Home Political Action Cost Cutters GHCHF AGM Solving Problems Scholarship Program Staff Association Memory Lane


AGM 2017 Agenda

AGM & Winter Workshops 2017

The Board of the Golden Horseshoe CHF thanks all those members, suppliers and other federations who take part in making our Winter Event the best and the biggest of any local federation.

In particular, the federation instructors and guest instructors without whom we could not have such a meaningful and interesting program of workshops.

Our next AGM and Winter Workshops will be:

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Holiday Inn & Suites

Parkway Conference Centre

327 Ontario Street

St. Catharines, ON L2R 5L3


WORKSHOPS: 9:30 am-4:30 pm

MEETING: 5:00 pm-6:30 pm

DINNER/DANCE: 7:00 pm-1:00 am


The Board of the Golden Horseshoe CHF is pleased to announce we will be back at the Holiday Inn Convention Centre in St. Catharines again in 2017.

Again we will be offering a 16 workshop program. Many of our workshops target areas where co-ops have difficulty; Boards, complaints, participation, ethical conduct and new legislation.

Lawyers Celia Chandler and Lauren Blumas from Iler Campbell LLP will give us a legal perspective on smoking in co-ops keying on marijuana issues.

Peter Gesiarz from CHF Ont makes his debut here to bring us up-to-date with legislation affecting co-ops and later will discuss merging and other forms of co-operation amongst co-ops.

Diane Kirke will lead a workshop outlining where your money comes from and where it should go and later will discuss how your Board should deal with complaints.

Our home team of workshop leaders includes Doug Sider; Catherine Jolliffe; Petr Bakus; Angie Armstrong; Tracy Geddes, Kathy Dimassi and Heather Kennedy.


We will also have our massive Supplier Expo with lots of displays from companies who are co-op friendly.


This is the most cost effective "bang for your buck" co-op educational program you can attend.

Round up as many members as possible for this not to be missed event.

Donít forget to stay for dinner,... bring a friend.



Half day workshop $50.00 per person

Dinner Dance cost $50.00 per person


Morning Program

9:30 Ė 12:30

1 What is the Boardís job? For new and serving Directors we will explore the boardís job, along with the members who elect it, is to make sure that: the membership association is well governed; the business is viable and soundly managed; the real estate asset is well maintained and protected the community is healthy

2 We call it Participation are We wrong? One of the infamous 3 Ps, Participation causes more trouble in co-ops than any other aspect of co-operative living. Come prepared to discuss this issue and our facilitator will lead you through the morass of opinion and show you how to determine what participation can look like in your co-op.

3 AODA & OHSA Changes you should know. Amendments to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) came in to effect last year.                                 These affect your co-op. AODA and OHSA are social legislation that promote healthy communities and healthy communities are one of the foundations of co-op housing. In this workshop we will: 

review the intent of AODA and OHSA                                                                    examine recent and future legislation changes and their impact on housing co-ops as small organizations                                                                                                       explore practical suggestions for meeting the co-opís legal responsibilities                      look at updated model policies, procedures and forms developed by CHF Canada    highlight useful education and training material

4 Maintenance Planning: How you plan your maintenance and get it done will have a great effect on the overall condition of your units and physical plant. There are varying methods and combinations but your co-op should be planning in advance to keep the building(s) healthy and in good repair.

5 Where does your co-opís money come from? And where does it go? How do arrears affect your co-op and its ability to pay bills. Diane Kirke will lead you through the morass of dealing with your co-opís money and teach you to understand and not fear finances.

6 Problems with your co-op, the Board, your Neighbours? What can you do? Who can you call for help? Where  / who is the co-op Police? How do co-ops work? Why donít you know? This workshop will help you answer all these questions and more. Be prepared to have your eyes opened as you find out where to get help and how to help yourself.

7 A Question of Ethics: Running for your board or already a Director? Are you there for the right reasons or is it just self interest? Do you want to serve the co-op or yourself? This workshop will lead you through the ethical commitment you should make to serve your whole community and point out mistakes people make for the "right" reasons.

8 The Agency for Co-operative Housing Presents:

The Annual Co-op $3 Million giveaway!

Yes, you read this right! Thatís the equivalent of 35 Luxury sports cars. Co-opsí in Ontario forgo that much money by not keeping their homes occupied by paying members last year. HSA Co-ops WELCOME.                          Come along and learn how to turn your co-op homes into Dream homes by holding onto that revenue and putting it to work improving your units.                                                                                                              Donít take a break from this important management responsibility. Get the skills needed to fill your Co-op and then take Lavish vacations from the revolving door of vacancy loss.

Afternoon Program

2:00 Ė 4:30

9 Working with Volunteers: We complain about no participation and no committees but how do we change that? We expect members to participate but what do we know about working with volunteers? How should they be motivated? How should they be rewarded? We will explore all these avenues.

10 Board Training: Just the Facts: We all think we know it all. Then why does your board get bogged down dealing with the simple tasks of governing your co-op? Why do meetings last forever? Why do the members dislike the board? Why do you spend so much time with member letters? Serving Board members will find this refresher helpful. This is an updated workshop.

11 How does your Board deal with Member Complaints: Member grievances & complaints will occur in every co-op community. Eliminating all grievances is just not possible, however, how the co-op deals with bringing forward a resolution will strengthen or weaken the community. This workshop we will look at the process, roles and expectations of the board, staff and membership in bringing together an equitable agreement.

12 Can we change your co-opís Future? Does your co-op roll along from year to year re-acting to stimuli or are you proactive in planning the course. Where or what do you want your co-op to be in 5 years, 10 years? Do you know what the future will hold, can you predict how your co-op will face the future? Will it still be a co-op?

13 What do you do with new members? You have new members, now what? How do they fit into your co-op? What information do they need to become productive members and good neighbours? How do you help them adjust?

14 I have the right to smoke what I want in my unit. Smoking in Co-ops Ė the legal issues: Lots of co-op members smoke. And lots of them think they have the "right to smoke" tobacco in their units. Do they? What about smoking other things? What about the rights of others in the co-op?                                                        In this workshop Celia Chandler and Lauren Blumas will discuss the laws that relate to smoking tobacco, recreational marijuana and medical marijuana and help you find some answers to these questions.                Come prepared to participate Ė there will be case studies!

15 Does SIZE Matter? Can co-ops grow by co-operating? Merging? Sharing? Have you ever wondered what impact your coopís size has on the operation of your coop? Are there opportunities for your coop to grow and strengthen its viability? This workshop will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of coops working together Hear about how coops across the country have renewed and strengthened their coops by increasing the scale of their operations.

16 Does your board know how to listen to the members? Co-ops of every kind provide services to members. Our service is housing. What else should we be doing? How do we know if we are getting it right and how can we involve our members to adopt some best practices for housing co-ops? Find out how your co-op can find out from the members to find out what they really want/need.