Internal Management By-Laws
Internal management by-laws include all of the organizational and operational rules which frame community and democratic life in a cooperative.
The following template is meant to reflect the reality of the majority of housing cooperatives. It provides a guide that your cooperative can use and adapt to your own situation.
The internal management by-laws are adopted and updated by members at a general meeting, based on the cooperative’s situation and needs, following the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Rights and Freedoms, the Quebec Civil Code, the Cooperatives Act and the operating agreement with the CMHC or the SHQ, if applicable. The current model takes into account the modifications that were made to the Cooperatives Act in 2015.
The revision, which was led by the project team, included contributions from the Federation, development support organizations (such as technical resource groups) and the Les Voisines group of cooperative members. This template was also inspired by the work of the La Collective housing cooperative.
Convincing Fellow Members to Revise By-Laws
Here are some suggestions of reasons you can offer to start a conversation with other members of your cooperative about updating your internal management by-laws:
- To improve democratic life in the cooperative;
- To encourage women to participate and ensure that they are included in democratic structures;
- To make the work of our board of directors easier to understand;
- To improve the transparency of the cooperative’s decision-making bodies;
- To bring our legal statements up-to-date (for example, by including a mediation clause);
- To update our list of committees and their objectives.