Name of Act/Regulations
Co-operative Associations Act (Nunavut), RSNWT 1988, c. C-19.
The Coop Act does not have a section that deals specifically with housing coops.
Co-operative Associations Fees Regulation, RRNWT 1990, c. 2 (Supp.) as amended.
Co-operative Associations Standard Bylaws, RRNWT 1990, c. C-17 as amended.
Admitting New Members
The process for admitting new members is set out in the coop's bylaws.
Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a person who has reached the age of 16 years may be a member.
A person becomes a member of the coop once:
- his or her application for membership is approved by the board
- he or she has complied with the bylaws governing admission of members.
Obligations of the Members to the Coop and of the Coop to its Members
All coops are expected to be run on a cooperative basis, which means they are organized, operated and administered according to the following principles:
- each member has at least one share
- each member has only one vote
- no member may vote by proxy
- the coop operates as closely as possible at cost and any surplus is used to:
- develop the coop
- provide or improve services to members
- establish reserves.
Memorandum of Association
The memorandum of association ("memorandum") is the originating document that creates a housing coop. The memorandum includes the name of the housing coop (including the word "co-operative/cooperative" in its name) and the address of the coop. Members must follow the memorandum of the coop. Members can vote to make changes to the memorandum by passing an extraordinary resolution, which is subject to the approval of the Supervisor of Co-operative Associations.
Before the coop is incorporated, the incorporators must submit a copy of the bylaws (together with the memorandum of association) to the Supervisor for his or her examination and approval. The standard bylaws set out rules dealing with the governance of the coop. The Co-operative Association Standard Bylaws, RRNWT 1990, c. C-17 are deemed to be the bylaws of the coop. These bylaws deal with such matters as meetings, voting, duties and election of directors and officers and reserve funds. However, the coop is free to make additional bylaws for the governance of the coop containing provisions for any matter the coop considers advisable.
A housing coop must hold each year at least one members' meeting, called an annual general meeting (AGM), in accordance with the bylaws.
Board of Directors
The Coop Act sets out who can sit on the board of directors and the steps for electing a board. Essentially, legislation specifies that, to be a director, the member must:
- be at least 19 years of age.
The bylaws set out when and how elections are held. Elections are normally held at the AGM. Members vote by casting ballots.
Access to Information
Members are entitled to inspect the register of members at reasonable times during business hours.
An individual that is guilty of an offence under the Coop Act can be fined up to $500, or be imprisoned for a term of no more than 2 months, or both.
A coop that is guilty of an offence under the Coop Act can be fined up to $1,000.
Eviction/Expulsion of Members
Grounds for Terminating (Evicting) a Member
A coop can evict a member for failing to comply with the Coop Act or the bylaws.
The Termination Process
The coop makes its own bylaws, which set out how a member can be terminated.
Typically, the termination process starts with a written complaint about an individual member, his or her family member or guest. A special general meeting of the members is called to consider the termination.
The individual whose membership is being considered for termination must have an opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him or her. The coop must give the member a notice of the meeting being held to consider his or her termination; and an opportunity to attend the meeting to respond to the proposed termination.
Although the Act does not deal with whether a member has the right to be represented by a lawyer at the meeting, if the member wishes to be represented by a lawyer, it is advisable to permit the member to be represented. A refusal to permit representation may allow a court to overturn a decision to evict on the basis that the member was denied natural justice.
In order for the resolution to terminate to be carried, at least 2/3 of the members present at the special general meeting must vote for it.
Member's Right to Appeal
The bylaws state:
- whether the member has the right to appeal
- if so, how he or she may appeal the members' decision to terminate.
Obtaining a Writ of Possession to Remove the Terminated Member
The Coop Act does not set out how the coop can regain possession after a member is expelled.
To regain possession of the unit, the coop needs to commence an action in the Nunavut Court of Justice. The court may issue a writ of possession, which is a judgment for the recovery of the unit. The coop will serve the writ on the member. If the expelled member refuses to leave after being served with a copy of the court order, the judgment can be given to the sheriff who has legal authority to remove the expelled member from the premises.
Collecting Money Owed
The Nunavut Court of Justice has a Small Claims Division. Cases can be brought for amounts up to $20,000.
The coop can recover from a current or past member any money owed to the coop.
Accepting payment for arrears does not stop the co-op from terminating membership or taking back the unit.
For an overview of the small claims court process for each province and territory, see the section: An Overview of the Small Claims Court System.
If the amount claimed is more than $20,000, the claimant must take the claim to the Supreme Court and follow the Rules of Court applicable to that court. The Rules of Court tend to be very complex and it is suggested that the claimant consult a lawyer.
No information was found online for the territory of Nunavut.