Pineland Co-op; Why No Member Vote on Amalgamation, Decision Not Made Yet

(Last Updated On: January 7, 2020)

Pineland Co-op’s response to the article, Pineland Co-op Holding Member Info Meeting January 9th, 2020 -Amalgamation in Nipawin News.

In the original article, I had referred to the amalgamation as “planned” but in a phone conversation, Keisha Mohr, Marketing Manager for Pineland Co-Op indicated the amalgamation is merely “proposed” at this time.

When I pointed out their FAQ, Question 1 states; “Also, both boards have reviewed a feasibility study planning the proposed partnership through amalgamation, and found that the benefits to members were very positive. The Board of Directors from both Co-ops agreed to pursue the opportunity to partner through amalgamation.”, Mohr responded in an email, “Yes, both boards have reviewed a feasibility study planning the proposed partnership opportunity but the only thing the boards agreed upon was “to pursue the opportunity” to partner through amalgamation, neither board has made the decision to amalgamate.”

In reference as to why Co-op members would not be offered an opportunity to vote on the proposed amalgamation, Mohr explains the governance structure of Pineland Co-op, and how it differs from the governance structure of other co-ops cited in the original article; “Pineland Co-op was formed in 1968 when Codette Co-operative Association and it’s Nipawin Branch amalgamated with Aylsham, Ratner, Choiceland (Snowden was a branch of Choiceland), and White Fox Co-ops. When the 1968 amalgamation occurred, the members of the participating Co-ops decided that Pineland Co-op would be governed by a Delegate structure where Delegates would be the acting voice of the community members and making the Delegate body responsible for conducting the business matters of the Co-op. Pineland has operated under this governance model for the past 52 years. It is very important to the Delegates that they hear from the members and that’s why five information meetings were already held in December and why we’re holding another member information meeting on Thursday, January 9th.”

Mohr also explains, “The current governance structure for Pineland Co-op is the Delegate body who are voted into place by the members. Then, the Delegate body elects eight members to sit on the Board of Directors. If Pineland Co-op was to join together with Lake Country Co-op, The Board of Directors of the new Co-op would increase from six to eight members. The two additional members would come from the current elected body from Pineland Co-op. Following their initial terms, the regular director electoral process would be followed. Any director is eligible for re-election at the end of each term. Pineland Co-op would receive representation of six Delegates from the existing Delegate body; three from the Nipawin area and three from the Choiceland area. Upon expiry of their terms, Delegates would then be elected by members in each community.”

According to Mohr, the Co-ops cited in the article had been of a member governance structure which required their members to vote on the business matters of those co-ops.

Because Pineland Co-op does not have a member structure but operates as a delegate structure, no member vote is required. It is for this reason the member input is being encouraged through information meetings.

The final member information meeting is set for Thursday, January 9th, 2020 at the Nipawin Evergreen Centre at 7:30 pm.

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Post Author: Joanne Francis

Joanne Francis is the Editor and Journalist for Nipawin News