co-operative Governance Award presented by the Canadian Co-operative Association, “CCA”. (Note that CCA merged in 2013 with its francophone sister organization to become Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada.)
According to CCA, “The Leadership in Co-operative Governance Award recognizes governance innovation and excellence in co-operatives and credit unions across Canada. The award seeks to showcase the movement’s strengths in the area of governance and provide the opportunity for co-op and credit union boards to learn from each other. The Award’s criteria are based on three factors: overall governance excellence; effective co-operative governance practices; and innovation in governance.”
In their June 17, 2010 ‘Co-operative News Briefs’, CCA said that, “The Governance Award for small organizations went to the Calgary-based Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) for its governance structure review and subsequent changes to its membership and governance systems and structures. The panel also recognized CWCF’s success in bridging the gap between anglophone and francophone members, and its ability to carry out its work with limited resources.”
Peter Hough, Financial Officer, was gracious in accepting the Governance Award on behalf of CWCF at the CCA Congress, recently held in Vancouver from June 14 to 16. Hough took part in a workshop moderated by David Brown of the Brown Governance Group, and including the other 2010 Governance Award winners: First Calgary Savings and Co-op Atlantic. In the workshop, he presented the governance changes made by CWCF in recent years including allowing direct membership by worker co-ops in CWCF as opposed to through regional federations, creating a new approach for Regional Federation members in CWCF and enlarging the Board from four to seven members, with a change to direct voting for directors at the AGM instead of within regions and with guidelines around Board diversity.
The changes have resulted in a more diverse board, a more engaged membership and they have enabled two Quebec Federations to join CWCF for the first time. Hough also used the opportunity to raise awareness of worker co-operatives and thanked the CWCF’s board and staff for their hard work and dedication.