Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MEC Election: Why I'm voting for Steve Jones

We Mountain Equipment Co-op members are voting from now through May 25 to elect 3 directors. I'm voting for Steve Jones because he pushes strongly to restore democratic member control, which the incumbent board has been undermining for several years now – see:
I'm also voting for:
- Patricia Eagar, the only female candidate not recommended by the incumbent board; and
- Bob Brent, who advocates change in the election system.

Vote now through May 25: elections.mec.ca/vote/#candidates/13

Friday, March 24, 2017

FICOM Should Say No to Coast Capital Board

Transferring our credit union from BC to nation-wide is bad for its 500,000 members.

Coast Capital Savings Credit Union's board of directors has launched a plan to expand nationally, which would increase their opportunities to benefit personally from their power and members' disempowerment. The dangers are well documented on this concerned member's website: GovernanceWatch.ca/ThreatsToCoastCapitalsMembers.html.

In the past 10 years, Coast's board has changed the credit union in several ways that are harmful to members. They raised their pay to double that of Vancity Credit Union's board. A group of members compiled data showing that by 2011, Coast's board had increased its pay to over $750,000 while the Vancity board was paid less than $370,000 – see coastcapitalcompensationwatch.wordpress.com/facts. This sparked a member uprising that Coast's board is still trying to divert and ignore – see votermedia.blogspot.ca/search/label/Coast Capital.

The board maintains its power by controlling the information conveniently available to members when they vote. Most are too busy to look beyond the board's spin, not realizing how poorly they are being served. So they trustingly vote as the board recommends.

The BC Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) can disallow Coast's national conversion if they find that Coast made inadequate disclosure to members before the approval vote – see fic.gov.bc.ca/pdf/fid/correspondence/OLTR-FedContinuance.pdf. The one-sided nature of all the information Coast sent to members can certainly be seen as inadequate – see governancewatch.ca/Case Against Coast Capital Savings.pdf.

Unfortunately, FICOM has already been following policies that let BC credit union boards conduct member votes with very one-sided information; for examples:
- votermedia.org/publications/MarkLathamCommentsOnFICOMDraftCUGovernanceGuideline.pdf
- votermedia.org/publications/2015-09-14-Latham-comments-on-FIA-CUIA-review.pdf

They have also refused a Coast member's request to extend beyond March 30 the public comment period on national conversion (via email to commission.consultation@ficombc.ca).

FICOM should reverse this trend and say no to Coast's board,
thus protecting the financial security of British Columbians.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Why I'm Voting NO on Coast Capital Savings' proposed rules change

Coast Capital Savings is proposing a rules change to pursue its aim to become a federal credit union. We members can vote from now through April 12, on paper ballots we receive in the mail, or by logging in at coastcapitalsavings.com/OnlineBanking.

I'm voting NO for the same reasons I voted NO on going national: the board's past behaviour gives me no confidence that they are acting in members' best interests. For example:

- Overpaying itself with members' funds – see:

- Confusing members with one-sided campaigns against members' resolutions – see:

The dangers of going national are well described at: 

See new report: A Case Against Coast Capital Savings Becoming a Federal Credit Union
Published March 16, 2017 at GovernanceWatch.ca.