2023 Annual Meeting in Ottawa draws strong turnout
Published June 30, 2023
More than 600 co-op members and supporters attended CHF Canada’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Ottawa from June 15 to 17 to learn, network and make important decisions in support of our shared vision of Co-op Housing for All.
Hundreds of co-op members and staff participated in more than 40 workshops organized into nine learning streams; there was a lot of learning packed into two days! All of the workshop materials can now be found in the Resources section of our website: select Member Education Forum or Co-operative Management Conference. We’ve also created a digital display table where you can browse all the latest resources and materials CHF Canada had on display at the Annual Meeting.
At a breakfast plenary on June 16, we heard supportive messages from Soraya Ferrada Martinez, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Adam van Koeverden, MP for Milton. We were also treated to a keynote from Marie-Josée Houle, Canada’s first federal housing advocate who spoke about the right to housing. And longtime co-op housing advocate Harvey Cooper received CHF Canada’s Honorary Lifetime Associate award.
At the Ontario regional meeting on Saturday, June 17, members gave a rousing round of applause to thank the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Honourable Steve Clark, along with his Associate Minister, for responding to the Fix the Funding Formula campaign, which impacts half of Ontario’s housing co-ops.
The National Business Meeting included the participation of virtual delegates in our first-ever hybrid meeting format. We opened with a welcome from Elder Dr. Claudette Commanda and video addresses from Ottawa’s Mayor Sutcliffe and from the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen. The meeting also featured a keynote from Gabrielle Fayant, co-founder of the Assembly of Seven Generations, an Indigenous youth-led organization focused on community support and opportunities for Indigenous youth.
Members engaged in the democratic process, and approved three board-sponsored resolutions and one member resolution. Members voiced their support to advance our shared vision of Co-op Housing for All by supporting sustainable development goals, recognizing the important role of property management and staff, and advocating for improved rental assistance and building more non-market housing in Canada.
Members also supported an amendment from CHF BC Board President Suzann Zimmering to direct CHF Canada to “call on the federal government and the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion to fund and launch without further delay the new Co-operative Housing Development Program first promised in the 2022 federal budget.”
Resolutions passed at the 2023 Annual Meeting
- Promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Co-op 2030 Vision
- Build more non-market housing in Canada
- Recognize and support co-operative property management staff
- Stabilize rental assistance
And finally, there were elections that saw changes to CHF Canada’s Board of Directors. April White was acclaimed as the new Director Representing Indigenous Communities and David Corson was acclaimed to the Finance and Audit Committee.
John Bathurst and Lee Campbell-MacDonald were elected to three-year terms as Directors-At-Large.
We said thanks to departing Board Members David Boyde, Anne Davidson, David McFarlane and Tina Stevens for their many years of leadership and service.
CHF Canada Executive Director Tim Ross paid tribute to departing staff member Linda Stephenson and thanked Yes We Plan event planners Nick Sont and Marie Marin for their 15 years as part of our annual meetings. After the Annual Meeting at their first meeting, the new CHF Canada Board of Directors selected Cassia Kantrow as President, Sahara Shaik as Vice-President, and John Bathurst as Treasurer.
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