AGM 2013

CUSJ Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2013

held at Radisson Hotel Calgary Airport, Calgary, on May 20th 2013

AGM Annual Report (PDF)

How Co-operatives Can Change the World

  • We know what the problems are in the world: economic injustice, environmental degradation.
  • We can drain ourselves in a constant battle against things or we can create the future we want.
  • We can working together in Co-ops to build an economy of hope!
  • This presentation will explore how we each be engaged!

…………………………………………………………….Shift Delivery Co-op, Vancouver

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  R. Buckminster Fuller

CUSJ AGM – Live Streamed on the Web

For the second time CUSJ offered the opportunity for all our members across Canada to attend our meeting, hear our speakers and leave comments (via Facebook).  We want to honour those who don’t travel because of greenhouse gases or cost and yet want to be part of our meeting.  The first hour will be chapter reports and discussion. Live Streaming took place on Monday May 20th  at 9 am (Calgary)

CUSJ Dinner Saturday, May 18th, around 6:30 pm at the hotel restaurant

CUSJ Movie Night Saturday, 8pm (Room in the hotel TBA)  Climate Refugees

Climate Refugees

CUSJ AGM Monday, May 20th

  • 8:30 am – Registration, Coffee and Meet and Greet
  • 9:00 am – Chapter Conversations: What is your strategy on climate change?  In this hour we give our chapters and social action groups time to share what they are doing.
  • 10:00 am – AGM
  • 11:00 am – Keynote Speakers Hazel Corcoran & Greg O’Neil – How Coops Can Change The World followed by discussion and questions
  • 12:15 pm – Lunch at the hotel for those who wish to stay.

Humanity is facing a dual crisis.  One crisis is in the radical increase in economic inequality around the globe.  The other is the environmental degredation which we are perpetuating including climate change.

We all know what we are against.  We are against the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.  We are against the fact that a billion people in the world live on less than $1 / day, while the 1% amass ludicrous amounts of wealth.  We are against over-consumption, global warming, and the extinction of endangered species.

Our leaders tell us global capitalism is the only rational economic system.  In Canada and elsewhere, state involvement in the economy is being reduced in every sector including healthcare.  No other models are generally considered.  The problem with the corporate model of economy is that it is legally required to maximize profits.  This means that there is no true accountability to people or the environment.  People of good will, are looking for a system with more accountability to the community and the environment.  The Occupy movement began an important discussion.

So, what are we FOR?

We would ask you to imagine a way for human beings to come together, to determine what the need in their local community is and to set about meeting that need.  They would not set out to make profits by, incidentally, providing whatever goods, services or employment was needed.  Rather, they would set out to meet their own and their community’s needs.  They would do so collectively, creating a sense of community in the process, without need for an outside authority.  This is the description of the co-operative movement.  It is signficant that many different faith communities have become engaged in supporting the development of co-operatives to meet socio-economic needs.

Neechi Foods Worker Co-operative, Winnipeg

The Rochdale Co-operative Pioneers did this, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in 1844:  Would you be surprised to learn that many of their early meetings took place in a Unitarian church basement?

Come and Discuss:

1)    How co-ops can address the economic and environment issues facing us today.

2)    Ways to get the message out/ how to make it happen.

3)    How each of us can be engaged.

  We hope you will join us in person or on line!

Hazel Corcoran is the Executive Director of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF), the bilingual association of worker co-ops and multi-stakeholder co-ops.  For approximately 20 years, Hazel has worked for CWCF, first as Corporate Secretary and eventually as Executive Director.  She has been involved in all aspects of worker co-op development and support including capitalization, advisory services, research and writing. Trained as a lawyer and fluently bilingual, Hazel has in the past served as a board member of le Conseil canadien de la coopération, Calgary Co-op, Prairie Sky Co-housing Co-op, and First Calgary Financial Credit Union, and is the Executive Director of the CoopZone Developers’ Network.  In 2006, she helped to found the Western Labour-Worker Co-op Council. In 2012, she is a member of the Canadian Committee for the UN-declared 2012 International Year of Co-operatives.

Greg O’Neill received his co-operative education through the diploma program at the Coady International Institute, in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where he became part of a global community of “co-operative change agents”.  He worked for over 12 years with Arctic Co-operatives Limited (ACL) as a trainer, business planner, and Manager of the Arctic Co-operative Development Fund in Yellowknife.  (ACL is the service federation for 35 Inuit and Dene co-operatives in the Canadian Arctic.)  Greg has been a co-op developer and researcher with the St. John’s Extension Community Development Co-operative and the Prairies-based Co-op Ventures Worker Co-operative. Since 2006, Greg has worked at the Agency for Co-operative Housing in Calgary, as Financial Analyst and currently as Director of Lending and Default Prevention Services.   In 2006, he helped to found the Western Labour-Worker Co-op Council.

Other resources in case you want to explore more: (the Big Idea Rainbow Foundation, whose goal is to spread the message of co-operatives through popular culture, started in 2006 by Hazel and Greg.)

–2-minute video:

–3-minute video by the ILO:

–7-minutes video trailer for Shift Change:

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