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Introduction to Co-operatives in Alberta ; A renewable Energy Perspective. “ Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” . - Helen Keller. Introduction. What is a co-operative?

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introduction
Introduction
  • What is a co-operative?
    • A co-operative is a business organization started by people who want to use services or buy goods as a group, have an equal say in how the business is run and share in any profits the business makes.
    • Examples in Alberta are UFA, Co-Operators Insurance, water co-ops, gas co-ops…
introduction1
Introduction
  • co-operatives are different from business corporations in that co-operatives are governed internally by seven international principles for such businesses:
    • Voluntary and open membership
    • Democratic member control
    • Member economic participation
    • Autonomy and independence
    • Education, training and information
    • Cooperation among co-operatives
    • Concern for community
how to form a co op
How to form a Co-op
  • Renewable Energy Co-op Toolkit
    • Gives information on
      • Seven Basic steps to form a co-op
      • Legislation governing co-ops in Alberta
      • Frequently asked Questions
      • Types of co-ops
      • Co-op requirements
      • Forms
how to form a co op1
How to form a Co-op
  • Seven Basic steps to form a co-op:
    • PHASE I - DEVELOP THE CO-OPERATIVE BUSINESS IDEA
      • Step 1: Assemble a group of interested people
      • Step 2: Conduct a pre-feasibility study
    • PHASE II - CO-ORDINATE THE PRE CO-OPERATIVE'S ACTIVITIES
      • Step 3: Hold an organizing meeting
      • Step 4: Conduct a viability study
how to form a co op2
How to form a Co-op
  • Seven Basic steps to form a co-op (continued):
    • PHASE III - ORGANIZE AND START UP THE CO-OPERATIVE
      • Step 5: Organize the association
      • Step 6: Organize the enterprise
        • Step 6.A: Plan the operation of the enterprise
        • Step 6.B: Plan and organize the enterprise's start-up financing
        • Step 6.C: Recruit and train the enterprise's staff
        • Step 6.D: Ensure the legality of the enterprise's operations
      • Step 7: Hold the initial general meeting
how to form a co op3
How to form a Co-op
  • Co-ops in Alberta are governed by the Alberta co-operatives Act.
    • This can be found that the Service Alberta website
    • It is meant to harmonize Canadian co-operative law and provincial law
    • It is similar to co-operative legislation in other jurisdictions
    • Incorporating your co-operative – Government of Canada
how to form a co op4
How to form a Co-op
  • Specific types of co-ops (non-traditional)
    • New generation co-operatives
    • Multi-stakeholder co-operatives
    • Employment or worker co-operatives
how to form a co op5
How to form a Co-op
  • Co-op Requirements
    • Three or more members
    • Articles of incorporation
    • NUANS report (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search)
    • Bylaws
how to form a co op6
How to form a Co-op
  • To incorporate an Alberta-based co-operative you need to provide the following:
    • Note: The pdf forms can be completed on-line at the Service Alberta Website, however you cannot file your documents electronically.
  • A set of the Articles of Incorporation (Note: The articles must be signed and verified by an Affidavit of Execution (pdf). See the document Articles of Incorporation Requirements (pdf) for information about what must be and what may be included in Articles.)
how to form a co op7
How to form a Co-op
  • Incorporation Continued…
    • A completed Summary of Articles of Incorporation and Statutory Declaration (pdf) (this summary is for department use; you must still provide the Articles of Incorporation from step 1)
    • A completed NUANS report (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) (Note: The report must be no more than 91 days old and must contain all 6 pages. Either the original or the carbon copy is acceptable. In Alberta, private search houses prepare NUANS reports (external site).) 
how to form a co op8
How to form a Co-op
  • Incorporation Continued…
    • A completed copy of Notice of Address/Change of Address (pdf) form
    • A completed copy of Notice of Directors/Change of Directors/Change of Director's Address (pdf) form 
    • An incorporation fee of $100 (Note: Your cheque must be made payable to the Minister of Finance. If you are applying in person, you may also pay using cash, VISA or MasterCard.)
how to form a co operative
How to form a co-operative
  • Bylaws
    • The co-operatives Act does not have standard bylaws.
    • The act and the regulation identify what must be and what may be included in the bylaws.
    • The document Bylaw Requirements (pdf) is available on the Service Alberta website
how to form a co op9
How to form a Co-op
  • Forms
  • 1. Annual Return SA0085
  • 2. Notice of Directors/Change of Directors/Change of Director's Address SA0088
  • 3. Summary of Articles of Incorporation SA0089
  • 4. Notice of Initial Execution/Termination of a Unanimous Agreement SA0090
  • 5. Notice of Address/Change of Address SA0091
  • 6. Articles of Dissolution SA0092
  • 7. Articles of Continuance SA0093
  • 8. Articles of Reorganization SA0094
  • 9. Articles of Amendment SA0095
  • 10. Articles of Arrangement SA0096
  • 11. Articles of Revival SA0097
  • 12. Summary of Articles of Amalgamation SA0098
  • 13. Statement of Intent to Dissolve/Revocation of Intent to Dissolve SA0099
  • 14. Notice of English-French Name Equivalency/Assumed Name SA0100
  • 15. Application to Reinstate Extra-Provincial/Foreign co-operative SA0101
  • 16. Notice of Attorney for Service/Change of Attorney/Alternative Attorney SA0102
  • 17. Statement of Registration Extra-Provincial/Foreign co-operative SA0103
  • 18. Notice of Change of Head Office Extra-Provincial/Foreign co-operative SA0104
  • 19. Notice of Cancellation of Assumed Name SA0105
  • 20. Statement of Amalgamation Extra-Provincial/Foreign co-operative SA0106
  • 21. Statutory Declaration SA0122
  • 22. Affidavit of Execution SA0133
  • 23. Statutory Declaration - Amendment(s) to Bylaws SA0136
  • 24. Statutory Declaration - Amendment(s) to Charter Extra-Provincial/Foreign co-operatives SA0137
renewable energy co ops
Renewable Energy Co-Ops
  • Renewable Energy co-ops exist worldwide
  • There are many in Canada, however few in Alberta
  • They are formed in the same manner as other co-operatives
  • Often renewable energy co-ops seek to take advantage of Feed in Tariffs (FIT) implemented by governments.
renewable energy co ops1
Renewable Energy Co-Ops
  • Feed in Tariff (FIT) - general description
    • A Feed in Tariff (FIT) is a system which provides a guaranteed rate for electricity above the standard rate.
    • This provides incentive for renewable energy projects as well as allowing them to be more financially viable.
    • The increased price is passed on to consumers
    • Alberta does not currently have a Feed in Tariff system.
renewable energy co ops in alberta
Renewable Energy Co-ops in Alberta
  • Some Renewable Energy Co-operatives exist in Alberta
  • Alberta does not have a Feed in Tariff system
  • Other provinces and countries, have FIT systems and have many more Renewable Energy co-operatives
  • Viability is difficult with no FIT
municipality s role in co operatives
Municipality’s Role in co-operatives
  • Government agencies can also form co-operatives, however they are governed differently.
    • They are what is known as Multi-Stakeholder co-operatives.
    • They are formed by a variety of stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, government agencies or other interested parties to work together as equals to achieve a common goal.
    • They need provisions that balance the interests of its stakeholders (clients, employees, investors and community organizations), which may not be of equal size and influence, but each of which has only one vote.
    • A multi-stakeholder co-op serves the needs of different stakeholder groups - such as employees, clients, and other interested individuals and organizations. This type of co-op is usually found in health, home care and other social enterprises.
    • co-operatives Act
municipality s role in co operatives1
Municipality’s Role in co-operatives
  • From the Alberta co-operatives Act:
    • The articles may provide for the appointment of directors who are representatives of an entity, government or any other person or organization having an interest in the activities of the co-operative, but who are not members of the co-operative, as not more than 20% of the directors.
municipality s role in co operatives2
Municipality’s Role in co-operatives
  • An example of a municipality supporting co-ops is found at http://eedition.vulcanadvocate.com/doc/Vulcan-Advocate/vulcan_05082013/2013050701/16.html#16
  • Vulcan County council has agreed to support an application that, if successful, would provide $30 000 in-kind support to set up a co-operative association in Vulcan County
how the renewable energy co op toolkit works
How the renewable energy co-op toolkit works
  • The toolkit was created for information and as a guide
  • It outlines the internationally accepted principles which co-ops follow, as outlined previously
  • It outlines the differences between co-ops and other forms of business
  • The majority of the toolkit is for information purposes
    • It is recommended the entire toolkit be read prior to using
    • Basic understanding will make implementation easier
    • There is a FAQ’s section which may answer some of your questions
how the renewable energy co op toolkit works1
How the renewable energy co-op toolkit works
  • It outlines seven steps to creating a co-operative
    • These outline the basic process of creating a co-op
    • These need not be strictly adhered to, but provide a strong starting point
  • It provides links to required forms and documentation
    • Legislation and forms can be found on the Service Alberta Website, links are provided in the document
    • Legal assistance will be required at some point
conclusion
Conclusion
  • co-operatives can be formed for many differing applications
  • Renewable Energy co-operatives in Alberta are no different than other co-ops (except those with special legislation)
  • A co-op can offer advantages over other business models
  • Alberta currently has no Feed in Tariff system
  • Municipalities do not form co-ops themselves, but can offer support