MONTREAL, June 29, 2012 /CNW/ - A credit union in southwestern Ontario,
one of Canada's largest dairy co-ops and a Saskatchewan man who spent
40 years in the credit union movement and introduced the Automatic
Teller Machine to Canada were honoured this week by the Canadian
Co-operative Association (CCA).
CCA and its francophone sister organization, the Conseil canadien de la
coopération et de la mutualité (CCCM) held their joint National
Congress in Montreal on June 27-29 in celebration of the United Nations
International Year of Co-operatives.
Libro Financial Group, based in London, ON and Gay Lea Foods
Co-operative, based in Mississauga, ON, were the 2012 recipients of the
Leadership in Co-operative Governance Award, an annual award which
recognizes innovation and excellence in co-operative and credit union
governance across Canada.
Owned by its more than 57,000 members, Libro is Ontario's third-largest
credit union and the 18th largest in Canada. Libro won the award for developing a key corporate
value -- "proactivity" -- which calls for continuous improvement and
evolution for greater effectiveness, efficiency and relevance in
governance. Using this approach, Libro was able to improve its
communication with branch councils, develop internal training and
improve overall governance practices.
Gay Lea, which is owned by over 1,200 Ontario dairy farmers, won the
award for its commitment to leadership training. In partnership with
CCA, Gay Lea developed the Leadership in Governance: by farmers for farmers program, an eight-module training program aimed at raising the
knowledge base, competencies and effectiveness of existing and upcoming
At a gala dinner on June 28, CCA presented the Canadian Co-operative
Achievement Award to Ed Gebert, who began his career as a junior clerk
in Regina's Sherwood Credit Union (now Conexus) in the 1950s, and
worked his way up to the position of executive vice-president, finance
and operations. Under his leadership, Sherwood Credit Union introduced
Canada's first ATM machine in 1976.
In addition to the CCA Awards, the event included the presentation of
CCCM's Ordre du mérite coopératif et mutualiste canadien awards to
Michel Rouleau, who worked for Desjardins Group for 36 years and is a
former president of CCCM, and Hazel Corcoran, executive director of the
Calgary-based Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation.
At the CCA Annual Meeting, which took place during the Congress,
delegates voted overwhelmingly to continue discussions with CCCM aimed
at creating a new national bilingual association that would represent
both English- and French-speaking co-operatives, a vote described as
"historic" by leaders of both organizations. Delegates to the CCCM
Annual Meeting voted unanimously in favour of the unity proposal that
has been the subject of discussions between the two organizations for
The CCA delegates also voted to take advantage of Canada's
sesquicentennial celebrations in 2017 to celebrate the important role
co-operatives have played, and continue to play, in building Canada.
Other highlights of the Congress included:
A welcome reception at Montreal City Hall where speakers included
Richard Deschamps, vice-president of the City of Montreal's Executive
Committee and Charles Gould, director-general of the International
Co-operative Alliance, which represents co-operatives in some 100
countries around the world.
Keynote presentations on the state of co-operative enterprises in Canada
by Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators and Camille
Thériault, president and CEO of the Fédération des caisses populaires
acadiennes and former Premier of New Brunswick.
A panel discussion on the public perception of co-operatives featuring
presentations by journalist Chantal Hébert, David Coletto, CEO of
Abacus Data, and Jeremy Runnalls, managing editor of Corporate Knights magazine.
A plenary session on the legacy of the International Year of
Co-operatives featuring U.K. writer and financial journalist Andrew
Bibby and Daniel Gélinas, lead organizer for the celebration of Quebec
City's 400th anniversary.
The Congress was preceded by a four-day conference on co-operative
research and education organized by a number of organizations including
the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC); IRECUS,
the co-operative research and education institute at l'Université de
Sherbrooke; and the U.S.-based Association of Co-operative Educators
The Canadian Co-operative Association is a national association for
co-operatives in Canada, representing more than ten million
co-operative and credit union members across Canada. CCA members come
from many sectors of the economy, including finance, insurance,
agri-food and supply, wholesale and retail, housing, health and the
service sector. CCA provides leadership to promote, develop, and unite
co-operatives and credit unions for the benefit of people in Canada and
around the world.
SOURCE Canadian Co-operative Association
For further information:
Donna Balkan, Communications Manager
Canadian Co-operative Association
613-238-6711, ext. 206
Visit our website at www.coopscanada.coop
For more information about the International Year of Co-operatives, go to www.canada2012.coop.