November has flown by and what a busy month it was! CMC staff was incredibly busy meeting with Members across the country, working on creating value-add initiatives, and, as always, promoting the Canadian co-operative movement every chance they got. In fact, we were so busy in November that this is our biggest newsletter edition yet!  

This month we saw our very own Daniel P. Brunette, Senior Director of External Affairs, flying across the country and meeting with different co-operatives and mutuals as a part of CMC’s goal to increase the visibility of the sector and to support its Members’ endeavours. During these meetings, Daniel met with many fellow co-operative enthusiasts and continued important discussions about the significance of the co-operative ecosystem in Canada. I encourage you to read about his adventures; I know I learned about some interesting new co-operatives with some very cool initiatives! 

Daniel and I met up in Alberta to attend the Alberta Community & Co-operative Association Conference. I had a great time meeting with Members and partners at this conference, and we had many conversations surrounding the realities and possibilities for co-operatives operating in the province. We also had the chance to meet with the many Albertan MLAs and Ministers that were in attendance, including Premier Danielle Smith. It was a great conference and I congratulate everyone at ACCA for putting on such a great event! 

Continuing on one of our main priorities, Advocacy, CMC published its analysis of the 2023 Fall Economic Statement tabled by the Government of Canada on November 21, 2024. This year’s statement contained many references to co-operatives, and to certain programs that might be of interest to you. Our staff will continue to work and advocate for co-operatives and mutuals at the federal level and will provide updates on these measures as soon as they become available. For now, please take a look at CMC’s analysis to see if any of these announcements might impact you

November was also a busy month for Governance as we welcomed Martin McInnis to the Board of Directors. He is Executive Director of the Co-operative Superannuation Society (CSS) Pension Plan and brings a broad range of experience and skills in the areas of strategy, governance, finance, operations, accounting, risk management and information technology. Furthermore, CMC also launched its annual Board of Director nominations—this year, we are looking for four at-large directors for three-year terms. CMC aims to have a diverse group of individuals serving on its Board, with directors drawn from a variety of demographic groups, geographic regions and co-operative sectors who together possess a wide range of skills and knowledge. If you are interested in applying, or know someone who might be a good fit, I urge you to read our toolkit and apply todaydeadline is March 14, 2024! Lastly, CMC is also proud to announce that the nominations for the 2024 CMC Awards are now open. Each year, CMC honours individuals and organizations working in the Canadian co-operative and mutual sector to recognize their outstanding contribution to the sector. The criteria for each award can be found on the application page on CMC’s website and the deadline to apply is February 9, 2024

Before I go, I would be remised if I didn’t mention that we are currently updating our database, which directly feeds into our searchable publicly accessible online map, through which anyone can locate a co-operative, credit union, or mutual. Like all databases, CMC’s is only as strong as the integrity of its data. By taking the time to review and update your organization’s information, you are helping to unite the Canadian co-operatives and mutual sector, support academic research, and ensure that our sector is accurately represented in the development of governmental policy. In addition, you are also ensuring that your organization, its services, products, and functions are poised to benefit from co-operative procurement practices and collaborations. Make sure to review your organization’s profile today and update its information today.   Now, as I mentioned above, we’ve got a big newsletter edition for you. So, grab some coffee and a snack, and read up on all of CMC’s November adventures!