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LETTERS: Proposed change to credit union board member selection is undemocratic

Editor:

More than 20 years ago, the members of what was then known as Surrey Metro Savings Credit Union came together to defeat a proposal to sell the credit union to Canada Trust, which later became part of the Toronto-Dominion Bank. Not too long after that decision by members, the Surrey-based credit union merged with several others to form Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union.

Until April 21, members are eligible to vote for four directors, and are also being asked to approve two rule changes proposed by the board.

One of those rule changes would remove the right of a member to run for the board of directors.

By my reading of the proposed changes to the rules, it would now be left up to the board to decide who would be eligible to even seek a nomination.

All others would be denied that right.

This is anti-democratic and is in fundamental conflict with the “co-operative principles” that the credit union refers to in its rules. The board may have gone in this direction due to its interpretation of the federal Bank Act.

Coast Capital several years ago decided to become a federal credit union, in order to operate beyond the B.C. borders. However, that is no excuse to severely limit the right of members to seek election to the board.

I urge members who are eligible to vote to carefully read the proposed rule changes, before giving the board carte blanche to restrict the democratic operation of a co-operative financial institution.

Coast Capital and its predecessors (which include Pacific Coast Savings on Vancouver Island and Richmond Savings) have been very important to the growth and wellbeing of Surrey, Langley and other parts of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

The co-operative approach to finance, as opposed to the Toronto-centric, profits-first approach of the Canadian chartered banks, is a big reason why.

Frank Bucholtz, Surrey

Letter to the Editor

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