Rules for Cooperatives

As a cooperative, ACCT is governed by the Cooperative Association Act and by the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada Rules. The Cooperative Association Act sets out mandatory rules, default rules and enabling law.

Mandatory Rules

There are some rules that all cooperative must follow. For example, all cooperatives must hold annual general meetings [section 143(2)]. All cooperatives must file annual reports with the Registrar of Companies [section 126]. Mandatory provisions cannot be “opted out of” or changed.

Default Rules

In the Act, default rules set out what cooperatives must do, unless they decide to do something else. If a cooperative’s Rules are silent, then the default provision in the Act applies. It’s important to know what these are, so that you can make a different choice if you want to. Phrases like, “subject to the rules….” and “unless the rules otherwise provide…” signal a default provision.

Enabling Law

The Cooperative Association Act is sometimes thought of as an “enabling” law. An enabling law allows anyone covered by the Act to do certain things without getting further permission. It does not force them to do these things. Phrases such as “the rules may provide….” signal enabling provisions. For example, a cooperative may decide to hold more than one general meeting per year. You can provide for this in your Rules [section 145].