Original Published 11:58 Apr 11, 2022

By Jessica Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The board of directors for Beeland, Carrot River and Parkland Co-ops are holding information meetings for members to review the benefits of a partnership, before moving to a vote for amalgamation in late-April.

In order to amalgamate, the majority of members at each location will have to vote in favour of the motion.

The vote will take place April 26 in Carrot River, April 27 in Hudson Bay and Porcupine Plain, and April 28 in Tisdale.

Cory Leichert, Parkland Co-op’s general manager, said by merging the three co-ops feel they can have operational efficiencies with freight savings, delivery savings and a stronger balance sheet to facilitate growth.

“Right from the start we’re not looking at cutbacks, that’s not the intent of this. The intent is to grow our business,” Leichert said. 

“The plan is to become more operational, more efficient, have growth that we will be able to maintain or increase our cash-back and equity program.”

The final two information nights will be held at Carrot River April 12 at the community hall at 6:30 p.m., as well as Tisdale on April 13 at the Golden Age Centre at 6:30 p.m.

Previous ones were held in Bjorkdale, Porcupine Plain, Arborfield and Hudson Bay.

Leichert said several of the questions from members in past communities were the same including impacts on operational structure and continuance of community donations. 

He reiterated that there would be no job loss. Community involvement, volunteerism and donations are expected to be the same or better than before.

“There’s opportunity in the commodities we’re in and potential opportunity in additional commodities, so will it create sales? That’s the full intent.”

He said management are planned to stay in the communities they represent, but long-term board representation may change. 

Currently, there are three representatives from each of the three co-ops, however board representation is from membership voting at large. This means if they do amalgamate, the future board would be selected from members of all the regions together.

Leichert asks that membership become informed and come out to vote whether it’s in favour of or against.

“We think it’s a very good thing in the north east corner here, we think it’s positive for the co-ops and we hope to see the people come out and join the informational meetings and definitely come out to the voting processes.”

This item reprinted with permission from Humboldt Journal, Humboldt, Saskatchewan