COVID-19 and P.E.I. housing co-ops
Published March 30, 2020
Updated January 19, 2021
By now, housing co-ops have made the shift to a “new normal” changing operational practices in order to keep members and employees safe. If you encounter new developments, CHF Canada co-op staff are here to help you with your questions about co-op operations that are impacted by COVID-19.
Although PEI co-ops are unable to hold virtual meetings, you can also check out our Alternative Meetings resource that will give you some tips and practical ideas of things to consider when planning a meeting.
Restoring Safe Services
Prince Edward Island introduced a Phased Approach to relaxing Public Health Restrictions. Many businesses, organizations and government services reopened with extra safety precautions in place. Those include:
- Physical distancing being maintained with individuals who are not part of one’s household;
- Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering indoors when physical distance is not possible;
- Limit sharing of equipment among individuals from different households with precautions;
- An operational plan must be submitted for pre-approval by the Chief Public Health Office if there will be more than 50 people.
Under the Co-operative Act – Co-operatives are required to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) no later than four months after the end of each fiscal year (see Co-op Act S.28).
The Inspector of Co-operatives suggests that co-ops reference the Public Health COVID-19 Operational Plan Template as a basis for planning the protocols for AGMs. Co-operatives do not need to submit the plan to the Chief Public Health Office unless they plan on an in-person gathering of more than 50 people. If you have questions please contact: Steven Dowling, Inspector of Co-operatives PEI – (902) 368-4551 email@example.com .
It is apparent that the threshold for the size of public meetings will vary by co-operative or venue, and may go up or down depending on the rate of transmission and other factors. If you are planning a member meeting, please consult the latest Public Health Orders which can be found here: Gathering Guidelines
Even though board meetings will be smaller than members meetings, remember to follow all health protocols, including physical distancing, handwashing, masks, and staying home when ill.
CHF Canada 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 more frequent meetings to discuss urgent issues.
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