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Saskatchewan Co-operative Association
Feb 10
2017

Depending on whether you incorporate in Saskatchewan or federally, and what type of co-op your organization will become, there are different co-op and credit union acts to be incorporated under.


MODERNIZING THE SASK CO-OP ACT: DEADLINE TO SUBMIT CHANGES IS FEBRUARY 28, 2023. YOUR INPUT WILL BE ESSENTIAL!february 28 calendar date icon free vector

The Government of Saskatchewan is planning to update and modernize the Saskatchewan Co-operatives Act in 2023. The timing of the review has been delayed, but is now beginning. The co-operative Registrar is accepting feedback, suggestions and general input no later than February 28, 2023.
 
The Act was created in 1996 and has had only minimal changes in the 27 years it has been in force. This is our chance to provide input into a modern Act that reflects new competitors, new technologies and new ways of operating co-operatively, while removing stumbling blocks that exist in current legislation.

 Any Saskatchewan co-operative may provide feedback about the existing Act. Feedback can be sent directly to the Government (email address is below) and/or to SCA (email address also below) and we will compile it and send it in.
 
SCA encourages ALL Saskatchewan co-operatives to consider what feedback, ideas, and/or changes they would like to see with the Co-op Act. We encourage your membership and/or senior leadership team to discuss the matter thoroughly and create proposals for what your co-op (or co-operative sector) needs/wants in new legislation.

We have created a document that more fully explains the submission process at this LINK. It's suitable for printing, emailing and sharing. 

WHAT KIND OF INPUT IS THE SASKATCHEWAN REGISTRAR LOOKING FOR?

You know your co-operative, your community and your co-operative sector best. You understand the environment in which your co-op operates.

Together with your board and management, compile a list of issues with the current Act. Roadblocks, red-tape, technology gaps, outdated rules, regulations or practices.

Then brainstorm a realistic “wish list” of changes that will empower your co-operative, strengthen your board, give your sector the tools it needs to expand and thrive in 21st century Saskatchewan, and/or benefit your community and members.

Some suggestions put forth include permitting mail-in ballots, distributing electronic notices of meetings, and allowing new types of co-ops.

Your submission does not have to be long or complex. Examples of both current roadblocks and proposed changes will be very helpful. Your input is valuable and will help guide our regulators as they draft new legislation.

Following the town hall session held in January 2022 about potential changes to the Act, several themes emerged that SCA identified:
• Clarification of virtual members meetings
• Allowance of multi-stakeholder co-ops
• Allow mail in ballots for elections
• Minimum number of directors to form a co-op reduced
• Allowing for electronic notices of meetings

The government needs to hear from as many co-ops as possible. Requests for change proposed by co-operatives in the southern part of the province may differ from those in the north, for example. And the healthcare sector may have a different set of asks than the agricultural, housing or retail sectors. (Saskatchewan credit unions operate under different legislation and are not affected by this request for submissions.)

 


TIPS ON HOW TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK

Below are five suggestions on how you can consider what feedback and ideas your co-operative may have and how to get involved in the process:

  1. DISCUSS YOUR FEEDBACK/WHAT CHANGES YOUR CO-OP WOULD LIKE WITH YOUR BOARD AND MEMBERS.
    Please plan to discuss the Saskatchewan Co-operatives Act among your co-operative’s board of directors, and with members, as appropriate.

  2. TALK WITH OTHER CO-OPERATIVES LIKE YOURS.
    We invite you to consult with other co-operatives like yours - whether that is the same type of co-operative, the same geographic area, etc. – identifying common issues and changes you’d like to see will be helpful in this process.

  3. KEEP SCA IN THE LOOP ON THE FEEDBACK YOU SUBMIT TO THE GOVERNMENT.
    If your co-operative is planning to submit your own feedback/request for changes, we ask that you send a copy of your materials to Saskatchewan Co-operative Association, so that we can compile this information and help ensure that the co-operative sector is aligned on these requested changes. If you send us your final (or near-final) remarks by February 21, 2023 we can include a summary of themes and suggestions for change as part of our own submission. Please send your feedback, ideas, and requests to SCA at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  4. SHARE THIS INFORMATION WIDELY.
    There are more than 750 co-operatives in Saskatchewan. We are counting on you to help us get the word out quickly – particularly during this brief window to provide input. If you haven't done so already, add this as a topic at your next board or staff meeting. If you are staff, board or a member of any Saskatchewan co-operative, please forward a copy of this newsletter to the senior leaders within your co-op. Discuss with other co-operatives in your community and sector. Post on your social media so that your followers, who may not receive our newsletter, know of this very important request.

  5. SUBMIT YOUR FEEDBACK DIRECTLY TO THE GOVERNMENT.
    Any feedback that you have/your co-operative has on the current Co-operative Act may be submitted up to and including TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2023 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so the Government can consider this information.