Co-ops in the time of COVID – Check-ins with John Kay, Thom Armstrong & Ross Gentleman

//Co-ops in the time of COVID – Check-ins with John Kay, Thom Armstrong & Ross Gentleman

Co-ops in the time of COVID – Check-ins with John Kay, Thom Armstrong & Ross Gentleman

We’re all in this together!

“We’re all in this together” has been the motto for the community pandemic response. This is an all too familiar phase to co-operator’s ears. 

This is our monthly checkins for April 7th, 2020. The entire world has changed in the 5 weeks since we last spoke. Tonight we discuss what the present and future holds for co-operatives in the time of COVID. How impactful will this pandemic be on the co-op sector and our world? What can we look forward to? 

Our co-op checkins in different times.

Our guest panel 

  • John Kay, President of the board Co-ops and Mutuals of Canada, Vice-Chair of the BC Co-operative Association, and CEO of Realize Strategies Co-op
  • Thom Armstrong, CEO, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
  • Ross Gentleman, Former General Manager of CCEC Credit Union and a blogger on credit union matters at

Tonight’s discussion topics include 

  • Economic Impacts
    • Who is going to be hardest hit by the recession following the pandemic 
    • How credit unions and co-ops weather the financial storms 
    • Co-ops and Mutuals Canada ensuring c0-ops have access to new federal programs
  •  Credit Unions Impacts
    • Working in branches in a time of communicable diseases
    • Getting cash into people’s hands when they need it 
    • Loan restructuring 
    • Getting access to government programs 
    • How this will impact rural credit unions as compared to urban credit unions
  • Housing Impacts 
    • City lease negotiations (still ongoing discussions) 
    • CHFBC services effected by social distancing 
    • Federation’s financial pool rates dropping along with the prime rate
    • Moving CHFBC conference online 
  • Impacts for all co-ops
    • Juggling working from home (and some with children) 
    • Deadline changes to AGM requirements 
    • Using virtual tools for meetings, work and AGMs
    • Potential for this to change the way we live and the way we work 
    • Opportunities for co-ops to try new tools to engage more members  
  • Recovery of our Social System
    • Rise of overdoses in Vancouver and the immediate introduction of a safe supply to medicinal drugs in the downtown east side 
    • $300 more a month for people on social benefits 
    • Could we see a guaranteed basic income?
    • Nonpartisan collaboration in politics 
    • What are the features of the response that will survive the crisis? Who is going to roll these back in good conscience? 


Read Ross’s latest blog post

By |2020-04-07T16:04:26-07:00April 7th, 2020|Show|0 Comments

About the Author:

Host and executive producer Robin Puga has been with Each For All from its beginning in 2006. Robin studied at the British Columbia Institute of Co-operative Studies (BCICS) and is active in the co-op community. In addition to working in the technology sector he’s a founding member of the CanTrust worker co-op and previous board member of the BC Co-op Association.

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