Cashing out from MEC

“The Global Educator”, the Journal of the British Columbia Teachers for Peace and Global Education Winter 2011 issue offers a variety of indepth articles, including the following one by Patrik Parkes on page 25. Please note that Patrik is not a member of the Canada Palestine Association but we are publishing his article on our site on his behalf. (

In the last issue of The Global Educator, I made a case against shopping at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). One reason is that MEC markets itself as green and ethical, while shipping products halfway around the world instead of manufacturing them here in Canada. Moreover, some of these products are manufactured in human-rights deficient countries, including Israel, where MEC buys from a military supplier. More recently, MEC has gotten into the bicycle business, importing bicycles from Taiwan to sell at a boutique-shop price point, presumably in order to put smaller, independent stores out of business. Even worse, if MEC members want to change it, AGM resolutions now have to be vetted by the MEC executive, which isn’t very democratic.

Fortunately, there’s still a way to let them know how you feel: cancel your membership and cash out. MEC doesn’t advertise it, but when you quit your membership they owe you dividends.

Having learned this, I recently mailed in a withdrawal form (page 26), and am awaiting a cheque for what I am told will amount to approximately $120.

According to the fine print, no longer wishing to be a member of MEC is an acceptable reason for cancellation, so I filled out the “other reason” section with some of the aforementioned complaints.

I recommend this as an easy way to send MEC a message, while making some money at the same time. Just keep in mind that, if you withdraw, you will have to wait two years before you can apply for membership again.