OUR VIEW: Re-evaluate Co-op’s policy

Despite argument for members' privacy, Peninsula Co-op is bound by legislation to release contact information

Peninsula Co-op pleaded protection of its members’ contact information when it responded to a B.C. Supreme Court ruling issued last week.

General manager Ron Heal told the News Review the Co-op had withheld members’ names and addresses, despite requests for the information, for the sake of privacy.

Under the Co-operative Association Act and as upheld by Justice Geoffrey Gaul, that information must be released if it is requested for certain purposes, such as contacting members before election time for its board of directors, which happens this spring.

In signing a Peninsula Co-op membership application, members agree their information can be used for “communicating with you regarding your membership or other matters of concern to the Co-op and its members” and “meeting legal and regulatory requirements.”

Some members have already expressed dismay at the ruling. Part of the problem might come from the somewhat ambiguous wording on that application form. It’s doubtful many Co-op applicants would read the Co-op Act before signing up.

Peninsula Co-op must be more forthright with its members about the use of their contact information by rewording that application form. For the sake of democracy, members must be contacted at election time – annually – to inform them of who the candidates are and what they stand for.

Most importantly, the Co-op can’t continue to hide behind its perceptions of information protection laws. The 2009 board of directors election was nullified by an arbitrator due to its “oppressive” style that tried to turn results in the incumbents’ favour.

The popularity of the co-op model is evident by the 56,000 members who subscribe to the Peninsula organization. A co-op is meant to be run by its members, for its members. Its nature is different than other types of businesses. Peninsula Co-op should take a hard second look at why it is withholding this information and return to the values behind its namesake.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read