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2019 Annual Meeting – London

More than 650 co-op members and supporters participated in CHF Canada’s Annual Meeting in London, Ontario to learn, network and make important decisions to support Canada’s co-op housing movement.

As housing co-ops pursue the shared vision of “Co-op Housing for All” approved last year in Victoria, BC, members approved board sponsored resolutions proposing changes to CHF Canada’s governance structure and a federal election campaign message focussed on co-op housing growth and development.

Members also approved two late resolutions, one calling on the federal government to support renovations and restoration for existing co-ops and one endorsing the efforts of activists and governments to declare a climate emergency.

Several government representatives spoke to members about the strength and potential of co-op housing. Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Honourable Steve Clark spoke of his open and positive relationship with co-op housing representatives during the Ontario business meeting.  And at the national meeting on June 8, Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, gave an update on the status of subsidies for low income members with the second phase of the Federal Co-operative Housing Initiative (FCHI) and spoke passionately about the opportunities and need for more co-op homes.

The meeting also featured keynotes from the CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust, Brenda Torpy (photo at right), who spoke about innovative ways to ramp up development of co-ops and other types of affordable housing, and Giller Prize winning novelist Esi Edugyan answered questions from Grace McInnis Housing Co-op member Denese Gascho about how co-op housing was part of her life and development as one of Canada’s most accomplished writers.

During the week, participants also took part in over 50 workshops at the Member Education Forum and the Co-operative Management Conference.