Becoming a member of Co-opérative Régionale de Nipissing-Sudbury Limited
To become a member of CO-OP REGIONALE, a person must purchase 2 shares at a par value of $10 each and be approved as a member by the board of directors. To accomplish this, one has to complete and sign an application for membership, providing his current address, telephone number and social insurance number. The social insurance number is required in the event patronage dividends are paid which may have tax implications. If a person elects not to provide his or her social insurance number, we must note this refusal on the share application.
The application is then presented at the following regular meeting of the board of directors. Once approved, the new member name is recorded in the minutes of that meeting. The head office in Verner will return a copy of the application signed by the president of the board of directors. The copy includes a certificate number as proof that the person has a share certificate. The member also receives a member card upon the purchase of the shares, if purchased at the head office in Verner. If purchased at the different locations, the head office will mail, the member card afterwards.
Advantages of becoming a member
When purchasing merchandise at any of our locations (Verner Ag Center, Verner Bulk Petroleum, Verner Gas Bar, Verner Co-op Food Town, Noelville Co-op Foodland, Noelville Gas Bar, Northern Feed & Supplies in New Liskeard, Tem Ag Center in Thornloe, Algoma Ag Center in Echo Bay, Sudbury Bulk Petroleum), the customer is asked if he or she has a member number. That number is on the member card issued by the Verner head office. The amount of the purchases is tracked at every location. At year end (September 30th), all data from all locations is sent to the Verner head office and all location purchases are combined. This information is used to calculate any patronage dividend a member is entitled to receive based on his total purchases and CO-OP REGIONALE’s financial results. Please note that patronage dividends are declared and paid only if CO-OP REGIONALE has had a profitable year. Some years, members might not receive any patronage. The more the members support their CO-OP, the better the chances where patronage dividends will be declared.
Being a member is also required to become a director of CO-OP REGIONALE. Thirty days before year end, all vacant positions on the board are posted in all of our locations. If a person is interested, they must submit their intent to become a director, signed by 2 other CO-OP REGIONALE members as his or her sponsor. If only one person shows interest for a single vacant position, he/she is elected. If more than one person shows interest, an election is held at the annual meeting. These meetings are usually held in the first week of December every year.
Here is an example of patronage refund calculation based on the 2009 fiscal year results:
Assume your total purchases for the fiscal year ending were $5918.53 for all locations combined. The percentage paid for that year was 1.78%. This would have resulted in total patronage of $105.35. Because the patronage is over $100, we must deduct income tax on the amount at a rate of 15% and remit this to Revenue Canada. In this case, the income tax is $0.80. Once the member fee of $1 is deducted, there is a patronage of $103.55 which is added to the member account as additional shares. So, out of the initial investment of $20, this customer, by purchasing at the Co-op locations, had added $100 more to his share account. The $3.55, which is excess patronage, is left on the share account. When the next patronage is issued, it is added to the new patronage return and is included in the new total (after taxes).
If the patronage return is less than $100, no taxes are deducted, only the member fee of $1.
Every year, when patronage dividends are paid, we issue a report and send it to you, giving you the information on your total purchases and the percentage rate the calculation was based upon. We also issue an update of your share account after the patronage return is issued. This share account report is also available at any time by calling or visiting the head office in Verner.
Being a member also gives you the right to participate at the annual meeting. As a member, you may be required to vote on different issues at annual meetings. It gives the right of speech, at the annual shareholders’ meeting or any special shareholder meetings that may be called.
The membership shares are redeemable. If a person wishes to withdraw their shares all at once, the board of directors has approved the following policies regarding the withdrawal of common shares:
1. When a member dies, the shares are redeemed immediately (copy of death certificate and will required).
2. There is a 6 month delay for age limit (65 years or age) and total disability (proof of disability required). A person will be considered disabled if he/she receives a pension from CPP or some other pension plan.
3. There is 1 year delay for a case of a member moving out of the region served by the CO-OP REGIONALE.
4. If request is made for any of the last two reasons above and the amount of the shares to be withdrawn are less than $500, there is no delay for repayment, after approval from the board of directors.
5. In the case where the membership shares are owned by a business, the owners or officials of the firm may also transfer the shares to one individual.
6. In the case where the member has an overdue debt with CO-OP REGIONALE, the shares will be held as security against that debt and may be applied as payment towards that debt. To become a new member again, the individual must buy all the shares which were applied towards the debt.
7. If none of the above conditions for withdrawal apply, a member may ask to withdraw the shares for any other reason. The board may approve the request and extend the payments over a period of not more than 5 years and pay in each year the greater of $500 or 20% of the amount to be repaid.
8. Membership shares are also transferrable and the same conditions for withdrawal apply for the request to transfer.
9. The CO-OP REGIONALE has established a policy to redeem membership shares that have been issued as a result of patronage dividends beyond a specified number of years depending on the financial results of CO-OP REGIONALE each year.