The Parliament of Canada has voted unanimously to adopt Motion M-100, sending a clear message and mandate to the Government of Canada. M-100 is a Private Member’s Motion, tabled by Liberal M.P. Alexandra Mendès (Brossard – St-Lambert), to establish a framework that will promote the recognition and development of co-operatives in Canada.
The motion also asks Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) to establish a national co-operative development strategy.
CMC President, Doug Potentier applauded the vote: “This motion is an important step toward building public and government understanding of how co-operatives contribute to economic growth and prosperity in line with the governments own priorities. Energy transition, indigenous and rural community development, emerging digital platforms, homecare, health care and any number of other challenges we face today are ideally suited to co-operative solutions.”
The vote result was 284 yeas and zero nays.
Text of the Motion
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize the important role co-operatives play in the economy and ensure that they continue to thrive by taking concrete steps such as: (a) developing, in consultation with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities and the co‑operative sector, a federal co-operative strategy to promote and support Canada’s co-operative sector; and (b) providing periodic progress reports on pre‑established goals and targets.
In 2012, a Special Committee on the Status of Co-operatives, chaired by M.P. Blake Richards, made a series of recommendations. One key recommendation that was accepted and enacted by the government was to move responsibility for co-operatives from its historic home in the Secretariat at Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada to Industry Canada (now ISED). This move better represented the current diversity of businesses that are innovating with the co-operative model and was a step toward equal access to business support programs.
The transfer of responsibility, it was said, would ensure a single focal point in government to facilitate development, innovation and growth in Canada’s co‑operative sector. The government also welcomed the opportunity to engage with co-operatives and to further review their business programming to help support the sector. This was welcome news within the Co-op Sector. Unfortunately, there was no instruction or clarity on how the relationship between the department and the co-operative sector should evolve. Now, four years later, there has been very limited movement on many aspects of the intended relationship.
M-100 is the platform upon which the government can engage with co‑operative and mutual stakeholders. To solve our challenges together using the co-operative model, the Government of Canada needs to promote the co-operative model, contribute to its development, and facilitate an exchange and dialogue with the co-operative sector. Motion M-100 is catalyst to achieving that goal.
SOURCE: Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada