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New Resource: Democracy during pandemics 

Published April 07, 2021

Member decision-making through democratic means is central to the housing co-op movement (International Co-op Principle #2), and member meetings are the foundation of that process.  COVID-19 has knocked us all for a loop, and the difficulty of holding annual general meetings with our members has been a particular challenge.

Challenges

A person with long hair is on a Zoom meeting, with three other people shown on the callThe challenges are different for every co-op.  Provincial legislation, co-op location, and members’ tech skills are all factors that make such meetings more or less complicated. Despite this, it is important to keep communicating with members, soliciting their feedback, and giving them their voice in the decision-making process. We also want to be compliant with government regulations.

Even though we are all hopeful that vaccines will make it safe for us to meet in person soon, events have shown us that timelines are not predictable. We know housing co-ops need to keep doing business, and can no longer wait to hold member meetings.

Resources and advice

If your co-op is struggling with how to hold an alternative meeting during the pandemic, check out our resources on holding Alternative Meetings, including a new resource for electronic confidential meetings.

As well, reach out to your local federation or CHF Canada staff person to talk it over.  They can help you come up with a strategy and the supports that will work for your co-op.  We are going to get through this, and the best way of getting through it is to rely on our strength – engaging with co-op members.


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