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At CHF Canada’s Annual Meeting last year, delegates passed a bylaw restructuring CHF Canada’s governance.
The resolution reorganizes the CHF Canada Board of Directors and the Ontario Council into a single governance body. This means the new governance body will be comprised of 16 seats in total with nine regional representatives, one Indigenous Communities representative and six directors-at-large.
Elections for this new governance body are being held in 2021 for all positions.
Visit the Call For Candidates page of the main CHF Canada website for information about positions, nomination deadlines and which positions are being elected online in April versus during the AGM itself.
Positions Up For Election
Here are the positions to be elected at the AGM:At-large Directors (Board of Directors, three-year terms)
- Six at-large positions
- One two-year position
If you have any questions, contact Karine Ethier at the CHF Canada office by email or at 1-800-465-2752 (613-230-2201 in Ottawa), ext. 239.
Below are the candidates who have been nominated for CHF Canada positions to be elected during the AGM. More candidate information will be added as we receive it.
At-large Directors (Board of Directors)Six three-year positions, elected at the Virtual AGM
My name is David Boyde. I am currently the Regional Director for NFLD & Labrador on the CHF Canada Board. This position will no longer exist after June.
I was on the governance committee when we recommended merging provinces including NFLD in order to give Ontario extra seats and an extra at large position knowing that Nova Scotia was twice our size and they would really have the combined seat.
I am therefore a Candidate for an at large position on the CHF Canada Board of Directors.
This is my second term on the board having served from 2004 to 2010 prior to going back on in 2017 & 2020. I have 2 years left before I term out and I would like the opportunity to continue serving.
I serve on the Finance & Audit and Governance Committees and I have been a delegate to the Co-operators for 16 years for CHF Canada.
All my 50 years of working has been housing, from the very first day I went to work.
I have been working for Newfoundland’s Federation CHANAL as both bookkeeper and Financial Service Manager since 2003, the same year I moved into Mount Pearl’s Freedom Housing Co-op and became President.
I do the bookkeeping for 13 of the 21 co-ops in the province.
I have visited co-op housing in every province & the NWT.
I began with a degree in economics then got a CRA from the Appraisal Institute of Canada. Then I spent 20 years in the mortgage industry before moving to co-op housing.
My focus is the end of the operating agreements and on building more units, especially for seniors. I’d like to see co-ops prosper after they come out of their agreements, and I’d like to be there to help with the knowledge of my 49 years in the accounting and housing industries.”
This is a critical time for CHF Canada and the sector.
This AGM will complete the merger of CHF Canada and Ontario that began over 20 years ago. CHF Canada lost a lot of board experience with retirements and people terming out in 2019 & 2020. We have 3 new Board members who we have not yet met in person.
We need experience from coast to coast to coast to carry out this new mandate.
Please vote for Experience & Dedication at the June AGM, vote
I am seeking your support for re-election to the Board of CHF Canada. I have been on the Board for four years and am looking to complete my term so that I am able to follow through on the work of the Governance Committee which drafted the restructuring plan for CHF Canada and the Ontario Council. The new structure merges the responsibilities of the Ontario Council into the Board and has merged together smaller regions. We need to ensure that their voice and participation is not lost.
I am a strong proponent of ensuring that members in every Region, large and small, have access to the programs and resources of CHF Canada and of improving their participation and connection to our federation. Partnering with our Regional Federations is critical to our progress as a movement. While we fight to protect and preserve our current co-ops, we need to develop more co-op housing. Everyone deserves a home in a coop where housing is secure and they are part of a community.
I have lived in Granville Gardens Housing Co-operative in Richmond, BC, for over 30 years. I am currently the Treasurer. Being active on the board and committees and participating in the education programs provided by the federations has given me the tools to serve in my co-op but also on the Boards of CHFBC and CHF Canada. I value the sense of community and involvement that living in a co-op gives us.
You can rely on my experience in the co-operative movement and my commitment to our member co-ops nationally.
Current Co-op sector involvement
- At Large Director on the Board of CHF Canada including its Governance Task Force
- At Large Director on the Board of CHF BC
- Appointed by CHF Canada to the Board of Directors for the Agency for Co-operative Housing
- Member of the BC Regional Committee for the Cooperators Insurance
Previous Co-op sector experience
- Past President of CHF Canada for four years
- BC and Yukon Regional Director for CHF Canada for six years
- Former Finance and Audit Committees for both CHFBC and CHF Canada
- Former Board member, BC Co-operative Association
- Delegate to other Co-operative organizations – Co-op and Mutuals Canada AGMs; Delegate to two International Summits of Co-operatives, Quebec City; delegate to a Joint Union/Management Study tour of Italian Co-operatives.
- Senior Union Staff Representative for BC and Alberta, responsible for bargaining and political action.
- President, Airline Division, Canadian Autoworkers Union
- Sole Canadian Representative to the Women’s Committee, International Transport Workers Federation as well as Delegate to their International AGMs
I am excited to have the opportunity to continue on the CHF Canada Board to promote programs for our current members while increasing co-op housing for future members. I come from BC with its strong federation but my focus is on serving our members across the country. As a Past President of CHF Canada, I had the rare opportunity to visit housing co-ops in every region. The models of housing may be different but our members’ values and principles are the same. Meeting members across the country had made me familiar with their particular issues and allows me to consider their perspectives when discussing issues at the CHF Canada Board table.
Hi my name is Twilla Gingras.
I would like to serve on the CHF Canada Board of Directors as I am interested in learning more about the federation. I think the things I will learn from the CHF Canada board will be valuable. I think I have a lot to offer the Board from my personal experiences from serving on other Boards. I believe affordable housing should be for everyone and the best way to achieve it would be through co-ops.
I have lived at Beavercreek Housing Co-operative in Waterloo, ON for 10 years and I have three wonderful children. I am actively engaged with my Co-op and have been on my Co-op’s Board of Directors for the past six years. I am currently the President but I have also served as the Board’s Vice President and the Corporate Secretary. Currently, I am also the Sector Rep for my co-op although I have also been active on various committees that my co-op has to offer. Over the past several years, I have become interested in networking with other Co-ops and so I have attended a lot of COCHF Education Conferences. I am currently the Vice President on the COCHF Board of Directors.
My term on the current Beavercreek Board of Directors ends in October 2021. I want to bring my knowledge and experience forward and I believe I am ready to serve at the provincial level and so, it is my sincere wish that you will consider voting for me as a candidate on the CHF Canada Board of Directors.
Hello! My name is Sarah Jensen and I am running for a member-at-large position with the CHF Canada Board of Directors.
I am honoured to have been able to serve for the last year as Ontario Council Northern Ontario Representative, an opportunity that has allowed me to give back to our national housing community. I’m continually amazed by the incredible, welcoming national housing community we have created together, particularly during our challenging last year.
I grew up in Castlegreen Housing Co-operative in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and I’m grateful to now live here in my own home. As a teen, I was elected to the Castlegreen Board—a position that I am honored to still hold today. I’ll always be grateful to my co-op for teaching 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 contributed to the co-operative community locally, provincially and nationally. Since 2016, I’ve worked with the Ontario Co-operative Association at their Co-operative Young Leaders program. I also volunteer on the Canada’s Emerging Co-operators committee, working to encourage more youth to join co-ops, and I’m involved with CHF’s Young Member Network. I am working on my degree in pre-law, which I will use to continue to work in the co-op sector as an advocate for our movement for the rest of my life.
In my position on Ontario Council, I have been honored to serve our co-ops and amazed to hear our stories of resiliency, community and care as we work to support each other during the pandemic. I hope to use my experience on Ontario Council in further work on the CHF Canada Board to strengthen one another through community. 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 to the CHF Canada Board as a Member-at-Large, I will:
- Expand and strengthen our network of co-operative communities across Canada
- Advocate for 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.
- Facilitate the conversation between emerging co-operators and established co-operators 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 Member-at-Large, 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,
Sarah JensenFacebook campaign page
- Married to Collette Lacroix, parent to 2 boys and grandparent to 5 children
- Employment – 30 years at INCO Ltd in Sudbury, ON
- Retired in 1997
- Elected Municipal Councillor, Municipality French River 2001-2011
- Chair of Governance Committee, Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin
- Vice-President, Collège Boréal, Sudbury, ON
- President, Our Children, Our Future, Sudbury, ON
- Secretary, Tamarack Co-operative Housing, Sudbury, ON
- Bilingual – English and French, spoken and written
Hello Fellow Co-operators!
I am a member of Inti Housing Co-operative in Vancouver, BC. My family and I have lived here since 2014 and have loved being a part of both our Inti community and the larger community of co-ops across Canada. This past year has really shown how fortunate we are to live in such safe and stable housing with the strength, support, and compassion of our housing community. Once again, Co-ops have proven themselves to be resilient and a very strong housing model.
It has been a privilege and great learning experience to serve the community on the CHF Canada Board of Directors this past year. Over the past year, I have continued to expand my education of housing policy in Canada and effective advocacy through my participation in the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s Tenant Leadership Group and a course in campaign organization from the Institute for Change Leaders.
As a member of the Board at Inti Housing Co-operative, I have been involved in accessing grant funding including, the National Housing Strategy’s Co-investment Fund and Preservation Funding to help our co-op improve accessibility, energy savings and future planning. I was able to provide feedback during a review of the Co-Investment Fund. I hope to continue to support CHF Canada in advocating for more accessible funding for the Co-op sector and to help Co-ops access this funding to ensure that existing co-ops can continue to provide members with affordable housing while ensuring their buildings are properly maintained.
The past year has shed light on the many inequities in our society, the urgent need for more supportive, transitional, and affordable housing and the need to examine the systems that create, contribute, or allow these inequities to continue. I believe that CHF Canada is committed to decolonization and anti-racism and that co-operatives have an important role to play in creating a more equitable housing system for everyone.
Thank you for allowing me to represent you this past year, and if re-elected this term, I look forward to continuing to push the Co-operative Movement forward, improving the sustainability of existing co-operatives and creating opportunities for new co-ops so that more people can have access to strong communities and safe, stable homes.
My name is Dawn Obokata, and I am a candidate for an at-large position on the CHF Canada Board of Directors. For close to 35 years, I’ve been a member of a wonderful 18-unit co-op in a richly diverse area of downtown Toronto. 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. Over the past several years, I’ve been teaching English to newcomers from all around the globe, and this has deepened my appreciation for the stability and community of my co-op home.
This past year, as we’ve all been sheltering at home and (for many) working at home, the work of co-op boards and sector organizations has been challenged in new ways. During this time, I’ve had the rare experience of being on the boards of my own co-op, our regional federation (CHFT), and most recently the CHF Canada board. As we’ve slowly come to realize how long this pandemic would be affecting us, co-ops have risen to the challenge and found ways to continue working hard to achieve our ongoing goals.
I am a passionate advocate for co-operatives. 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. 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. Perhaps more than ever, we have come to realize the crucial need for secure, safe, affordable housing. I am eager to continue looking beyond the walls of my co-op toward these larger issues that are affecting us all.
In this, my first year on the CHF Canada board, I have learned a lot. There is always a steep learning curve in taking on a new position and responsibilities, but our federation offered a lot of useful information and made training available that enabled us “newbies” to quickly get up to speed and immerse ourselves in the issues our sector is facing. I was elected to the Governance Committee and also sit on the Co-op Housing Awards Committee.
I would be deeply honoured to continue serving on the newly restructured board of CHF Canada. Thank you for your consideration. (I am a professional actor, member of ACTRA and Canadian Actors’ Equity, and currently an ESL teacher for newcomers to Canada.)
Young members should be the vehicle to drive the co-operative housing movement forward. I draw inspiration from the early leaders of the co-op housing movement, many of whom, like me, were young people searching for affordable and community-driven housing. I am deeply passionate about community service, the co-operative housing movement and building inclusive communities. My shared passion for community service and the co-operative housing movement commenced at a very young age. For those who don't know me, I grew up in Toronto, moved to Vancouver and now a member of Wit's End Housing Co-operative. I gained boundless experience in the co-operative housing sector locally, regionally, and nationally. You may recognize me as previously elected to the CHF Canada Finance & Audit Committee in 2018. Also, I was elected to the CHF BC board in 2017 for two consecutive terms.
My co-operative sector experience:
- Board of Director - Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia
- Finance & Audit Committee - Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
- External appointment to the BC Non-Profit Housing Association
- Governance Committee, Aging in Place Committee, and Enterprise Risk Management Committee - CHF BC
- Young Member Network Group - CHF Canada initiatives
- Workshop presented: Young Member Engagement at CHF Canada AGM
- Workshop presented: Young Panel at CHF BC Education Conference
- Emerging Leader Delegate - Canada Vision Summit
- Delegate - Healthy Aging Summit
- Course undertook - Community and Campaign Organizing for the Housing Sector by Institute for Change Leaders
- Homeless Count - BC Non-Profit Housing Association
If elected, my priorities:
- Be an advocate for the development of co-operative homes.
- Be an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion for the board & its members.
- Review governance to ensure it remains relevant to our future.
I intend to bring along my volunteer, professional experiences and leadership skills to provide policy & planning oversight, regulatory compliance, and governance for the organization & its members. I hold a Master of Business Administration graduate degree & have over ten years of marketing, finance & communications experience. I will bring wisdom, diversity and acumen to the position of At-Large Board of Directors.
Let me be your voice, and let us share a prosperous and sustainable co-operative housing movement. Should I be elected, I promise that our work will be no less inspiring and transformational. It would be my honour to serve on our national board.
I understand responsibilities that come with accepting or running for a CHF Board position, and the commitment and obligations required, and wholeheartedly put my name forward for a position on the CHF Board.
It is my profound and passionate belief that the co-operative model, when fully engaged and done effectively, is the proven solution to guide the future of Canadian Housing.
Having lived in Vancouver's Downtown EastSide (DTES) I witnessed first hand the “trap of hopelessness” people find themselves in. Importantly, the DTES experience helped me recognize that support systems often perpetuate the situations they are trying to resolve.
I currently live in Toronto. Initially in Parkdale, now in the wonderful and successful Margaret Laurence Coop [MLHC]. When accepted as a member and signing an agreement to live and participate as a community member, I fully embraced the co-operative ideal and have been fully committed to building our community both within the building and in the greater neighbourhood and regional context.
Serving as Board Member, developing / managing annual social events, including, for over 10 years, the MLHC Holiday Dinner, this year delivering meals to 160 members in lockdown. We recently set up an in-house Food Bank for members who may face difficulty during the lockdown. Knowing it was available has helped lower anxiety levels and this has paid dividends.
I take great pride in steering the working group that lead to the adoption of our new MLHC Bylaws.
My professional life and my volunteer passions have always been rooted in building community, and formulating communication tools to give voice to under-represented communities and nurture individuals toward discovering their own path to meaningful solutions.
Having recently left my position as Co-Chair of the Toronto Seniors Forum, a City Council Advisory Body (where I served for 4 years), I understand the bureaucratic hurdles that housing solutions face. I have deputed to the Executive Council on “Butterfly Housing”, “Laneway Housing”, and was active in endorsing the new Housing and Support Division. Proudly sitting at the “Accountability Table” whose report became the basis for the new City Hall Division for “Seniors Services and Long-Term Care”.
Recipient of the City of Toronto 2015 Human Rights Award [Pride, LGBT Issues].
My professional background includes: Event Management, Music Programming, Production, Marketing, Press and Publicity, Strategic Planning, VIP Wrangling and Event Analysis. A summary of my professional background is outlined at https://www.linkedin.com/in/msmithtoronto/
Current Volunteer work:
- Member of the Seniors Advisory Committee (SAC) to Service Canada
- Member of the advisory body for the Seniors Housing Solutions Lab
- Member of Steering Committee for The Neighbourhood Network, creating and training community leaders within Vertical Neighbourhoods on how to develop communications streams using Zoom and Google Groups
- Representing 3 Co-ops and 3 Condominiums (Cathedral Square) as liaison between residents and 8/9 Condominium developments underway directly impacting the community
- Cathedral Square Liaison to the Community Liaison Committee working with the various Hotel based Shelters that are now in place
My name is Sarah Burnett-Murray and I am ready and able to fill a director-at-large position on the CHF Canada Board.
I have lived in co-operative housing since infancy. Being immersed in the culture while growing up and while continuing to reside in co-op housing has been a blessing that has offered me invaluable opportunities to learn and be more engaged in the sector.
In 2014, I was elected to the Board of Directors at a local housing co-op, and in 2016, I was elected to the Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation Board of Directors. I have held various positions on both boards and I am currently president of both.
Five years ago, I left my career as a Registered Pharmacy Technician and began managing co-ops in the area served by the Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation (COCHF) which is more in line with my educational endeavours and my various degrees and diplomas. The year following, I furthered my involvement with COCHF and became a federation instructor.
I have also had the distinct honour of receiving COCHF’s Co-op Service Award and I have had the privilege of participating in various co-op sector events, most notably, Co-op Day at Queen’s Park, CHF Canada’s Emerging Leaders and Vision Summit, and the Co-op Educator Training Event hosted collaboratively by CHF Canada as well as the Ontario Federations.
During my time living, working, and volunteering within the sector, I have gained a unique perspective that I believe can be an asset to the CHF Canada Board. My experience has enhanced the depth and breadth of my knowledge of the sector as a whole, particularly with regard to seeing the need for social housing first hand and understanding the legislative breakthroughs and continued constraints in an ever-evolving system as co-ops nationwide are ending their operating agreements and mortgages, and co-ops under the Housing Services Act are looking for creative solutions to the problem of negative operating subsidy.
I believe in the Co-op model, its governing principles, and its ability to continue to serve Canadians well. I am dedicated to fostering the sharing of knowledge and community support between the various federations as well as member co-ops and co-op members. I am passionate about the need to assist in the housing crisis faced by so many people, and this past year has been a powerful reminder of how important affordable, safe, and community-based housing is. Across the country, co-ops are aging and I am a proponent of the need to sustain and preserve the current co-op stock while working towards new growth and development.
CHF Canada has always taken a leading role in advocating, inspiring, representing, and serving members in the co-op housing sector, and I would be grateful for the opportunity to be part of that mission to serve the national housing community.
Thank you for your kind consideration
When I moved into Atahualpa Co-op in Toronto, 27 years ago, I did not realize that it would be such a life changing experience. I become an active volunteer in our co-op community and have served in various capacities and I sit on my coop’s Boards as President.
I have served on the board of CHFT, and I was one of the Community Champion Ambassadors with SHSC’s Green Light on a Better Environment (GLOBE) Program.
I later went onto serve as President and Vice President of Ontario Council and then the National Board. During this time, I advocated for our members while representing us at various events and political meetings to ensure that Co-Op Housing is sustained at the highest level.
As Past President, I worked with my fellow council, board members and staff on various initiatives including overseeing significant and successful leadership renewal processes for both the board and management. Our Leadership and advocacy contributed to securing the $55 billion National Housing Strategy and Expanded and diversified various membership services initiatives that benefit our members.
The experiences I have gained over the years have enabled me to see the wide scope of co-op housing and become more in tune with the need to increase the supply of affordable, good quality housing. I am therefore even more committed towards the goal of fostering the sustainability of co-ops and seeing our movement stand strong in the face of the challenges we face in the sector.
I am impactful thought leader and I have invested time in continuing education that has enhanced my understanding of governance and leadership development. I believe my skills will be an asset to CHF Canada in this unparalleled time. We know that insights gained from different perspectives are the key to success. If given the opportunity, I am eager to help CHF Canada achieve its mandate, keeping in mind our 6th Principle of Co-operation among Co-operatives, as we strive for sustainability in our various communities.
I would also like to continue to assist in fostering the sustainability of co-ops and work to ensure that co-op housing is valued, understood, and continues to have a significant place in Canadian society. For me, “housing is a right and not a privilege”; it is imperative that we ensure the Voice of CO-OP Housing continues to be heard.
In 2020 I was honoured to be presented with Brian Burch Community Service Award from the CHFT and the Outstanding Community Service Award from Dance Caribe. Outside of my co-op I work as an Event Specialist, Podcaster and I sit on the Board of the Cooperators. I look forward to having your support.
Have a Great AGM Experience!
Finance & Audit CommitteeOne two-year position, elected at the Virtual AGM
Marcelo is a Brazilian Canadian community housing and democratic workplace advocate with specific interests in them as part of a systemic solution.
He believes in a future with Financial Security for everyone, where housing would be the first piece of this puzzle. He is driven by a passion for working-class people over corporate interests and advocating for social and economic justice.
In his professional life, he is an award-winning Wedding Photographer in the past decade. Before that, he owned one of the biggest Corporate Travel Agency in Brazil for twelve years. After high school, he studied Business and Marketing.
Marcelo’s volunteer activities include serving on the Board of Directors at First Avenue Athletes Village Housing Co-operative, where he lives and he is the President. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the East End Food Co-op, where he is also a member of the Finance Committee, the same position he holds at CHF BC.
Being highly intuitive, with empathetic abilities, Marcelo sees the world with wide vision, seeking structural alternatives to capitalism. Finding new forms of economic ownership, valuing the co-operative sector.
Besides these experiences as a collaborative leader, he is a nature lover, bilingual, proud husband and father.
I have had amazing opportunities in my life to represent a variety of groups. The 3 years as an Ontario Council Member At Large and the last two as Council Treasurer. I am already with the Finance and Audit Committee.
I have a long history of over 30 years of serving my community. I still say that a primary goal for me is to ensure that everyone gets their voice heard and to work hard on the "agenda of the people".
The Audit and Finance committee has a responsibility to ensure that we are taking care of the finances for the Federation and that our process matches the policy and the procedures are followed. Any concerns are reported to the Board of Directors and possibly.
I have also faced adversity, being unexpectedly widowed at 46 and diagnosed with MS one years later amongst other issues. I have found the organization very open and accommodating. Everyone works together to help me serve barrier free.