James MacFarlaneJames MacFarlane

It is indeed interesting looking back at Co-op Atlantic as a whole or even local co-ops and finding the problems in leadership or decision making. When many years ago our local co-op began to struggle and built a new store across a major highway, I don’t recall looking at product line, quality of produce or meats as being significant but they were. Sobeys not Suoerstore was really the only competition. My father’s reaction when direct buying or bulk purchasing did not materialize drove my parents more consistently to Sobeys. What they saw was no dividend and higher prices and more local debt by the co-op..
As in Les’ case the process was long and tough and derived with the future in mind while ensuring that location was maintained and ease of access not interrupted. Currently my involvement is in the financial sector and there are some good consultative decisions being made but yet we sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture and become a bit self serving or do not want to give up a little control. There are many strategic interdependencies at play nationally which always come into play and do we respect that?
There is a much bigger picture out there.


“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”

Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)

Libro Credit Union

“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”

Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”

Lori Sanders (President)

Sherwood Co-op

“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”


“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”