COVID-19 and Newfoundland housing co-ops
Published March 30, 2020
Updated May 26, 2020
Atlantic Region co-op services staff are here to help you with your questions about co-op operations that are impacted by COVID-19. Please call or email if you have any questions or need help sorting through an issue.
You can also checkout our COVID-19 Meeting Resources page for tips and guides for holding electronic board meetings, town halls, and (coming soon) alternate ways to hold a members’ meeting or AGM.
Newfoundland and Labrador has taken steps that will outline how the province will relax public health measures. The intent is to move forward gradually from one level to another along with continued monitoring of COVID-19.
Currently, at Alert Level 4, the focus is to begin relaxing public health measures to allow more social and business activities, while minimizing the risk of outbreaks.
It is recommended that co-operatives continue to adhere to mass gathering limits and maintain physical distancing and follow public health advice. For the most current information on restrictions, visit the website for the government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
For Newfoundland co-ops our advice remains that you should not have members meetings at this time. The Emergency Public Health Protection Order issued in Newfoundland and Labrador on March 23, 2020 prohibits public gatherings of more than 10 people.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Co-operative Act speaks to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The co-op is required to hold an AGM no later than four months after the end of each fiscal year (see Co-op Act S.69). If you are unable to hold your AGM, you should complete an Extension of Time for Holding a General Meeting Form.
Newfoundland – Registrar of Co-ops – 709-729-3317 – Extension of Time for Holding General Meeting form to submit
Even though board meetings will be smaller than members meetings, during the pandemic, if you have a board larger than 10, you are not allowed to hold in-person board meetings. For Newfoundland housing co-ops, directors can hold electronic board meetings through such means as telephone conferencing or computer video chat if they are authorized through the co-operatives bylaws. This is the preferred way to conduct necessary board business during this time.
In scheduling an electronic meeting, CHF Canada Newfoundland co-op services recommends dealing with high priority agenda items and limiting meetings to no more than one hour in length. During the pandemic, it would be a good idea for the board to schedule short weekly or bi-weekly electronic meetings to discuss urgent issues.
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