The Social Economy in the News

January 29th, 2008

Buying in to a new idea
Housing co-operatives offer residents a resilient form of affordable housing. In a city where housing costs are soaring and the rental vacancy rate is at record lows, housing co-operatives are a welcome relief for many families of moderate income scrambling for affordable housing. While Victoria has 36 co-ops, the waiting lists are long and the barriers to starting new co-ops are many.

January 17th, 2008

New website being launched that focuses on patient needs
Nova Scotians looking for access to quality medical information, medical coaching, or existing prescription drug renewals may soon find help is just a click away on their computer. Nova Scotia’s co-operatives and credit unions, in partnership with several Nova Scotia doctors, are preparing to launch a new web-based medical support clinic – Connecting People for Health Co-operative Ltd.

January 11, 2008 - News

Deconstructing Dinner
"Deconstructing Dinner" is a hit radio show by Jon Steinman at Kootenay Co-op Radio (CJLY) in Nelson, B.C. "Most discussion of food by media focuses on health and diet, a very individualistic connection to food," explains Steinman. "Deconstructing Dinner looks at the well-being of all people involved in the process of growing and preparing and enjoying food." This week's offering, for example, examines the debate over genetically modified foods (GMOs).

January 9th, 2008

100 Years of Homelessness
January 9, 2008While homelessness may seem like a relatively new issue for Vancouver, homeless people have long been a part of Vancouver's history. Local First Nations were the first homeless. By the late 1860s, nearly 100 years of smallpox epidemics had reduced the native population of B.C. from an estimated 155,000 to only 20,000. Approximately 700 indigenous people lived on Burrard Inlet along with 500 non-Aboriginals.

January 3rd, 2008

Canadian financial firms offer investors role in global microfinance lending
Kamil Ramazanov is looking for a loan. The Azerbaijani butcher wants to buy two calves and is looking for US$950. He's offering to repay the money monthly over the next 12 months. His profile on says he's 49, lives in the town of Khachmaz with his wife and three children and owns a butcher shop.

December 10, 2007 - News

$2.6 M goes to eight Québec social economy enterprises - The Chantier de l'économie sociale Trust announces its first investments
In the presence of numerous social economy stakeholders gathered for the occasion at the Cinéma Beaubien, the Chantier de l'économie sociale Trust (The Trust) announced the names of the businesses that will receive its first investments. The sum of $2.6 million will be divided among eight social economy enterprises that operate in different sectors and regions around Québec.

December 5th, 2007

Social Entrepreneurship Summit Participants Unite in Next Steps for The Sector
Over 250 participants attended the Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Summit, an interactive gathering of non-profit, academic and social thought leaders from the social entrepreneurship sector in Canada.

November 26, 2007

Former Sask ministers take on critic duties as NDP moves to Opposition
Former finance minister Pat Atkinson is taking on a new role as the New Democrats move to the Opposition side of the Saskatchewan legislature.

November 19, 2007 - News

We've Broken Faith with the Poor
There's not much we can really do about Iran, George W. Bush or the sabre rattling of North Korea but surely that doesn't absolve us from the obligation our poet placed upon our shoulders. Perfection is always the enemy of improvement and so it is here. For we should look at our own society and see the people with whom, in John McCrae's words, we've broken faith. Why is anyone impoverished in a country as rich as we are?

November 16, 2007 - News

City incubator hatches culinary entrepreneurs
As newcomers to Canada in the late 1990s, India-born chef Hemant Tallur and his wife Minal dreamed of starting a food business that captures the ethnic diversity of Toronto. Their idea - signature dishes from India, the Caribbean and the Philippines packaged as ready-to-eat meals for the North American market - was a blend of his recipes and her expertise in food technology.

November 1, 2007 - News

Social Economy is the Way of the Future
The international social economy is growing in importance, according to delegates at a recent local conference. The social economy operates outside of business and government. It includes charities, non-governmental organizations, and co-operatives. The first International Research Conference on the Social Economy brought more than 300 students, professors, researchers and practitioners to Victoria's Empress Hotel from Oct. 22 to 25.

October 30th, 2007

The social economy at work: Delegates to a conference in Victoria hear of academic's role in changing the lives of impoverished Brazilian waste collectors
A UVic assistant professor is playing a bit part in changing the world's economic forces through garbage. Of course, Jutta Gutberlet objects to the word "garbage" used in the context of her work.

October 25, 2007 - News

The social economy at work
A UVic assistant professor is playing a bit part in changing the world's economic forces through garbage. Of course, Jutta Gutberlet objects to the word "garbage" used in the context of her work. She's co-ordinator of a $1-million project in Brazil aimed at improving networks among 400 people who informally pick up waste, separate it, and then resell it.

October 18, 2007 - News

World's First Research Conference on Social Economy
Changing how business is done is at the forefront of a four-day conference next week in Victoria, hosted by the University of Victoria’s BC Institute for Co-operative Studies (BCICS). “Strengthening and Building Communities: The Social Economy in a Changing World” is the first conference of its kind to bring academics and practitioners from around the globe together in an academic research setting.

October 9, 2007 - News

BCSER Provides Feedback on Government Procurement

Today representatives of the BC Social Economy Roundtable participated in a dialogue session organized by the Ministry of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) through their Office of Small and Medium Enterprises – Pacific Region.

September 12th, 2007

Diving into the life of a binner: Exploring a scavenger's daily grind in the Downtown Eastside
Armed with a notepad and a tape recorder, Crystal Tremblay headed into the wilds to study exotic peoples. In her case, the wilds consisted of the untamed streets and alleys of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

September 5th, 2007

Textbooks economical with words about co-ops
Jack Quarter, Daniel Schugurensky, Erica McCollum And Laurie Mook
A recent study conducted through the Social Economy Centre at the University of Toronto raises questions about the narrow focus of business and economics textbooks in Ontario’s high schools. The research by professor Daniel Schugurensky and MA student Erica McCollum of OISE/University of Toronto, examined the contents of 22 business textbooks containing 11,375 pages currently used in Ontario high schools.

September 4th, 2007

The would-be madam of Victoria Jody Paterson used to write about prostitutes; now she plans to build a brothel, run by its workers. Former journalist plans to open Victoria brothel
She's run a newsroom at a daily newspaper but now she wants to build a co-op brothel, run by and for prostitutes. Jody Paterson chuckles when she considers the career change from managing editor to madame of Victoria.

August 23rd, 2007

Gordon Campbell is probably scratching his head. The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) he signed with Ralph Klein in April 2006 was supposed to be a hit. It didn’t matter that neither premier consulted with their electorates or even their respective legislatures before inking the deal, which drastically changes the economic landscape in British Columbia and Alberta by significantly reducing the scope of democratic governance and significantly increasing the power of corporations.

August 21st, 2007

Working together to promote local food
FOOD AND FARMING in Nova Scotia have been making headlines lately. The provincial government is promoting local food with the Select Nova Scotia campaign. In Kings County, council voted to reject a condominium proposal in favour of conserving farmland.