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Providing Notice for Annual General Meeting

Providing Notice for Annual General Meeting

Each year, your co-op needs to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to report back to members, elect directors, and decide any business that needs members’ approval. Co-ops need to give members proper notice of this meeting and help them stay informed about their co-op’s operations. 

This tool will offer some tips on giving AGM notice to your members and clarify what needs to be included.  

Legal Requirements

Co-ops can decide how much notice they want to give members before the AGM, and record it in their bylaws. If this isn’t in the co-op’s bylaws, it then has to follow the rules set out by the government. 

These rules are different in each province: 

  • Manitoba: The co-op must give its members no more than 50 and no less than 21 days notice before the meeting.
  • Saskatchewan: No more than 50 and no less than 10 days before the meeting.
  • Alberta: No more than 60 and no less than 10 days before the meeting.
  • British Columbia: At least 14 days before the meeting, and the bylaws must provide at least 7 days’ notice.
  • Federal: No more than 60 days and no less than 21 days before the meeting.

Most co-ops will use the suggested notice period provided by the government, even if they add it to their bylaws. Here’s an example of what a provision in the bylaws could say:

“Notice of the annual general meeting shall be issued no less than 21 days before the date of the annual meeting in a manner determined by the board of directors.”

At a minimum, the notice of meeting must include the time and place of the meeting and any special business that will be presented. Special business means any resolutions that require a two-thirds majority vote to approve (for example, amalgamation or bylaw amendments). If there will be a special resolution at the meeting, the co-op should describe the resolution in the notice, or provide a way for members to view the text of the resolution (like on the co-op’s website, or sending it ahead of time). 

Many co-ops also use a meeting notice to call for director nominations and outline what will be discussed at the meeting. For an example, check out our sample meeting notice below.

Issuing Notice

Your co-op has an obligation to provide meeting notice to its members — but how this is done can be outlined in the bylaws or left up to the board. Most co-ops use a combination of tools to let members know about an upcoming meeting. Here’s a few options:

  • Post flyers in the co-op’s office and locations
  • Include the notice of meeting in the co-op’s newsletter
  • Purchase ad space in newspapers in your community
  • Share the notice of meeting on the co-op’s website and social media
  • E-mail or mail notice of the meeting directly to members

While your co-op has a duty to provide notice of a meeting, the members must also  provide up-to-date contact information. We recommend including a provision in the co-op’s bylaws — something like this: 

“The Co-operative shall issue notice to members, directors, officers and any other persons using either electronic mail or, if requested by the member, ordinary mail. It is the responsibility of the member, director, or officer to provide the co-operative with their contact information and advise the co-operative of any changes to their contact information.”

Enjoy this tool on providing notice for an annual general meeting? Then you’ll like our tool on AGM checklists or our blog on online AGM’s.

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