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Our Mission

Our vision is an Ontario where co-operatives contribute to the sustainability and growth of our economy and communities. On Co-op is an information and resources network with a mission to lead, cultivate and connect the co-operative sector.

The Ontario Co-operative Association Inc. (On Co-op) believes that co-operatives build a better world. We are the trade association and capacity-building organization that develops, educates and advocates for Ontario's 1,300 co-operative businesses.

The Ontario Co-operative Association provides its member-owners with programs, resources and networks that support their organizations and facilitate growth and opportunity. From the strong foundation provided by our membership, On Co-op builds co-op awareness and vitality and unites the co-operative movement in Ontario.

On Co-op organizes its programs and activities into three strategic pillars:

  1. Co-operative Engagement and Development
  2. Advocacy and Government Relations  
  3.  Education 

These pillars, identified by On Co-op’s Board of Directors during its 2013 strategic planning session, form the foundation for all our programming. Check out the link on the right to learn more.

On Co-op Believes In

People: The co-op sector is made up of passionate individuals who are making a difference. Networking together, supporting one another and believing that change can happen, we will recognize and support the important efforts of our staff, volunteers and members.

Innovation: On Co-op is committed to finding creative solutions to Ontario’s  social, environmental  and economic challenges. Based on the foundation of the seven co-operative principles, we believe that experimenting and learning will contribute to a stronger organization and province.

Professional service: We will deliver programs that are relevant and beneficial to our members. As a gateway for information and knowledge, we are committed to exemplary service, measuring our results and developing proactive solutions that meet member needs.

Accountability: We are committed to providing clarity in roles, accountability of decision-making and transparency of financial management for members, regulators and funders.

Sustainability: Our decisions and actions will support Co-operative Social Responsibility. We want financial viability, a strong and vibrant co-operative sector and a planet that can sustain both.


Guiding Principles

To achieve its mission, the Ontario Co-operative Association will be guided in its relationship with its community according to the following values.

  1. Respect. The Ontario Co-operative Association has a fundamental respect for people, as individuals and collectively.
  2. Justice.  The Ontario Co-operative Association is socially responsible and is committed to the social and economic empowerment of individuals through co-operatives.
  3. Diversity.  The Ontario Co-operative Association recognizes the strength that derives from the diversity of its community.
  4. Co-operation.  The Ontario Co-operative Association encourages co-operative solutions and democratic values.
  5. Professional Service.  The Ontario Co-operative Association is committed to providing the highest quality service, through professionalism and leadership.
  6. Equity and Equality.  The Ontario Co-operative Association has a fundamental commitment to ensuring that its decision-making structures reflect the make-up of its community.


Guide to Co-op Act written in plain, accessible language

Oct 14, 2015 - On Co-op has created a Guide to Ontario’s Co-operative Corporations Act. The Guide explains the details of the Act, and includes advice about the procedures and protocols that define the operations of co-operatives. The Guide also includes a number of…

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2018 OCA Annual General Meeting

Oct 18, 2018 - 2018 OCA AGM

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Start a Co-op

You're not alone in your quest to start a co-operative business enterprise!  Find out all you need to know about starting a co-op here.

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On Co-op is a trade association and capacity-building organization that develops, engages, educates and advocates for Ontario's co-op businesses.