Co-operative governance

Governance performance

Through our governance, we execute on our purpose and reinforce our co-operative identity, reflecting the values of a vibrant co-operative movement and ensuring we are a catalyst for a resilient and sustainable society.

2023 governance highlights

Driving effectiveness to align with our strategy

Our board successfully fulfilled its mandate in the second year of operations under its new committee structure and remains focused on overseeing and providing input to the execution of the 2023 to 2026 strategic plan. Its goal: to ensure that transformation activities position Co-operators for long-term success in the face of trends that are driving change within the financial services industry.

Continuous board and committee educational development

The Board dedicates two days each year to education to foster ongoing board and director learning and development. These semi-annual sessions are complemented by an annual Audit and Finance Committee education day, committee education sessions, and individual director training and development involvements. Board education days focused on IDEA, sustainability (including social impact and climate change), biodiversity and nature, financial performance and reporting, industry trends, privacy and compliance, and advancements in information technology and cybersecurity.

Back row (L-R): Hazel Corcoran, Lorna Knudson, Jessica Provencher (Governance and Co-operative Identity Committee Chairperson), Jennifer Uhren, Jack Wilkinson (Sustainability Committee Chairperson), Nicole Waldron, Mike Csversko, Pierre Dorval, Michael Barrett

Front row (L-R): Jim Laverick (Audit and Finance Committee Chairperson), Chris Johnson (Compliance and Ethics Committee Chairperson), Phil Baudin, Robert Moreau (Human Resources Committee Chairperson), Jim MacFarlane, Louis-H. Campagna, Shelley McDade

Absent: Brent Clode, John Harvie (Board Chairperson), Kate Hill, Christie Stephenson, Alexandra Wilson (Board Vice-chairperson and Risk Committee Chairperson), Rod Wilson

Spotlight on our governance

Find out more about our directors, delegates and governance highlights

124 Delegates who nominate and elect our Board of Directors

22 Directors

Board composition

13 Men

9 Women

0 Non-binary

7 French speaking

0 Indigenous

1 Visible minority

0 With a disability

41% women on the Board

2022: 36%
2021: 36%
Target: 50% by the end of 2025

Women delegates in each region

58% British Columbia

47% Alberta

62% Saskatchewan

53% Manitoba

20% Ontario

26% Quebec

37% Atlantic

Target: Achieve 50/50 gender balance within the delegate pool in each region

652 Cumulative years of experience among directors in the co-operative and credit union/caisse populaire sectors

25 Number of days directors spent in individual training and development

8 Number of directors with a professional designation

Sustainability embedment

Co-operators has a heightened emphasis on building resiliency into our operations, investments and advocacy, and building influence in our communities.

Photo of Jack Wilson

“Our co-operative has many levers through which we can influence the economy — our insurance products, investments, advocacy, partnerships and relationships. We must use all of these levers if we are going to be successful. It needs to be a co-ordinated, co-operative approach, and we’re committed to continuing this work.”

Jack Wilkinson
Chairperson, Sustainability Committee

Sustainability integration

With an increased focus on sustainability, a member of each of our standing committees populates the composition of the Board’s Sustainability Committee. This ensures better integration with each committee’s mandate. Each Sustainability Committee representative reports on the highlights of Sustainability Committee meetings to their standing committee, and discusses any matters that may impact their work.

Learn more in our Climate Report

Our IDEA in governance strategy

Our strategy is built upon a set of board-approved IDEA guiding principles, and is intended to be used as a framework to guide future IDEA discussions, to inform policies, and to facilitate and broaden engagement and participation. The guiding principles also enhance our understanding and decision-making processes, enabling us to better serve our diverse members and their communities, and position us as a leader in the financial services industry and the broader co-operative movement.

Photo of Jessica Provencher

“We can’t rest on our laurels and expect transformations in our society to do the work for us. We need to remain focused, intentional and committed to executing on the strategies we put in place.”

Jessica Provencher
Chairperson, Governance and Co‑operative Identity Committee

IDEA in governance strategy

Goal one: IDEA in governance adoption

We will commit to work towards inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility in our oversight and governance to meet the current and future needs of our board, our members and the communities we serve.

Goal two: Inclusive leadership and governance practice

We will model and encourage inclusive behaviour in our governance practices. We will also review our governance practices with an IDEA lens and consider IDEA when making decisions and advising on strategic priorities.

Goal three: Diverse representation

We will strive to have diverse representation in all governance levels of the organization to better reflect the communities we serve.

Goal four: Culture of belonging

Building on our belief in democratic engagement, we will create a governance culture that is welcoming, where all voices are being heard and we will celebrate all milestones.

Spotlight on our members

We are governed by 46 members – a group of co-operatives, credit union centrals and representative farm organizations that operate on a co-operative basis. Together, we deliver broad benefits to members and clients, enriching the social fabric of our communities.

Member organization sectors represented

image/svg+xml Agriculture (37%) Service (30%) Health (7%) Retail /consumer (7%) Finance (17%) Labour (2%)
46 member organizations

Delegates represent 7 Regions across Canada

British Columbia / Alberta / Saskatchewan / Manitoba / Ontario / Quebec / Atlantic

“One of the most valuable aspects of the member relationship is knowledge sharing. By connecting with leadership across the member network, we share valuable insights, experiences and best practices, which contribute to increased efficiency, effectiveness and success across the sector.”

Cathy Lennon
General Manager, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

The next generation of co-operative leaders

Working in collaboration with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), we’ve provided a unique leadership development opportunity for 12 up and coming change-makers who are making a difference at their co-op and within their community, with the Co-operators Young Leaders Award.

Photo of Kristen Murray

“Being a part of the Co-operators Young Leaders community has been an extraordinary experience. I have been endlessly thankful for the opportunities, the friends and the learning that have blossomed from the CYL Award.”

Kristen Murray
2023 Co‑operators Young Leaders Award Winner

See our governance performance (pdf)