FEC Membership Questionnaire
Income sharing agreement
Membership process (first version, longer version as too be translated)
Expulsion of a member(first version, longer version as too be translated)
Solve a problematic situation (will be sent when translated)
Decision-making procedure (will be sent when concluded and translated)
Le Manoir is an quebec income sharing intentional community. It supplies shelter (one shared house) and healthy and responsible food (mainly grown on site) to its members. It offers its members a different social environment to experiment new ways to live together and to develop their full potential, while having an impact on their extended community.
Ownership of Property
As of now, we live in the house of one of our members. We are currently looking for a land that would be the property of a legal entity. We are still doing research to find the exact form of legal entity we will adopt for this. In Canada, it will probably end up being what is called a “religious corporation”, even though we insist on adding that our community will in reality be secular.
(see document on income sharing for greater details)
Assets and debts accumulated prior to the member's adhesion are kept personal. Thereafter all riches created are collectivized. There is some openness, upon the community’s approval, towards allowing a member to generate additional income with the idea of carrying out a personal project.
We currently give an allowance of 120$ CAN to each member, in order for them to buy goods and services that are considered personal expenditures.
Members own their personal effects (toothbrush, clothes, etc.)
Members need to refrain themselves from ostentatious behaviour when buying and or using personal possessions, so that no sentiment of inequality is created between them.
It will be handled according to the laws applying to the type of legal entity chosen.
We wish the land and the houses to be in the possession of a land trust, in order to prevent them from being sold. Then, if and when the community is dissolved, both land and houses will be rented by emphyteusis to an entity that will carry on the trust’s mission.
We will also wish to prioritize the reimbursement of members that will have lent money to the community over reimbursing the other creditors. This will be made possible by selling movable assets.
Agricultural tools and machinery would remain property of the land trust.
If we have many enterprises inside the community, each legal entity will then have to manage its own dissolution, or the pursuit of its activities, according to its own dispositions. Businesses imply a structure of ownership different to the one which applies to the land, and this will have to be taken into account for each separate case.
A document on member integration as been added as an attachment.
We welcome people who believe in our shared vision, who want to share income and who get along well with us. We would like to have diversity in the age, gender and nationality of our future members. Our community is Francophone, and our meetings take place in French, which can pose an obstacle to people who come from outside Québec. There is no need to invest money to be able to integrate the community.
After coming into contact with us, people interested in joining the community are assigned a godparent who guides them through the whole application process from visitor to full member. They are first given a list compulsory readings to make sure they understand what is Le Manoir, what it’s vision is and what we believe in as a community. They are then asked to send us a letter of introduction about themselves asking to visit for 2 weeks.
At the end of the two week visit is a formal meeting after which the visitor is asked to leave. If the community so decides that person is invited to join. They will go through a 3 month probation period. At the end of the probation the community decides if the person is granted the status of full membership.
In principle, we accept families with children, whatever their structure may be. Each adult has to apply individually and needs to be accepted individually, answering questions and complying with certain criterias, like, for example, the question of co's dependants.
When they reach their 18 years old (age of majority in Québec, Canada), the children, now adults, have to go through the same integration process and apply to become members if they wish to stay in the community.
Our group has been in existence since September 2015. As of April 2016, it is composed of 5 people: 4 permanent members, 3 of them present since September 2015, and one probationary member. An other probationary member is scheduled to arrive on the first of July, 2016.
We envision being a group of a dozen adult members. Our group could also grow to some thirty members. Or more, all depending on the debates we'll have when we reach this stage!
What is guiding our choice,
Refer to the document about the expulsion of a member (first translated edition), as an attachment, as well as to the document concerning how to solve a problematic situation that will soon be translated.
The loss of one's membership can be justified by various circumstances: violence, disrespect of agreements or people, lying, etc...
A minor offense will be treated differently than a major one. Our document concerning how to solve problematic situation will serve as a guide on what to do in each case.
The domestic tasks are distributed through rotation, which means that cooking, washing dishes and cleaning the bathroom are done by turns. Everyone does an equal part of domestic work.
As for income-generating labor, it is made up, for now, of jobs outside the community. Turn by turn, depending on opportunities, interest and know-how, each person decides, or is encouraged, to go work outside, the final decision being taken in a group discussion. As of now, 3 members have paid employment, for a total of 8 days per week. This is more than enough income to cover the needs of 5 persons and to save money.
We do not currently have any collective business. We wish to establish several, in order to create our own income. The business which will get started this summer is a farming worker's cooperative where we will sell vegetables, pick small fruits (saskatoon berries) and produce seeds. The name of the coop is la coop les potagers partagés.
Any work, paid or domestic, is considered to be an equal contribution (1h = 1h) to the community. We do not officially account for hours and we do not have any explicit quota.
In short, we decide on the realization or the distribution of tasks following the tastes and desires of each person, but we decide collectively on what is to be done.
We are now in the process of thinking about vacations and how they will work. We haven't taken any official decision yet. We thought that there could be a collective reserve fund, meant to cover yearly personal expenses. Demands made to use this money would be subject to a group consultation.
We still have to debate on the frequency and length of vacations, as well as how we decide what exactly is considered a vacation and when we can take it.
We generate income mostly through paid employment and employment insurance (yeah, that's something we have, here in Québec ;-P).
We plan on generating a total of 60,000$ of income for the fiscal year of 2016. We are developing business plans for collective enterprises.
For each project, the appointed person presents a budget, which has to be accepted through consensus and managed by a committee that is accountable in front of the whole group.
Small daily spendings are taken from our account or refunded. We spend money when we need to and we use the moment when we balance our books, each month, to do some type of verification and talk about any “problem” that comes up.
We are thinking about having a system of two signatures to manage bigger spendings and withdraw money. We also have 4 prepaid credit cards that enable us to have funds handy for common expenses.
To cover personal expenses for things not provided by the community, members receive an allowance of 120$ CAN per month. This amount could eventually be reviewed.
There is no children in the community right now. A child allowance will be established when needed.
We take our decisions through consensus. Comities having the mandate to see certain specific projects through can take decisions concerning their own activities. We have already started a big document Decision-making procedure and the document is almost finish and we will send it to translation and when it’s done we will send it to you!
An important part of healthcare needs are covered, for free, by Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec. Still, some aspects of healthcare are not covered by this institution: some drugs are not covered, or partly covered, dental care is not covered, as well as eye care, alternative medicine and consultations or interventions given without a prescription.
The community commits to cover all healthcare needs of its members. We still have to think on how to do that.
No, we are a secular community. Beliefs are considered a private matter.
Our document Income sharing agreement will provide a complete answer to this question.
Our two documents Solve a problematic situation and Expulsion of a member contain all the answers to this question. We still need to translate the documents. We don’t accept physical or verbal violence.