The Co-operative Corporations Act is designed to permit co-operatives to operate under democratic processes.
Board of Directors
If you have a concern or complaint about a co-operative that you have been unable to resolve, put it in writing and send it to the co-operative’s board of directors and request a response in writing. The board will decide whether a member may speak at a board meeting.
If you are not satisfied with the board’s response, write them again and ask to have the matter put on the agenda of the next members’ meeting. At the meeting, you can ask the members to decide if the co-operative followed its by-laws or rules and policies. The co-operative’s membership elects the board of directors and the membership has the power to remove directors.
Calling a Members’ Meeting
If the board won’t put your matter on the agenda of a members’ meeting, you may call a members’ meeting, if five percent of members agree. It’s called requisitioning a members’ meeting. Members of a co-operative may requisition the directors to call a members’ meeting on a matter that is connected with the co-operative’s affairs. (See sections 79 and 80 of the Co-operative Corporations Act.)
If the directors don’t hold the meeting within 30 days of receiving the requisition, a member who signed the requisition may call the meeting within 60 days of the date the co-operative received the requisition. It is also possible to ask a court to order a members’ meeting.
Ask your Co-operative Association for Help
If your co-operative is a member of a co-operative association, you may be able to ask the association for assistance in resolving the issue. If you’re not sure if your co-operative is part of an association or you need help finding an appropriate resource, contact the Ontario Co-operative Association at:
Ontario Co-operative Association
450 Speedvale Avenue West, Suite 101
Guelph, ON N1H 7Y6
Tel: (519) 763-8271
Fax: (519) 763-7239
Toll free: 1-888-745-5521