The 2022 CMC Congress was held from June 14th to June 16th in the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary. With over 200 attendees physically participating in this event, it was a wonderful opportunity to network after two long years of a global pandemic. This year’s theme was ‘Co-operation at the crossroads’.

Opening the Congress

Hugues Bourgeois, Executive Director of CMC, and John Kay, Chair of the Board of CMC, welcomed the attendees while introducing 2022’s theme.

Then, Vicky Zinyk, Chair of the ACCA Board and Kevin Hoppins, Chair of the UFA Board introduced the attendees to the co-op history of Calgary and Alberta leading to today. Andy Metzger, CEO of EQUS, also explained the work EQUS is doing to connect rural Alberta.

We had the pleasure to discuss Canada and it’s relationship with the world with the Honorable Bob Rae who attended virtually.

Second day : a day busy filled with learning opportunities

Food for thought session was presented by Kim McConnell. He gave us a very interesting point of view into Canada’s current agricultural situation and what the future will look like for this industry, in which some co-operatives are deeply involved with.

Canada’s Emerging Co-operators’ president, Renaud Boisvert, was the moderator of a youth panel where the results of a white paper CEC worked on and discussions about the future of co-operation and youths are leading us.

A session named Lessons learned, focused on the impact of the pandemic, was led by Andréa Renaud from Sollio. Scott Bolton from UFA, Hazel Corcoran from CWCF and Derya Tarhan, a researcher were part of the panel for this session.

After lunch, the Sunset or sunrise panel began. It was focused on determining the importance (or lack of) of the co-operative movement in the future. Paul Kelly, from the ACCA Board, moderated this panel composed by Martin Van den Borre, a social economy consultant, Christine Clarke from Freedom Dreams, Hélène Turcotte a strategic development consultant and Michael Hatch, from CCUA.

After a pause, 2 series of 3 simultaneous sessions were held. The first round was about the following subjects : Co-op Principles – a blueprint for equity presented by Christine Clarke and Susuanna Redekop, Financial landscapes presented by Michael Hatch and Paul Kelly and International perspectives presented by Martin Van den Borre and Hélène Turcotte. The second round included the following subjects : Stephanie Cairns and Thomas Boisvert St-Arnaud presented the Circular Economy session, Alisa Gehrels Mallette presented the Climate Action Plan session while Marc-André Piegeon presented the Renewable Energy & Co-ops.

Later in the evening, all attendees were invited to the Gala where the Awards winners were announced. Colin Sankey Trio played lively music that was highly enjoyable while delicious filet mignon from Alberta was served.

Last day of the Congress

After a delicious breakfast, Karen Miner, from Saint Mary’s University, moderated the panel about interco-operation. In her panel, Lisette Lemus from VanCity, Benoît J Caron from Consortium and Shawna Peddle from Co-operators talked about the benefits of P6 and some excellent examples of its appliations. We also had the chance to watch a video from Doug O’Brien from NCBA who talked about their US P6 initiative.

John Kay concluded the congress with thanking our attendees for their presence whether it was virtual or in person.

CMC team was so happy to once again encourage networking and learning within the Canadian movement.