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Ottawa-Gatineau to Host National Worker Co-op Conference this fall

by Hazel CorcoranKenzie Love

Ottawa-Gatineau to Host National Worker Co-op Conference this fall

September 29, 2017

OTTAWA, ON. – The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (the “Federation”) has announced plans to host its 26th annual fall conference in Ottawa-Gatineau from November 2-4, together with co-hosts CoopZone and Quebec’s Worker Co-operation Network, le Réseau.


The three-day Conference, which brings together many of the Federation’s 55 member organizations and 100+ indirect members from across the country, aims to strengthen Canada’s growing worker co-operative sector. It features a number of workshops, networking sessions, and guest speakers. This year’s keynote speakers are Senators Lucie Moncion,  former President of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, and Murray Sinclair, former Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


A worker co-op, for the uninitiated, is a form of business where a company’s employees own and democratically manage the business. They share in both the business’ decision-making and its profit. Currently, there are an estimated 350 worker co-ops across Canada, employing 10,000 people. The Ottawa-Gatineau region is home to a number of worker co-operatives including Brierwood Apps, Coloc Studio Créatif, and La Siembra (Camino Chocolates).


The conference theme is “Radical Roots/Radical Routes of Worker Co-operation”, which will explore the radical history of worker co-ops and how this translates into a vision for a future of radical inclusivity.


While conference sessions will key in on this theme, there will also be workshops on financial management and human resources in a worker co-operative, as well as government relations and business strategy and more.


Executive Director Hazel Corcoran said, “I’m excited that the Federation is hosting its Conference on the border between Quebec and Ontario, a region with many worker co-operatives, and about the theme of Radical Routes.  What this means to me is that instead of capital hiring labour with increasing inequality and a growing “precariat”, the worker co-op movement has people hiring capital. The sessions at this Conference – notably but not only the Worker Co-op Management Intensive -- will help worker co-ops function more effectively.”


This bilingual Conference is open to non-members as well, and registration details can be found at


Conference presenters include Mo Manklang, Communications Director,U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops; Omar Yaqub, a worker owner with Alif Partners Worker Co-op; and Isabel Faubert Mailloux, Executive Director of the Quebec Worker Co-op Réseau.


Founded in 1991, the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation is a national, bilingual grassroots membership organization of and for worker co-operatives, related types of co-operatives, and organizations that support the growth and development of worker co-operatives. 



For more information/interviews, contact:


Federation Executive Director Hazel Corcoran:, (403) 276-8250 

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Topics: Cooperatives

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htcorcoran ()
Member since May 2008


I am executive director at the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation. I'm also co-founder of the Big Idea Rainbow Foundation, whose goal is to get the co-operative message out through popular culture.

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