Elections and nominations

MEC is Canada’s go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration: a large retail cooperative with over 5.4 million members nationally, $462 million in annual revenue, a global supply chain, more than 2,500 employees, 22 stores across Canada, and a gear-packed website.

As a retail co-op, MEC is owned by its members and is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors elected by the membership. Our goal is strong and balanced leadership, and our nominations process helps us get there.

Nomination Process

MEC conducts all nomination and election processes as prescribed under the Co-op’s Rules.

MEC’s Nominations Committee supports the delivery of the Board’s mandate in the areas of board elections and candidate nominations. The Committee is composed of three board members and two members-at-large. The inclusion of members-at-large promotes objectivity and allows for a wider spectrum of perspectives throughout the process.

To maintain a firm foundation for corporate governance, it is imperative to regularly review the composition of our Board of Directors to ensure it is made up of committed individuals, who collectively have the required characteristics, skills, experience and leadership abilities required to carry out the roles and responsibilities of the board.

All election procedures are monitored by the Co-op’s independent election auditor.

Recommended Candidates

To help drive business success in this rapidly changing, digital world, we need guidance from capable experts and passionate people who shared the Co-op’s values – people who collectively have the desired criteria based on the Board’s required skills in the coming years. These needs are determined by an assessment of the current Board composite.

Knowing this, in 2013 the Board proposed new Rules that would, among other things, mean that the Board must indicate to members which election candidates most closely fulfill the Board’s identified needs. These new Rules were approved by 91% of voters in the 2013 MEC election. In a normal year with three vacancies, the Board must recommend between four and nine candidates.

Purposeful board composition or actively recruiting recommended candidates allows us to find great candidates who share MEC’s values and can contribute their wisdom and experience – but who might not have traditionally put themselves forward for election. The Board will be able to indicate to members the candidates who would be best equipped to contribute to the overall composition and abilities of the Board most effectively. Members, however, will be able to choose between all eligible candidates on the ballot.

Diversity and Inclusion

Over the past few years, we have been stating our diversity aims in the Nominee Criteria and proactively seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds. Despite this, we have not achieved significant change in effectively reaching candidates from diverse ethnic and cultural groups, who are able to contribute to the overall composition and skills of the Board.

We appreciate that significant change may not be achieved in the first years of this proactive approach. However, we believe these efforts are laying the groundwork needed to help us achieve greater board diversity over the coming years.

To advance our commitment to board diversity, our Nominations Committee is working with WATSON Advisors Inc. our independent election consultant, to actively increase the diversity of the pool of candidates considered for recommendation.

Need more information?

If you have questions, please contact the MEC Governance Office at info@mec.ca.