FUTURE OF THE CENTER FAQs
The Membership Involvement Group posed the following questions to the Board of Directors regarding the option to transfer ownership of the building to the municipality and the associated draft agreement. If you have a question, please email us! We will be happy to respond to you directly and post your question our response here.
No, it is an offer to take on ownership of the building including the balance of the mortgage, responsibility of repairs, utilities, and maintenance. It will relieve the CWLP Cooperative from the burden of these costs and the workload involved in facility management.
Because the Cooperative has faced financial and organizational challenges over the years which have limited our services, programs, activities, and events. It has also cost us in spirit, energy and in monetary ways. Not being owners of a large, aging building and managing a facility could help us boost our strengths and expand our potential.
In addition to what has already been noted, a transfer also gives our Cooperative an opportunity to further our partnership with the Municipality of La Peche. The Municipality and the Cooperative share common goals in the area of recreation, leisure, culture and public access to programs and activities. For Coop members and residents of La Peche and surrounding communities collaboration can produce powerful results.
Besides losing the burden and responsibility for our building and having to finance significant present and future costs, we would lose our main tangible asset should we need to borrow funds to help our Cooperative survive. Some may feel a loss of pride because the building is a facility we are proud to have built and a symbol of our achievement. Others may feel that the Municipality will want to tell the Cooperative what to do and what to offer.
In addition to other information noted in Questions 2 and 3, our members, volunteers, and Board members could focus on delivering and expanding our cultural, arts, and recreational events, programs, and services. We can meet the needs of our growing and changing community; contribute to "green living" by offering more in our community so people do not need to travel elsewhere; bring visitors to the community because of our engaging activities; and support the social needs of our seniors, low income individuals and families, and community at large. Businesses would benefit. We could be well staffed and provide employees with better pay, benefits, and job security. We could have improved governance because Directors and Members could focus on the core values of our mission and vision without having to focus on facility management which is not why we exist.
In addition to the points made in Question 5, the Cooperative and the Municipality could collaborate together to meet emergency needs of residents in the future. A stronger relationship between the Centre and the Municipality will help both organizations support preparedness for various disasters, pandemics, and security issues we could need in the future. Also, our programs and initiatives and volunteer efforts grow the collective social capital for Centre users and the broader population. A connected community is a strong community.
None. While there were some discussions in the past, the Municipal offer and detailed agreement being drafted has nothing to do with the MRC. There was a suggestion we shift to being a cultural hub as a way to be more financially stable and focus on our cultural mandate.
Yes. The Cooperative will have control over the programming. The Municipality is in full support Cooperative's mandate and does not want to influence the Coop's work and commitment to its members and community.
a) Currently a committee of Board members, members/MING members, and current and
founding partners and members, has been struck to review the offer, respond with expanded
ideas, and explore partnership opportunities. All building on the Municipality offer to make it
beneficial to all ---especially the members and community both organizations serve.
b) Yes. No transfer cannot occur without a vote of the CWLP membership.
Yes. As noted in the question above, a committee is already hard at work on preparing the Cooperative's contribution to the discussion.
There would be little or no implications for staff and Board and they would continue to deliver the programs, services, events, and activities to the Coop members and community. There will likely be a mechanism for the Coop to relate to the Municipality day to day operational items when needed and perhaps a quarterly or semi-annual discussion between the building's owners and users pertinent to the facility's needs.
We are asking the Municipality to consider helping us in this way. Directors of the CWLP Board began discussions in February 2020. And official request in writing was submitted by the Board in October 2020 to request a meeting to explore the potential partnership and/or ways to support the Coop as an option to long-term sustainability of the Centre. The Board was supported by La Coopérative de développement régional Outaouais–Laurentides (CDROL) in exploring Municipal ownership and three other approaches to sustainability.
The Municipality and the Cooperative's vision align --- both aim to better serve the community in the areas of culture, arts, and recreation as well as preserve and make better use of the Centre.
In the discussions so far, the Coop is not a tenant. We are in a partnership with the Municipality to serve the Members and community. But as mentioned previously, we will no longer carry a mortgage and will not need to plan for building maintenance and repairs. The later is particularly important since we do not have a reserve fund.
This being determined and will be part of the partnership arrangement.
In the fall of 2020, four scenarios (including Municipal ownership) were proposed by CDROL
and these were shared at our 2020 AGM. These are now going to be reviewed along with any
additional ones people would like to propose. A template for the submission of additional
scenarios is being prepared and the MING is taking the lead on this work.
Whether Municipal ownership is initiated or not, the input from scenarios is of value because
the Cooperative is still doing the same core work. It would no longer have a building to
finance and manage but it still would be a community hub and the heart of our community.
As one member recently pointed out, "The centre is not just a building but rather a community hub in which everyone can participate and take pride and ownership in their contributions." Shifting ownership of the building and its related financial burden and energy drain will not change what the Coop is and what the Coop does.
Yes. According to Article 89 of the Quebec Cooperatives Act, "The board of directors may not sell, rent or exchange all or substantially all the property of the cooperative, outside the normal course of its business, unless it is authorized to do so by a by-law adopted by three quarters of the votes cast by the members or their representatives present at a general meeting."