Friday, May 22, 2009

Peninsula Coop AGM coming up - this relates to problems in how local elections are run

I like the idea of Coops because membership allows people to have control over the business. Peninsula Coop here in the Greater Victoria area is doing well and thriving. We have only been members for about nine months, the opening of a station in our neighbourhood pushed us to join.

We are likely to buy about 1000 litres of fuel from the Coop this year. Members get a rebate based on how much they buy, last year it was 8 cents a litre. Based on 6 to 8 cents a litre, we are expecting a $60 to $80 rebate. The savings are great and I suspect the major reason people join the Coop. I like these savings, but it is the democratic nature of the business that attracts me more.

I am a member of MEC, I have been a member of credit unions as well, though at the moment I am not and it would be a HUGE hassle to move all the accounts over. The service the Bank of Nova Scotia has been offering me has been great and my prefered credti union does not exist here - Interior Savings. I was with Interior Savings when I live in Lillooet and the annual rebates we got were amazing, as much as $1500 in one year.

Seems not all is right with the Peninsula Coop, or at least I think they may be going in the wrong direction. Seems they contributed $16 000 to people running in the Central Saanich election. Sue Stroud of Central Saanich who ran in the election also writes about this here.

It bothers me that the action was taken by the Coop to get involved with the election without involving the membership in the discussion.

Peninsula Co-op’s Mission, Vision & Principles

Our Mission

We are committed to providing renowned service and working together to enhance the lives of our customers and communities by presenting an exciting marketplace featuring high quality products at competitive prices.

Our Vision

We are striving to be a profitable, model co-operative, providing leadership by pioneering business opportunities and using innovative and ethical practices.

Our Principles

We conduct our business in a manner consistent with the following principles:

  • We operate on sound business principles to protect the assets of our members while providing the highest possible patronage rebate.
  • We are responsive to the needs and concerns of our members and customers.
  • We honour the common principles of co-operatives.
  • We contribute positively to the communities where we operate.
  • We meet or exceed environmental standards.
Seems to me they are breeching several of the values and principles.

If you are bothered about how the Coop acted, then here is something you can do:
The AGM is Weds June 24th at the Saanich Fairgrounds 1528 Stelly’s X Rd. Social at 5:30 pm and mtg start at 6:30 pm. They will likely try and bore you so you walk out before the election so bring your Suduko, knitting or whatever you need. And bring your democratic voice.

Good ethical and progressive candidates are:

1 David Wilson
2 Alicia Cormier
3 David Lawson

It also raise again for me the problem of how local elections are run and the lack of any real accountability. I believe the time has come from all local elections to come under the control of Elections BC. Each local government and school board would pay a per capita sum to Elections BC and then Elections BC would then run all of the elections.
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