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Call for candidates
Every year before the Annual Meeting, online elections are held for regional positions on CHF Canada’s Board of Directors and Ontario Council.
Elections are held at the AGM itself for at-large positions on the Board of Directors and the Finance and Audit Committee. At the Annual Meeting of Ontario Members, elections are held for any non-regional positions on the Ontario Council.
A Call for Candidates was emailed to co-ops in February containing information about the positions available and how to submit a nomination. The report of the Nominating Committee can be found here as well as updates on nominations to elected positions on the Board of Directors, the Ontario Council and the Finance and Audit Committee.
Positions up for election
Here are the positions up for election in 2020. The nominations deadline was extended to April 30, 2020, to allow more time for anyone affected by the public health emergency to submit their candidate forms.
Board of Directors
Regional Directors (Board of Directors, each for a three-year term*)
- Alberta/Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Newfoundland and Labrador
At-large Directors (five positions, each for a three-year term*)
Elected at the virtual AGM
Finance and Audit Committee
Committee Member (One two-year position)
Elected at the virtual AGM
Council Member Representing Northern Ontario
- One (1) three-year position
For more information, contact Tim Ross by email or by phone toll-free at 1-800-465-2752 or
(613) 230-2201 in Ottawa, ext. 222. You may also contact members of the Nominations Committee:
- Lisa Berting (Regional Director, British Columbia/Yukon)
- Stephen Davies (Regional Director, New Brunswick)
- Mary Ann Hannant (Ontario Council Member representing Federations)
- Allison Chase (At-large Ontario Council Member)
To put your name forward, download:
- the candidate’s declaration form, for Board of Directors or for Finance & Audit Committee candidates
- the candidate’s declaration form, for Ontario Council candidates and
- the confirmation of good standing.
Scan and email the completed declaration form and the confirmation of good standing by the nominations deadline of 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 30, 2020, to CHF Canada’s Corporate Secretary, Christine Seguin. Please note: we have previously offered the option to fax in a nomination form, but we are not able to accept forms by fax at this time. For more information on how to submit your forms, please contact Karine Ethier at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-465-2752, ext. 239.
Being on the Board
CHF Canada’s Board of Directors governs CHF Canada between annual meetings according to the by-laws and rules approved by the members. It oversees CHF Canada’s operations and sets its priorities based on resolutions passed by its membership. The Board makes sure that CHF Canada’s management is performing well and is accountable to members. Directors serve a three-year term and can be re-elected for up to two consecutive terms. The Board:
- elects the president, vice president, treasurer and other executive committee members from among Board members
- hires, supervises and evaluates the Executive Director
- approves personnel policies and staff salary ranges
- approves quarterly financial statements
- presents financial statements to the members at the Annual Meeting
- prepares resolutions to put forward at the Annual Meeting
- reports to members on CHF Canada activities
- brings the views of members in their region to CHF Canada discussions
- keeps aware of issues facing housing co ops in Canada and internationally
- makes sure that CHF Canada acts with integrity and in the best interests of its members
- works to secure the future of CHF Canada and the co operative housing movement in Canada.
What can I expect at Board meetings?*
- June 2020 (date to be announced): Post-AGM meeting, webinar
- July or August 2020 (date to be announced): Orientation for new directors and council members, webinar
- September 10, 2020: Governance training session (Board and Council), Ottawa, ON
- September 11-12, 2020: Annual planning session (Board and Council), Ottawa, ON
- September 12, 2020: Board of Directors meeting, Ottawa, ON
- November 20-21, 2020: Board of Directors meeting, Ottawa, ON
- March 2021 (date to be announced): Board of Directors meeting, Ottawa, ON
- June 10-12, 2021: AGM in Ottawa, ON
Teleconference calls may be scheduled between meetings. Directors may also serve on CHF Canada committees or represent CHF Canada with other organizations. The executive committee is elected at the post-AGM meeting. The executive committee meets monthly by teleconference.
*The schedule and location of board meetings are likely to change to protect health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the time being, the board of directors has been meeting by video conference.
What costs are covered?
CHF Canada pays travel and hotel expenses for the Board meetings and annual meetings.
Directors receive a per diem to cover meals and other expenses.
Directors can be reimbursed for child care, care of other dependants and some lost wages.
Who can run?
CHF Canada needs strong leaders who mirror the diversity of people in our housing co-op communities across the country.
Diversity means, but is not limited to:
- including people from any/all walks of life and backgrounds (political affiliation, religion, colour, race, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, age, ability and economic level)
- respecting the differences that are inherent in any group of people and that distinguish one group from another
- accepting one another as unique individuals.
So what do we look for in our candidates? These are just some of the qualities:
- an understanding of the co-operative principles and how to apply them
- a commitment to help CHF Canada grow and to serve its members
- proven leadership skills—either within the co-op sector or from other experiences
- flexibility, collaboration and good communication skills.
Many new directors or Council members have no experience at all in association governance and that’s okay. CHF Canada offers an excellent governance training program. We’ll help you, as a newly elected leader, learn the meaning of good governance and how you can contribute to the good governance of your national federation.
Regional Director – Ontario
My name is Tom Clement and I am running for re-election as the Ontario Regional Director on the CHF Canada Board. My first term on the board was a time of significant change for the organization. The next few years will bear the fruit of that change.
I am the Executive Director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto. With more than 40 years of experience, knowledge and expertise, my firm belief in the power of co-ops to create a better world is stronger than ever. Here are a few of my achievements.
First term highlights
- Chaired the CHF Canada Governance Task Force
- Member of the Hiring Committee that hired our new Executive Director
- Appointed to the board of directors for the Agency for Co-operative Housing
- Organized the Raise the Roof Rally
- Met with MP’s and MPP’s around issues such as end of operating agreements, continuation of subsidies and building more affordable housing
- Negotiated with Service Managers to continue providing subsidies for co-ops after the end of their operating agreements
- Led the conversion of Alexandra Park public housing to Atkinson Co-op
- Launched the Here to Stay Fund – a rent bank that helps members with short term arrears stay in their co-op homes
- Created the first co-op conflict mediation service
- Developed the CHFT Diversity Scholarship program – awarding over one million dollars in scholarships to more than 280 students living in co-op housing
- Expanded the Diversity Scholarship program across most of Canada
- Worked with CHF Canada and the five Ontario Federations to sign a Memorandum of Co-operation
- Developed the bulk-buying program, Co-op Cost Cutters
- Worked with the Ontario federations to find areas where our joint efforts would improve service delivery to our members.
- On a more personal note, I am a huge basketball fan, a retired basketball coach, a runner, husband and father. Follow me on social media.
Regional Director, NL
At-large Directors (five positions)
Scott Stager Piatkowski was elected as a Director at Large on the CHF Canada Board in 2017 and is now seeking your support for his re-election. As a member of the Board, Scott has served on the Executive Committee and Risk Underwriting Fund Committee since 2019 and also serves as Vice-President of Essex Non-Profit Homes (a CHF Canada subsidiary). He previously served on the Nominating Committee (for the 2018 AGM) and the Resolutions Committee (for the 2019 AGM). In three years on the Board, he has never missed a meeting.
Scott has been heavily involved in the co-operative housing movement for over thirty years: as an active co-op member, as a staff person in five different co-ops (in Ottawa, Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo), and an elected sector representative at several different levels. This has included serving as President of Ontario Council for CHF Canada, as President of the Co-operative Staff Association of Central Ontario, as Chair of the former Federations Committee, as Treasurer for the Staff Education Forum, and as a CHF Canada delegate to The Co-operators. He also served as Government Relations Consultant with the Ontario Co-operative Association.
Scott has been heavily involved in the Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation (COCHF) since its inception, as an education program planner, workshop leader and neutral chairperson. He trains volunteer boards in governance issues, leads strategic planning sessions, and chairs meetings for a variety of co-operatives and other non-profit organizations. COCHF has twice presented Scott with its Co-op Service Award for his contributions to the co-op sector.
Scott has a long and varied history of community involvement, which culminated in his election to the Board of Trustees of the Waterloo Region District School Board in 2018. He is a former President of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA), a former Chair of the Board for the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU), and also has extensive Board experience with other organizations.
As a volunteer facilitator with the Co-operative Young Leaders program (CYL), Scott was the 2010 recipient of the Youth Mentorship Award from the Ontario Co-operative Association. He was also recognized by his high school for his contributions to the community at large and was added to their Wall of Honour in 2010 and included as one of sixty distinguished alumni in a book published for the school’s sixtieth anniversary.
For thirteen years, Scott wrote a weekly newspaper column for several different community papers. He has had numerous articles published by a variety of other local and national publications and media websites and has appeared frequently as a commentator on television and radio.
This community involvement and media experience, along with his past experience as Vice-President of the Ontario New Democratic Party, has given Scott a strong understanding of how government functions at all levels.
My name is Dawn Obokata, and I am a candidate for an at-large position on the CHF Canada Board of Directors.
I’ve been a member of a wonderful 18-unit co-op, in a richly-diverse area of downtown Toronto, for over 30 years. I’m so grateful to have had access to secure and affordable housing while dealing with all the demands of raising a family and working in the arts sector. (I am a professional actor, member of ACTRA and Canadian Actors’ Equity, and currently an ESL teacher for newcomers to Canada.)
Throughout my years at St. Nicholas I was the frequent delegate to CHFT, and attended many education events in order to deepen my understanding of cooperatives. I have participated on numerous committees and served several terms on the board. As our co-op’s GLOBE community champion I received a Kathleen Blinkhorn Award for Volunteerism. I have also been actively involved in the governance of my professional association, serving for 9 years as a national councillor (including 6 years as vice-president) of Canadian Actors’ Equity. At the end of my term I received the Larry McCance award for outstanding contribution to the association and its members.
I was honoured to be elected to the CHFT board 3 years ago, and am currently in my second year as President. As such, I have attended 2 Ontario Federation meetings, and the CHF Visioning Summit in 2018. I have also been my co-op’s delegate to 7 CHF Canada AGMs, and always came away so educated and inspired.
I am a passionate advocate for cooperatives. I have seen the movement in Canada mature in such an impressive way, and I am always deeply inspired by the energy and commitment of those involved in the movement. As a board member and leader I have earned a reputation for calm, thoughtful leadership, the ability to listen to diverse opinions, to inspire collaboration, and to think outside the box.
We are at a critical point now as many housing co-ops are living their new reality, post-operating agreement or approaching the end of mortgages in the near future. Affordable housing is a huge community and political issue. I am eager to continue looking beyond the walls of my co-op to the larger issues that are affecting us all.
I know that I still have much to learn, but hope that I have something to offer to the sector. I would be deeply honoured to serve on the national board of CHF, and thank you for your consideration.
I am seeking your support for re-election to the Board of CHF Canada.
I have been a member of Granville Gardens Housing Co-operative for over 30 years and have always been active in the co-op, on the board and committees. I am currently the Treasurer of my co-op. I value the same sense of community in co-ops that I experienced living in a small town in Scotland where we knew all our neighbours and helped each other.
Current Co-op sector involvement
Previous Co-op sector experience
At-Large Director for CHF Canada
Member of the CHF Canada Governance Task Force
Appointed to the Board of Directors for the Agency for Co-operative Housing
Member of the BC Regional Committee for the Cooperators Insurance
You can rely on my experience in the co-operative sector, my knowledge of our regional federations and our member co-ops around the country and trust my commitment to advance your interests and be your voice on the Board.
Please vote for Anne Davidson for At-Large Director.
Past President of CHF Canada
BC and Yukon Regional Director for CHF Canada
CHF Canada Finance and Audit Committee
Board member, BC Co-operative Association
Delegate, Co-op and Mutuals Canada AGMs
Delegate, International Summit of Co-operatives, Quebec City
Delegate, Joint Union/Management Study tour of Italian Co-operatives
Area Director, BC and Alberta, Canadian Autoworkers Union, responsible for bargaining and political action.
President, Airline Division, Canadian Autoworkers Union
Canadian Representative, Women’s Committee, International Transport Federation as well as Delegate to their International AGMs
- Directrice régionale, Colombie-Britannique et Alberta, Syndicat canadien des travailleurs de l’automobile, responsable des négociations et de l’action politique
- Présidente, Division des compagnies aériennes, Syndicat canadien des travailleurs de l’automobile
- Représentante canadienne, Comité des femmes, Fédération internationale des transports, et déléguée à leurs AGA internationales
Hello fellow Co-operators!
I'm Lindsey Murphy from Inti Housing Co-operative in Vancouver. My family and I have lived here at Inti for the past 5 years. We were introduced to the housing co-operative concept by our midwife while pregnant with our oldest. We are so grateful that she suggested we look in to the local housing co-ops as a more permanent housing solution. It is no surprise that living in one of the most expensive housing markets in the world is a challenge at the best of times and had it not been for the community here at Inti and the stability of our co-op I am not sure that we would have been able to stay here in Vancouver.
Our community here at Inti has been so important and the benefits of co-operative living are too numerous to list. During this exceptional time, these benefits have been amplified and co-operative housing can offer a very realistic solution to the housing crisis and to help those effected by this pandemic. The vulnerable individuals and communities throughout our country have been greatly impacted over the last several months. I firmly believe an investment in co-operative housing not only addresses the immediate need but also builds a sustainable, independent community that would put less strain on the government funded housing alternatives.
I have served on the board for nearly 5 terms and am aware of the challenges that many co-ops face; subsidy shortages, aging buildings, members wishing to age in place safely, to name a few. I have also spent a significant amount of time advocating for co-operative housing, pushing for increased subsidy, retrofit funds to increase accessibility and ensure the long term stability of housing co-operatives.
I am excited to bring my strengths to the Board of Directors and also to learn from those with experience in championing co-operative housing.
I look forward to helping all the CHF's members by:
- Advocating for expansion of subsidy programs
- Education and additional resources on how to adapt to help aging members
- Pushing for increased accessibility and funding to retrofit aging buildings to the current code
- Assistance to retrofit aging buildings
- Increased educational programs for all members to ensure that every co-op is run efficiently and to ensure the longevity of each co-op
Thank you and keep well!
I am happy to introduce myself and put my name Bill McKeon forward for the At Large Director Position.
I am from Burlington, and have resided at Wellington Square Co-op for the past five years with my spouse and two daughters, (who have just moved to start their careers) and have been associated with Wellington Square for 14 years.
I have proudly served on the Board of Directors for three years; serving the last two years of my term as Vice President and Staff Supervisor, and my first year as Interim Treasurer. Additionally, I have played a vital role in various committees such as Finance, Policy & Procedures, Parking, and Social – in which I am the current chair, over the past four years.
I have attended multiple workshops and training programs to ensure I stay current with Cooperative standards and regulations, and bring innovation to our residents. For the three years, I have been the Wellington Square Delegate for Peel Halton Cooperative Housing Federation.
I am always looking for ways to bring our cooperative together. I put together annual summer street parties, organize monthly euchre tournaments, set up bocce ball in the park, and make sure that the park is maintained well for the children. I am often referred to as “the Mayor” of Wellington Square, as I work hard to establish a strong sense of community and bring people together.
In my personal life, I have volunteered and continue to volunteer for many of the community festivals in Burlington and surrounding cities, and have served on the Board of Directors for many of them.
At work, I am on the Health and Safety Committee and serve as the Workers Representative; certified by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Staying involved and raising awareness in my community, my cooperative, and my workplace is very important to me.
With my current experience and motivation for bringing forth change and awareness, I believe I would be an asset to the Board of Directors.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Bio, I look forward to hopefully earning a position as an At Large Director. Please stay safe during these trying times.
William (Bill) McKeon
Hello! My name is Michelle Maldonado and I’m seeking to fill an At-Large Director seat on the CHF Canada Board of Directors.
I’m very excited to rejoin the Board. From 2011-2015 I had the pleasure of serving you as a Director-At-Large on the CHF Canada Board, and it was one of the most fulfilling periods of my professional life. I hope you grant me the opportunity to serve you again.
My story in the co-op sector started at birth… when my parents brought me home from the hospital to Swansea Village Co-op in 1984. They could not have picked a better community. The co-op is still my home today, and is where I am now raising my own little family.
Since 2002, I have been an active member at the local, regional and national levels of the co-op sector, serving on various Boards and Committees, as well as on special projects and campaigns (you may have seen me in some of CHF Canada’s videos!). I have also worked in the sector as a co-op Coordinator for 6 years. Currently I work part time as a Property Manager at a United Church in Toronto that serves as a social justice hub in the city, and part time as an Instructor at George Brown College teaching Social Policy.
These are new, exciting times of great change for the co-op housing sector. I hope that my return would bring both new ideas to the Board, and also a familiar face and stability in the form of a Director you know who has shown in the past to always have your interests at the forefront.
If re-elected to the CHF Canada Board, I would commit to:
- Continue to come up with new and effective ways of meeting our members’ needs in this time of great change.
- Press the government for continued funding of existing programs that our members rely on, and for new investment in the co-op housing sector.
- Help prepare our co-ops for a successful future by putting forth creative ways to help our member co-ops excel in Good Governance, Sound Management, Financial Security, Diversity, Aging In Place, Leadership Renewal, and Environmental Sustainability.
- Strengthen networking between housing co-ops across Canada, and between our sector and other local & international co-ops (we are strongest when we work together!).
- Ensure that CHF Canada achieves the goals it has set for its members. The coming years are crucial and I am determined to make sure that the goals CHF Canada set are successfully carried out.
I am truly passionate about doing everything I can to help advance our co-op housing movement. Co-op housing allows for a unique way of living and a unique model of community. Co-op homes are not just units where we live, they are places of opportunity. I want to bring my experience, my passion, my drive, and my ideas back to the CHF Canada table once again to ensure our co-op housing communities continue for generations to come. Thank you.
Regional Director, Alberta
Isabel grew up at Sarcee Meadows housing cooperative and split her time between Sarcee Meadows and West Heritage Manor housing cooperative during her tween and teen years. She continues to live at Sarcee Meadows, which led her to seek opportunities to give back to her community there.
She began by serving on the board of her local coop for the last 5 years. Wearing many hats, Isabel has been the Vice-Chairperson and Parliamentarian among other roles. She has provided meeting facilitation at regular board meetings and support as a board liaison to various committees. In addition, Isabel was a founding board member of the board norms taskforce for her board, overseeing opportunities for improvement for board governance.
This past year, Isabel has served on the Southern Alberta Cooperative Housing Association (SACHA) board, expanding her understanding and knowledge of coop history within Southern Alberta as well as the opportunities and issues facing housing co-ops on a provincial level.
By joining the CHF Canada board of directors, Isabel’s goal is to bring the perspective of housing coops in the Northwest Territories and Alberta into consideration. Her experience in board governance, chairing, minute-taking, and more, will assist her in this process.
On a national level, housing co-ops are an essential player in maintaining secure and affordable housing within Canada. With her participation on the board of directors of CHF Canada, Isabel will advocate on behalf of all CHF Canada members and stakeholders.
Regional Director, PEI
My name is Barbara Dingwell and I am running for the Prince Edward Island Regional Director position. I am truly passionate and dedicated to the Co-op Housing movement, and believe it is a unique way of living, where its very foundation strengthens and builds community.
My involvement with Housing Co-operatives began 31 years ago, as one of the founding members of the Westridge Estates Co-operative Ltd. Since that time, I have been an active member of the community, serving on various committees and boards while focusing on co-operative principles and values. I previously served a 3-year term (2017-2020) as the CHF Canada PEI Director and found it to be an extremely rewarding and educational experience. I look forward to having the opportunity to represent PEI again, with even more perspective and experience behind me. I also bring a wealth of experience from the 4 years of which I was a member of the Urban Beautification, Forestry, and Sustainability Committee with the City of Charlottetown. I served as a director on The Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council (2012-2016). I am always proud to serve my community.
Currently, I am the Treasurer on the Board of Directors, as well the past chair of the Westridge Estates Co-operative. I feel very fortunate to be part of the housing co-operative and am proud to call Westridge Estates Co-op my home - a true community within a community.
If elected as the Prince Edward Island Regional Director, I will work diligently to ensure that the Co-op Housing movement remains viable and strong well into the future by:
- Continuing to strengthen networks between Island Housing Co-operatives and across Canada
- Bringing Islanders together to learn more about the importance of the Co-operative Housing Federation
- Lobbying to ensure sustainable and long term funding to government supported initiatives
- Providing a strong representation for Co-operatives at both the provincial and federal level
- Representing the voices of local Co-operatives on the CHF Canada Board of Directors
Thank you for your consideration and support.
Regional Director, SK
Greetings to all CHF Canada Saskatchewan Housing Co-ops members. I am James Gilliard and I live at Rainbow Housing Co-operative in Saskatoon with my family and became a member on September 1st, 2002, and have been involved in the sector ever since. I find it to be rewarding, challenging, and very educational.
I am currently serving on the national board as your representative, as an organization we have a challenge ahead of us with ensuring all members who require subsidy, receive it. In SK. the current provincial Gov’t can’t understand the advantage of maintaining members’ subsidies. Nationally that is our struggle, this is not only a SK. problem other provinces are dealing with the same issue. I am will continue to do my best to change the minds of the people in power in SK. and in other provinces.
I look forward to being your voice at the national table again.
My experience in the sector is as follows: 2003 – 2009 Rainbow Housing Board of directors, 3 years as president; 2005 – 2011 CHF Canada Board of Directors where I was on the nominating committee and the executive of the Board; 2010 – 2011 SCA Board of Directors; 2005 – 2011 The Co-operators Regional Committee; 2007 – 2013 CHAS Board of Directors 4 years as president; 2013 – present Rainbow Housing Board of Directors as president since 2014; 2014 – 2016 Saskatoon Community Clinic Board of Directors where I was on the Governance committee, Values Committee and Facilities committee. My experience is broad and diverse; which is an asset for this position and for the members of CHF Canada living in Saskatchewan.
I appreciate your support in my endeavor to serve your co-op and your members at the National level. I look forward to any questions and concerns you may have, contact me at email@example.com and I will return your inquires to the best of my abilities. Thank you for considering me for this position.
Regional Director, Manitoba
Regional Director, Nova Scotia
My name is Don Goss and I am a member of High Hopes Housing Co-operative in Halifax. We are a small, active and wonderful co-op with 19 units with about 30 members.
With my partner of 30 years, Rob Isbister and I live with our two calico cats.
I am pleased to have this opportunity to offer for the Director position on the CHF Board to represent Nova Scotia.
I seek your support.
As a long time human rights activist, I have worked and fought for positive change for labour, equality and human rights for everyone. I believe that Housing Rights are part of that struggle for human rights.
This term, I serve for my Co-op as Vice-President and Acting President; member of both Policy Committee; and Growth & Planning Committee.
Co-ops must remain united and determined to work together, not only in Nova Scotia but nationally, to ensure that affordable housing becomes a right of all who needs it in Canada, and that accessible resources are available.
Over the years I have held various positions at local and national board levels:
- NS Government Diversity Round Table
- Government LGBTI Network Board
- CLC Pride & Solidarity Committee
- VP NS Federation of Labour
- Secretary Halifax Pride
- Shop Steward
- NSGEU Vice President
- Board Chair for Veith House
- HD&D Labour Council Activist
- Government Master OH&SC
Additional to my Co-op responsibilities, I currently serve as Treasurer for the Nova Scotia Health Coalition, and as President for the Nova Scotia Government Retired Employees Association in Halifax.
There is nothing wrong with experience, but it should go hand in hand with mentoring others.
These past two months have been challenging for us all. With the serious economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 through job losses felt in our workplaces and communities; the evaporation of hard earned savings; and fear and uncertainty for the future. We are in a new normal.
As a Labour and LGBTI activist, it is because I do believe that public infrastructure and progressive policies are important and worth fighting for that I want to be your Representative on the CHF Board.
I take my co-op involvement seriously and give it a great deal of priority, dedication, and commitment in my life. As a retired library worker, I took pride in providing good and quality public services.
Some of my goals are to work towards obtaining more co-op units in NS; lobbying for added resources for current co-ops, and encouraging more collaboration among Co-ops here in Nova Scotia.
Finally, I commit to strive for better and more effective communication. My promise and commitment to you is to work as hard as I can on your behalf.
Bringing together experience, commitment and leadership, I ask for your consideration for the position of CHF Board rep for Nova Scotia.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me on Facebook if you have any questions or suggestions.
After becoming a single parent, I and my children moved into Highfield Park Housing Co-op where I immediately became involved in maintenance activities and within six months joined the board.
I was raised with the knowledge that it was important to give back to your community and by volunteering in my co-op I realized that the values I was raised with were part of the global co-op culture. I found that The Cooperative Principles were very similar to my beliefs, every voice has a say, open and honest communication, care for community, care for the earth and by working together to get things accomplished .
I have a strong voice and I am passionate about ensuring that co-ops continue to be an affordable housing option. After moving into the co-op I suffered from a debilitating bout of depression. I know that if I hadn’t had a rent geared to income unit, the threat of homelessness would have been very real. This is one reason why I would like to ensure that all persons who need affordable housing have access to it. Also, with having aging family members myself, I understand some of the struggles people face as they age, such as fixed incomes, wanting to stay in your home and community as long as safely possible and being able to make the home accessible when needed.
I know I have the skills necessary to serve for one final year on the board. I have participated in cooperative education events at the local and national level, some of which include topics on chairing skills, good board member skills, understanding financial statements, and scale. I currently represent Nova Scotia on the CHF Canada Board of Directors and am the Atlantic representative to the Cooperators Insurance Board. I also serve as treasure for Compass Coop here in NS as well.
Thank you for your considering my candidacy. I look forward to seeing you at the virtual AGM.
Finance & Audit Committee
Judy Skinner has extensive experience both as an accounting professional (CPA- CGA) working in the Budget group at the City of Toronto and as Treasurer and Director of Church Isabella Residents Co-operative, where she has lived for over 30 years. She served as Chairperson of the Toronto Municipal Employees Credit Union for over 10 years until its merger with Alterna Savings in 2018.
Judy has experience with municipal, non-for-profit and charity finances. At the City she worked with enterprise driven City agencies and core City services delivering recreation and culture. As a volunteer, she has served as a Director and Treasurer for diverse groups such as the City of Toronto staff association COTAPSA, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands community health centre and Oxfam Canada.
Now retired, Judy is interested in using her experience to contribute to the future financial welfare of CHF.
My name is Lana Wong, and I am a candidate for the Finance and Audit Committee.
My co-op journey started at Waterloo Co-operative Residence Inc (WCRI), a large student housing co-op in Waterloo, where I served on the board and held a few leadership positions. Nominated by WCRI, I have also served on the boards of two co-op federations COCHF (Central Ontario Co-operative Federation) and NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation), and I have served as Treasurer on both federations. For the past few years, I have participated in CHF Canada governance through attending the 2016 to 2019 Annual General Meetings, and other member engagement meetings.
Currently, I work in finance as a controller, and have been in accounting and financial planning & analysis teams. Aside from working as a finance professional and volunteering in governance positions, I also lead workshops and training on finance and governance.
I bring relevant skills and experience with my candidacy, please vote for me for the Finance and Audit committee. Thank you!
Ontario Council Member, Northern Ontario
After retirement, got involved in municipal politics, elected as councillor and served as deputy mayor for 11 years.
Continued to serve my community in different organizations.
We presently live at Tamarack Coop Housing in Sudbury, serving on the Board of Directors and acting as secretary.
Hello! My name is Sarah Jensen and I am running for Ontario Council member representing Northern Ontario.
I am very excited for the opportunity to run for election. I have been very blessed to have been able to attend CHF Canada AGMs for the past three years in Niagara, Victoria, and London, and have been absolutely amazed by the incredible welcoming national housing community we have all created together. I am very excited to have the opportunity to run for a position that would allow me to give back to you all through our national community.
My co-op journey began in 2006, when I was seven years old and my mom and I moved into our home in Castlegreen Housing Co-operative in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I have always loved my community here with all my heart, and have been very passionate about contributing to my community in any way I can. I became the Community Garden Co-ordinator and Landscaping Committee Chair at fourteen, and then was elected to the Board at eighteen—two positions which I am honored to still hold today. I can’t imagine my life without co-ops—and I’ll always be grateful to my co-op for giving me so many incredible opportunities and teaching me so many valuable lessons about the power of community. This deep sense of community is the reason I would love to see the co-op movement expand so more people can experience it across Canada.
Over the last five years, I’ve been contributing to the co-operative community locally, provincially, and nationally. Since 2016, I’ve worked with the Ontario Co-operative Association both as an employee and a volunteer, particularly at their Co-operative Young Leaders program. I also sit on the Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada’s “Canada’s Emerging Co-operators” committee as one of fifteen youth across the country looking to encourage more youth to join our sector. I have been involved with CHF’s Young Member Network, and I was honored to run a workshop at last year’s CHF Canada AGM on sustainability in housing co-operatives. Most recently, I have completed the first year of my undergraduate degree in Political Science, Pre-Law and International Affairs which I hope will allow me to continue to work in the co-op sector as an advocate for our movement for the rest of my life.
We are living in unprecedented times, and now more than ever the world needs the power of co operative housing and community to help lift each-other up and make the world a kinder, more conscientious, and safer place. If elected as an Ontario Council member representing Northern Ontario, my goals would be to:
- Expand and strengthen our network of co-operative communities across Canada, Ontario, and particularly isolated regions like Northern Ontario.
- Advocate for provincial and national government support for co-op programs, including support of continued subsidies for low-income housing, and expansion of our sector to be able to solve the housing crisis in Canada, by continuing the work done by many incredible co-operators in campaigns like We Hold the Key and advocacy surrounding the National Housing Strategy.
- Facilitate the conversation between young co-operators just entering the sector and established co-operators with years of experience to allow for knowledge sharing and growth of the co-op sector.
- Inspire more youth and people of all generations to join and strengthen our movement to create leadership renewal and growth.
- Aspire to serve you, the members, by working as a team of co-operators across Canada to achieve the goals of CHF Canada and bring our co-op housing movement into the future.
Thank you for considering me for this position, and for all the work each of you do to make our co-ops better. We are stronger and more compassionate together.
Yours in co-operation, always,
Please visit my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sarahjensen4ontariocouncil