We are beginning to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it continues to impact Saskatchewan, Canada and the world. SCA has assembled relief information, re-opening details and other resources on this page to assist co-ops and credit unions as they work to reduce the impact from this extreme situation.
- The Saskatchewan government has created a new annual general meeting factsheet for co-ops entitled "Co-operatives Fact Sheet: Pandemic". It highlights sections of The Co-operatives Act and The Co-operative Regulations that pertain to AGMs, including the recent amendments that allow co-ops to hold virtual AGMs if their bylaws permit it. Download the factsheet HERE.
- Thanks to The Co-operators, Saskatchewan Co-operative Association is administering a COVID-19 Co-operative Assistance Fund for Saskatchewan co-operatives. These grants, of up to $1,000, are intended to help small co-operatives transition their programming or services and get up and running during the pandemic and Saskatchewan’s Re-Open Plan. Details of the fund and the application form is HERE. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020.
The province has launched the Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy, providing up to $10,000 in staff training (minimum of 8 hours per trainee, completed within 4 months). Training must help the employer adjust to the impacts of the pandemic and safely align business activities with the re-opening phases of Saskatchewan's economy. Application deadline is July 31, 2020. Details are HERE.
Saskatchewan Co-operative Association remains open and SCA staff are primarily working from home. As much as possible, it’s business as usual for SCA, however Co-op Camp and the Co-op Classic golf tournament have been cancelled for 2020. Co-op Camp has announced virtual gatherings by Zoom. See below.
We'll update this page as required. If you discover other links that would be beneficial to Saskatchewan co-ops and credit unions, email us and we'll include them here.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Click on the title below (reviewed June 22, 2020)
- The Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy provides up to $10,000 in short term staff training. Application deadline is July 31, 2020. Details are HERE.
- The Province has announced its multi-phase Re-open Saskatchewan Plan. View it HERE.
- Here is the LINK to the very detailed page of information about the province’s support to businesses (including co-operatives) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment and support for the oil and gas sector. Information for producers and agri-businesses is HERE.
- Saskatchewan has amended the SK Employment Act to remove the requirement for a doctor’s note in order to access COVID-19 related leave. The province has also produced an FAQ on COVID-10 workplaces and leaves of absence.
- Payment Deferrals: No penalties or interest for SK businesses who cannot remit PST. Zero-interest bill deferral for up to six months for all crown utility bills (SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy). Waiving of Workers’ Compensation premium penalties until June 30. Links and details on this PAGE.
- Saskatchewan has also LAUNCHED a Self Isolation Support Program ($450/week for up to 2 weeks) for individuals required to self-isolate but are not eligible for federal programs or do not have paid employer leave available.
- Employment Standards hosted webinars to provide Saskatchewan businesses with information about Public Health Emergency Leave and Public Emergency Layoffs provisions. The webinars have been recorded and can be viewed any time at this LINK.Support for workers includes job protected leave, moratoriums on student loan repayment, and training allowance and skill training benefit repayments
- The province has declared a State of Emergency. Many municipalities have also made declarations of a State of Local Emergency, which grants them additional powers to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Be sure to check your municipality's website for details that may affect your business.
- The Law Society of Saskatchewan has assembled helpful legal information for employers, organizations, and individuals, which you can access through this LINK.
- The Chamber's WEBSITE includes COVID-19 resources for small businesses, Indigenous communities and farmers.
- The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has assembled guidance and resources for SK businesses HERE.
- View/download Saskatchewan’s Co-operatives Act HERE.
- View/download Saskatchewan's Co-operative Regulations HERE.
- The Government of Canada has taken action to help Canadian individuals and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Information and links about current and soon-to-be-implemented programs can be found HERE.Resources include: Emergency wage subsidy, work sharing, Canada Summer Jobs, Reduced or deferred tax and duty payments, Emergency business account (interest free loans), Business credit availability including for agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture and commercial rent assistance.
- Get information about support for rural communities and businesses through the Community Futures Network through WED.
- Government resources for business. This PAGE includes information on flexible and remote work arrangements, preparing your workplace for COVID-19 and understanding how to keep employees safe.
- Here are COVID-19 related links to: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA, WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION CANADA, FARM CREDIT CANADA, BUSINESS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM, and EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CANADA.
- The duration of work-sharing programs are being extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.Details are HERE. Details on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Program is HERE.
- Imagine Canada has prepared a summary of government programs and eligibilty requirements for non-profits and charities HERE.
- The Public Heath Agency of Canada's information about the COVID-19 virus is found HERE.
- The federal government has prepared guidelines on “Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings during COVID-19 pandemic”. Available at this LINK.
Support for Youth and Students
- On April 8th, the Prime Minister announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program. The changes include: Employers can receive up to 100% of the local minimum wage, the end date for employment is now February 28, 2021 and staff can be hired on a part time basis. More details on the announcement HERE. Applications for the CSJ programs have closed, however organizations that provide essential services and could provide youth jobs but did not apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2020 are invited to contact their MP to request additional information.
- More funding for the Futurepreneur program and payment relief details are HERE.
- A summary of Support for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by COVID-19 is HERE.
- Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) has confirmed that co-operatives will be eligible for the same funding as other businesses through the federal government’s Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses, if the co-op qualifies for the small business deduction or if it is a non-profit or a charitable organization. LINK to the ERP.
- CMC has summarized the Response Plan through a co-operative lens HERE.
- Canada’s financial institutions have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate manner. We encourage you to contact your credit union BEFORE you begin to develop financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
- Many Saskatchewan credit unions have posted information on their websites about their COVID-19 member benefit programs and changes to service levels.
- Saskatchewan Credit Unions should already have been contacted by the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority and/or SaskCentral and/or Canadian Credit Union Association with information about options for postponing your annual meeting. If not, please reach out to those organizations with your questions.
- CHF Canada has created a very comprehensive PAGE that provides housing co-ops with updates on CHF Canada services and events due to COVID-19 as well as info on what housing co-ops can do to keep members safe, while maintaining operations. The page also includes province-specific information for SASKATCHEWAN HOUSING CO-OPS.
- CHF Canada has announced a flexible cancellation policy for its Annual Meeting, scheduled for June, which can be viewed through their COVID-19 page.
- USA-based National Cooperative Business Association has created two no-charge webinars: “COVID-19 and the Co-op Business Community” to provide advice on preparing your co-operative for potential business interruptions related to the coronavirus; and “Managing Finances and Cash During Crisis”, which addresses issues ranging from cash flow management to working with vendors and lenders. View them HERE.
Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA)
- Comprehensive information and links for individuals, credit unions, co-operatives and other businesses is HERE.
HOW THE PANDEMIC AFFECTS YOUR AGM AND ANNUAL FILING
Saskatchewan’s Co-operatives Act requires that all co-operatives registered in Saskatchewan hold their annual meeting within six months after the end of their fiscal year.
First, review your Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, specifically any sections that outline rules about running your AGM. Then, contact ISC and request an extension to your annual meeting deadline if required. (An extension is currently not necessary at this time due to the Registrar of Co-operative’s Order that suspends the strike off provisions for co-operatives. The strike-off suspension will be revisted again at the end of the summer.)
VIRTUAL AGMs ARE NOW PERMITTED. On May 13, 2020, changes were made to the Co-operative Regulations and the New Generation Co-operative Regulations. As of this date, and unless it is prohibited by the co-operative’s bylaws or articles of incorporation, an annual general meeting can be held, “... by means of a telephonic, electronic or other communications facility that permits all participants to communicate adequately with each other during the meeting.”
We know that co-operatives will be looking for ideas of how to handle voting and other aspects of your annual meeting. We are gathering some ideas and tools to share with you that others have used, to help you assess what systems and tools may work for your co-operative. The government of Saskatchewan has prepared a factsheet and FAQs on AGMs and virtual AGMs. Download it HERE.
For other risk management actions that board members should be taking during the COVID-19 crisis, click HERE.
Tick the box 'Member Meeting Extension' in Section Two. Add an attachment that describes why you are asking for a delay and reference your incorporation number.
*Note that Information Services Corporation, like most businesses and services, has suspended in-person service at this time.
Annual Filing Delays
- Saskatchewan’s Office of Public Registry has CONFIRMED that co-ops will not be struck off the provincial register due to delays in filing their annual return and financial statement documents due to delays in holding annual general meetings as a result of restrictions on holding public gatherings. Late filing fees for not-for-profit corporations and co-operatives will be suspended.
- Co-operative members can receive audited financial statements and appoint the auditor at a later date when you are able to hold your AGM safely. If you generally elect directors at your AGM, your current board will remain in office until their successors are elected at the AGM when you are able to hold it.
- If you need to postpone your Annual General Meeting, you need to apply for a meeting deadline extension, as detailed above.
CO-OP CAMP 2020 and CO-OP CLASSIC GOLF TOURNAMENT HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. It is with deep sadness that we announce that these two programs have been cancelled. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the province of Saskatchewan has set out regulations about physical distancing, camps and public gatherings that affect our ability to run our programming. See our message HERE.
If any SCA events are cancelled, all sponsors and participants will be contacted directly. Should anything change, we’ll let you know through our newsletters, website and social media feeds. If you are a registered participant or sponsor, we will contact you directly if we cancel any scheduled events.
Virtual Co-op Camp, Summer 2020
Our Virtual Co-op Camp is online every Mon., Wed., & Fri. from July 6-Aug 14! Join us and help make Co-op Camp Magic. No SCYP or co-op experience required. Apply by June 30th at https://buff.ly/2N54vbu.
Co-op Classic Golf Tournament, June 25
PROCEEDING. The provincial co-op conference on October 14th, and Co-op Week activities will proceed at this time. Further information will be posted as it becomes available.
SHARING, NEEDS AND OFFERS OF HELP
Communities are resilient. Offers of assistance, as well as requests from those in need, are becoming common in neighbourhoods and communities.
CCEDNET, the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, agrees that every one of us has something to offer, and everyone has needs that require fulfillment. They’ve created a form for their members to track offers and requests. Check it out HERE and add your voice.
DISCLAIMER: The content on this web site is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this web site are advised to seek counsel as required. This web site contains links to other third-party web sites. Such links are only for the convenience of the user. SCA does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.