The Social Economy in the News

July 14, 2008 - News

The Co-op Alternative: 'Deconstructing Dinner' looks at community farming in BC
It's been a topic of discussion throughout many broadcasts of Deconstructing Dinner: while there is clearly a widespread interest in supporting more localized food systems, the bigger picture of how such systems can be physically, economically and politically sustained is a far more complicated and serious matter.

July 9, 2008 - News

Close to $300,000 funding for women’s projects announced at Tri-County Women’s Centre
Close to $300,000 funding for three projects designed to significantly improve the lives of women and girls throughout southwestern Nova Scotia was announced by Gerald Keddy, conservative Member of Parliament for South Shore - St. Margaret's, at the Tri-County Women’s Centre in Yarmouth this afternoon.

June 20, 2008 - News

Go wild! Popularity of organics feeds appetite for indigenous foods that grow in wild
Milkweed pods marinated in cider vinegar? Curry soup with cattail hearts? Wild salmon with white spruce sauce? Brie with wild rose petal jelly? Who knew that many of the things that grow along Canadian trails, ditches and back roads are not only edible, but in demand? A red-winged blackbird perches on a cattail. The cattail hearts are harvested in late spring and are similar to hearts of palm.

June 19, 2008 - News

McGill conference tackles global food crisis
The world is currently facing one of its most serious challenges in ensuring there is enough food for everyone. Changing dietary and food consumption patterns, rising energy prices, climate change, and dramatic natural events like floods and storms are all contributing to critical food shortages and sharply higher prices. As prices have risen, market forces have also begun to play a role in driving cost even higher. The world’s poor are the hardest hit.

June 18, 2008 - News

Roseau River In Turmoil
The community has had its water turned off by the Pembina Valley Water Co-op, because it is four months behind in paying its bills. Chief Terry Nelson has called it an act of terrorism, but Water Co-op C.E.O. Sam Schellenberg refutes that notion. He says everything was done to avoid this situation, but all they received were promises from Roseau leadership.

June 17, 2008 - News

Provincial government announces the details for Northern Initiative fund
The provincial government released guidelines and criteria on Monday for the $100-million Northern New Brunswick Infrastructure Initiative. Roland Haché, minister of environment and minister responsible for the infrastructure initiative, outlined details of the program during a technical briefing at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Beresford.

June 16, 2008 - News

New Co-op slated for Hall Beach
This summer's sealift won't just bring Hall Beach residents the usual vehicles, appliances and cans of Coke. It will also bring something a little out of the ordinary - a brand new multimillion dollar Co-op store - or at least, the materials for one. Construction of the new 6,000-square-foot store, which will also have an attached 3,000-square-foot heated warehouse and office space, will cost $2 million to $3 million.

June 15, 2008 - News

Microfinance, Macroimpact
A few weeks ago, I wrote in The Province business section about the Canadian division of a microfinance non-profit called Opportunity International that funds banks for the poor in 28 countries. What I didn't get to write about was other microfinance fundraising initiatives launched right here in B.C. On Vancouver Island, for instance, some small donors to OI Canada are making a big difference.

June 12, 2008 - News

Why some people care, and why some people don't
I have a great deal to write about lately. So much so, that at times, my fingers cannot go fast enough for me to keep up and my mind is spinning in all directions. Imagine my delight, when, on a recent trip to Saskatoon, my book companion was none other than that old sage herself, Shirley Maclaine. Her latest book, Sage-ing While Age-ing, turned out to be just what I needed to calm my mind.

June 9, 2008 - News

A summer spent cycling for (micro)credit: Three UBC Students head to Mexico to raise awareness and funds for a local microcredit fund
Think you’re having an interesting summer? Last Saturday, three UBC students got on their bikes and began a seven week cycling journey that will take them from Vancouver to Tijuana, Mexico, all to raise funds and awareness for microcredit.

June 6, 2008 - News

Unleash the potential of the world's poor farmers
As world leaders grapple with the burgeoning food crisis, we would do well to heed the starkly contrasting stories of two goatherds. First, Alimatou Mahama, whom I met in a small village in northern Ghana. Alimatou had been granted access to microcredit, training and veterinary services through an aid project to improve the productivity of her herd. Her income increased and she was able to provide more food for her family.

June 1, 2008 - News

Microfinance has macro impact
It's early afternoon in the hazy Mozambican capital of Maputo and the Opportunity International bank should be "aberto" for business. But it's locked tight. The closure goes against the spirit of this Canadian-funded microfinance bank, which provides credit, insurance and services to the poor in a country where 36 per cent of residents live on less than $1 a day. But it's necessary today.

May 29, 2008 - News

The Co-operators reports its 2007 profits are up
The Co-operators Group Ltd. announced a net income of Cdn$154.8 million in 2007, up from Cdn$133.4 million the previous year. "The strong financial performance allowed the organization to make an unprecedented contribution of more than [Cdn]$1 million to The Co-operators Foundation, through which it reinvests in Canadian communities," the company announced in a press release.

News - May 26th, 2008

Homeless farm plan sparks $6-million race
Residents want to buy Woodwynn land in Central Saanich to halt proposed therapeutic institution
A controversial proposal to house homeless people on Woodwynn Farm in Central Saanich has ignited a race to raise $6 million to buy the historic property.

May 20, 2008 - News

Engaging youth to buy, eat locally
A forum aimed at engaging youth in developing sustainable food projects will take place on May 21 at the downtown Market Square. From 4 to 6 p.m., Foodshed Project will host the Youth Forum on Sustainability and is encouraging people to attend to voice their ideas and solutions on food system issues and how to get youth involved.

May 16, 2008 - News

Regina's Core of the future: Action plan looks at ways to enhance Regina's inner city
The proposed future of Regina's Core neighbourhood is mapped out in a recently released document. The Core Neighbourhood Sustainability Action Plan is a 93-page document that breaks down the positive and negative aspects of the community and presents strategies for remedying problems and building on strengths.

May 7, 2008 - News

Awards celebrate excellence in credit union system
Credit Union Central of Canada presented its annual National Credit Union Awards for outstanding achievement during a ceremony Wednesday night that concluded its annual conference. Because of the quality of this year's entries, the judges selected two winners for the 2008 Community Economic Development Award - Coast Capital Savings of Surrey, B.C. and Vancity Credit Union of Vancouver.

May 5, 2008 - News

Aboriginal Women face challenges in the Canadian Economy
Women's work as producers and caregivers of life is not often recognized in our money-based economy. But certain groups of women have an especially difficult time fitting into a market model of economics in which the exchange of money is the only recognized economic activity. Aboriginal women face economic discrimination on the basis of gender as well as race and culture.

April 26, 2008 - News

Entrepreneurs with ethical fibre
Sidney Ribaux has been an activist since his CEGEP days when he started up an aluminum recycling program. He now heads up Equiterre, a Quebec-based environmental and fair trade group. Michel Venne also got his feet wet in social causes during his student days, then had a long career as a journalist at Le Devoir.

April 22, 2008 - News

Letter to the fair trade movement
I’ve been thinking about writing this letter for a while. And, recently, I’ve been thinking about walking away from the fair trade movement. The thought still crosses my mind from time-to-time. I first came across the idea of fair trade when Just Us! Coffee Roasters Coop opened a cafe and roastery in a small converted house in New Minas, Nova Scotia in 1995.