Social Economy in the News

Below is a selection of the latest online articles from the English language press that refer to the "social economy", "co-operatives", "aboriginal development" and related key words.

November 29th - Dec 4th Forestry Firms Burning Jobs Why they'd rather torch timber than feed mills. Forests Minister Rich Coleman expresses alarm at the number of jobs that are going up in smoke in British Columbia as mountains of good wood are set ablaze on logging sites across the province. More than $500,000 for local entrepreneurs Last month, Québec’s Ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions granted the CLD (Centre local de développement) Centre-Ouest /Centre West, which covers St. Laurent, Côte St. Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West, an additional loan of $584,346 to set up the Local Investment Fund. This supplemental fund, staggered over three years, will allow the CLD to offer further financial assistance to entrepreneurs starting up or expanding a business in order to encourage job creation. Desjardins to Publish Online Bulletins on Responsible Consumption, in Partnership with Where can you find environmentally-friendly products that also help improve social conditions? In order to provide answers to this question and many more, Desjardins Group, the largest financial institution in Québec, is joining forces with, a social-oriented enterprise whose mission is to help consumers make responsible choices. Retailers try to tap shoppers' do-gooder spirit Walk into any Gap clothing store this holiday season and expect to see red T-shirts, red hats and red bracelets. Of course, decorating with red is nothing unusual this time of year, but the merchandise is meant to remind customers of something not often associated with the holidays: the global AIDS epidemic. But it's the lingering "business sense" hanging over the red campaign that has attracted heavy criticism from some corners. More than a few bloggers have pointed to the crassness of companies using a deadly disease as a marketing vehicle to sell more clothes and electronics. Radio talk show host Michael Medved has charged on his blog that companies have used the campaign as an excuse to hike prices and make more money for themselves. County eyes strong position Wheatland County Council is looking at a Community Economic Development Strategy that will put the county into a strong economic position. Council, at its Nov. 21 meeting, received the results of a one and a half day strategic planning session held Nov. 1-2 to develop a strategic plan for community economic development. Study doubts P3 value Provincial P3 edict draws fire The debate over the merits of public-private partnerships is back on with a vengeance now that the province has unveiled a new policy forcing cities to use the strategy in order to get provincial grants. Any project worth more than $20 million will have to be seriously considered as a private-public partnership (P3) and be vetted by Partnerships BC in order to get funding from Victoria, Premier Gordon Campbell announced recently. Credit unions flash their green with auto loans A few of Canada's credit unions are putting the environment ahead of profits by offering a financial incentive to clients who borrow money to buy low-pollution, fuel-sipping cars. Let's say you've got your eye on a Toyota Prius, a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle that has low emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Vancouver City Savings Credit Union will finance the purchase with a loan at the prime rate, now 6 per cent. That's as much as three to four percentage points less than a typical car loan, and it's enough to save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest. Locked Dumpsters Full of Mangoes: Hungry people, wasted food, and the politics of dumpster diving Food waste needs to be rethought, reduced and rerouted. photo: Fatty Tuna Unappeasable customers, bitter bosses and deserted lunch shifts; it is no secret that restaurant work can be soul-crushing. However, the most painful moments in the food industry -- ask anyone who has worked in a café, restaurant, bar or food store -- are moments spent throwing away good food. Those who work in supermarkets, bakeries and delis know that tossing bags of fresh bread and pastries, cases of coffee, trays of uneaten lasagne, chicken and sautéed vegetables into the dumpster out back is part of the daily reality. Greens look beyond the environment Being green is no longer just about the environment, the head of Quebec's Green Party said yesterday as he geared up for his party's first policy convention since the lead-up to the 2003 provincial election. Art co-op unveiled: Covent Garden Market is only a temporary home. With a big vision and a lot of work, a new not-for-profit arts business is hoping to establish a permanent artist co-operative in London. Create opens its temporary home today at the Covent Garden Market. Its space is in the former LCBO outlet.

November 24th - 28th CCA CALLS FOR SOCIAL ECONOMY INITIATIVE FOR ALL OF CANADA The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) joined with the Chantier d’economie sociale and the Canadian CED Network to represent the social economy before the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA). CCA Executive Director Carol Hunter reiterated CCA’s position that while it is pleased that Quebec has received substantial Federal Government investments under the partial roll-out of the social economy initiative, the association is concerned that this national program has not been rolled out across the rest of the country. CO-OPERATIVES AND INNOVATION: INFLUENCING THE SOCIAL ECONOMY From May 28 – June 1, 2007, three organizations will come together for the first time in a joint conference. The International Co- operative Alliance Committee on Co-operative Research, the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation, and the Association for Cooperative Educators will together host one unified conference in Saskatoon, SK. This event will combine the approaches and audiences of the respective organizations and will be held in conjunction with the 2007 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Why I Shop on Buy Nothing Day: This kind of activism is the problem, not the solution. As a society, we sure spend a lot of money on crap. Yep, we get into debt buying stuff that becomes quickly obsolete but first drains the planet's resources and pollutes it. My own collection of lip glosses is a fine example. So this Friday, on Buy Nothing Day, many people across North America (and worldwide on Nov. 25) will refrain from making any purchases in an effort to increase awareness of overspending and remind people that they are more than simply consumers. Toronto's most vulnerable left out in the cold if federal commitment to homeless initiatives ends Homeless teenagers seeking to reconnect with their families; young Aboriginal mothers and their children needing transitional housing; men and women honing employment skills in the hopes of becoming housed and independent; people who are in desperate need of permanent housing. These are just some of the Torontonians whose lives are about to take an even sharper turn for the worse. The federal government's Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), a cornerstone of the City's strategy to end homelessness for the past six years, is scheduled to end March 31, 2007 and nothing appears to be in place to stop this. Students’ skills showcased Students in grades 6 and 7 at three Nanaimo schools have used their entrepreneurial skills to help make the holiday season bright. The results of their efforts will be on display and for sale at a Young Entrepreneurs Showcase this week. The students have been participating in PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs – a six-week program that helps young people gain real-life experience starting their own businesses. Budding African entrepreneurs provide proud face of microfinance revolution In a humble cement building with an unfinished second storey lives an idea just big enough that it might change the world. The proud smiles on the faces of those whose lives it has already touched put a human face to the potential of the microfinance revolution. The concept has already inspired a Nobel Peace Prize along with new hope for millions, which in poverty-stricken Africa is as fresh as the new coat of paint on these walls. Waste-not want-not group wins $1m grant A non-profit group that feeds the hungry by diverting unwanted food away from garbage dumps has won this year's $1-million grant from VanCity credit union. Last year, the Quest Outreach Society took in almost $7 million worth of donated food at its warehouse. Everything from mangoes to sirloin steak is stored in that East Vancouver warehouse before being distributed to social service agencies that feed more than 50,000 people a month.

see also: Food-distribution group feasts on $1-million award B.C. group that feeds people with "rescued" food wins million-dollar award

Perspective: A crisis of conscience Manitoba consumers face an ethical dilemma in their search for healthy, environmentally friendly food: it's hard to find local, organic produce BEFORE I began this experiment, I was one of the more annoying organic shoppers -- you know, the kind who feel a bit too smug about buying the unwaxed apples with the yellow stickers. But I've found myself this month right back in organic territory -- with a few extra challenges, a little more humility, and plenty of debate over the ethics of my organic salads. Economic crisis forced Cuba to reduce ecological footprint I REALLY have never seen anything like the "camels" of Cuba — huge fifth-wheel trailers drawn by tractor trucks, and fitted up as buses capable of carrying as many as 300 people. They’re wonderfully flexible — the tractors that tow them could as easily tow any other trailer for any other purpose — and in terms of passenger-miles per gallon, they are vastly more efficient than a standard bus.

November 22nd & 23rd Good For Quebec, What About The Rest Of Canada NDP Works to Rescue Social Economy Initiative from Conservative Cuts. The little understood social economy, flourishing in Quebec and Europe with its community-based co-operatives, credit unions and grassroots businesses, came under Parliament scrutiny Tuesday as the NDP works to reverse a $39-million cut to its programs. Partnership will build non-profit homes Getting new non-profit homes built faster is the goal of a partnership between the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) and the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada (CHFC). Firms receive awards for effort: Six Manitoba companies that put people first Harry Black's accounting firm received an honourable mention for allowing staff to bring their dogs to work. A half-dozen Manitoba companies have some hardware coming their way for their innovative work with their most crucial of resources -- their people. The six are the inaugural winners of the People Forward Awards, which will be presented at a reception in January on behalf of People First HR Services Ltd. Planned closure of bank worries village Residents and business owners believe the closure of the TD Canada Trust branch here will impede growth in the area. "It's going to be awful," said Eve Parker, the co-owner of the Longhorn Saloon and Eatery. "A lot of people depend on that bank. It's going to be a ghost town here....Holman said he's been looking at other options since the bank announced its closure, including whether residents would be interested in having a credit union in town. November 21, 2006 No new social economy articles found today. Did you find any? Email me at:

November 16 - 20, 2006 Challenges for Venezuela's Revolution Michael Lebowitz, professor emeritus of the department of economics at Simon Fraser University, is a director of the Centro Internacional Miranda (CIM) in Caracas, and author of the newly published book Build it Now: Socialism for the Twenty-First Century. He was interviewed by Coral Wynter and Jim McIlroy for the Australian newspaper Green Left Weekly. "There is a fascinating process happening here", Lebowitz explained. "The process began with the [1998] election of [President Hugo] Chavez, but took significant form with the establishment of the [Bolivarian] constitution [in 1999]. There are enormously unique elements in this constitution: in particular, the focus on human development, the focus on the full development of everyone's personality, and the clear recognition that this can only occur through practice. Charest confirms Quebec's participation in funding for social economy Premier Jean Charest says the Quebec government is giving $10 million to companies that have a "social conscience." The money is part of $58 million from Ottawa and Quebec that will be announced next week for companies in the social economy. Charest announced the funding over five years as he opened a two-day summit on the social economy.

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Ethanol plant looking for financing The Canadian Sweet Potato Ethanol Alliance is in a holding pattern while awaiting financing. “We thought we’d be farther, quicker,” said CEO Berry Murray. “We’re not discouraged, we’re just trying to reassess why we’re not getting our message across.” Murray admitted things aren’t going well as far as acquiring government assistance. The co-op had applied for funding from the Community Transition Fund, but was unsuccessful. “We were really hoping this project would be recognized by both levels of government as a part of the tobacco exit strategy,” he said. Palestine: The Olive Picker When Bristol, U.K., based, Ed Hill's elderly mother persuaded him to accompany her on a 'Holy Land Tour', as a committed atheist, he was underwhelmed. He returned from Palestine a changed man, in love with the place and people, enraged at their plight. He joined solidarity movements, campaigned and with Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign helped raise money for an orphanage in the northern town of Tulkarm, to which Bristol mosques contributed generously. Then Palestine's life blood, olives, touched his heart. He had learned of olive groves, some over a hundred years old, bulldozed by the Israelis. Then he heard of the Zaytoun Co-operative, formed by a group who put their scant savings, student loans, unemployment money, to export olive oil to the U.K. He started selling Zaytoun's oils and the project became a passion: 'I had crossed the line, I became a Zaytoun Zealot!', says Hill. Forest co-op teams up with Renfrew band The Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative hopes a partnership with the Pacheedaht First Nation will lead to the logging of more fibre on a 50-50 basis. A letter of intent to apply for a new land-based licence has been sent to the Ministry of Forests. “So I suppose they’ve received it, have read it and are wondering what to do with it,” said Tom Jones, the forest co-op’s registered professional forester. “The desired outcome is that the Pacheedaht and the co-op reach an agreement for 50,000 cubic metres a year.” Co-operative eyes use for Harewood school IGROUP LOOKING at several ideas to save building from wrecker's ball. A group of citizens is looking to breathe new life into the idle Harewood elementary school as a community centre. The building has been sitting closed for two years, and the Harewood Community Centre Cooperative is trying on several fronts to save the structure from being torn down. Blue Heron Co-Operative Homes Inc.: First Ottawa Housing Co-Op in 10 Years to Open Sunday Blue Heron Co-operative Homes - the first non-profit housing co-op to be built in Ottawa in over 10 years - will hold its official opening on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006 from 2 pm to 4 pm. New mortgage mixes home ownership British Columbia's hot real estate market has made it increasingly difficult for many, particularly younger people or first-time buyers, to purchase a home. In response, Vancity now offers the "Mixer Mortgage"-a new approach to traditional home buying, designed for a "mix of people" who partner up to purchase a home and take out a mortgage. East to West: microcredit on the move IT’S NOT OFTEN that common sense triumphs so spectacularly as it has with the microcredit story. Poor women are empowered through a simple and practical credit formula; the high and mighty and their grand schemes are one-upped; one of the world’s poorest nations – Bangladesh – comes up as the source of a brilliant new economic movement; and even "Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada," as the world press puts it, in case there’s some confusion about where it is, gets some good drive-by publicity. City's poorest offered an alternative to payday lenders A new inner-city pilot project hopes to move some of Winnipeg's poorest people from a cash-only economy into the plastic age. Debra Joyal, manager of the Community Financial Services Centre, said it will be a one-stop shop offering a wide range of services, including accessing cash and getting "micro" loans for as little as $20. "We're offering people an alternative to the payday lenders. A lot of people in our target market don't have bank accounts. We want to give them the confidence to open a bank account and teach them how to save and manage their money so they don't get into a (payday loan) situation," she said in an interview Friday.

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Ethical investing paying off: Plenty of choice in stock market, proponents say Is it possible to make the world a better place and make money at the same time? Absolutely, fans of ethical investing say. Ethical investing involves buying mutual funds that consist of companies evaluated not only for their financial performance, but also for their environmental, social and governance policies and practices.

November 15, 2006 Wolfville co-op offers easy terms A Wolfville co-operative lends a virtually unknown foreign business US$40,000. The company has seven years to pay it back at seven per cent interest per year, not to mention a year's grace. If it can't pay, the co-op will gladly accept tea bags. Members aren't crazy, just committed to their philosophies as a fair-trade dealer. November 10 - 14, 2006 Students hop on 'bicycle bursaries' Cycling and recycling have formed a cosy friendship at the University of Victoria through a program designed to help more students become two-wheeled commuters. SPOKES, created three years ago, is a volunteer-run effort that collects old, unwanted bikes -- possibly headed for the landfill -- and refurbishes them for students to use for up to a year. SPOKES is an acronym for the suitably creative "Student Promotion of Kickstands Etc. Salvaging." Changing ideas: Professor promotes regeneration of universities In 2004, the late social critic Jane Jacobs published Dark Age Ahead, which put forth five causes that Jacobs believed signified the imminent fall of Western civilization. One of these causes is the decline of higher education. Plan for NDG community kitchen gathers steam The NDG Coalition for Food Security made an appeal to its fellow community organizations and citizens to back its bid to open a “desperately needed” community kitchen, at a meeting held at Centre St-Raymond. “If we are going to offer a meal at a very modest price for someone who cannot afford a higher price, we want to be able to offer that same meal to someone that can afford it, so we can balance out the costs. That is what you call a combination of social development and social economy,” said David Faguy, development agent for the coalition. “We want to bring the two together, to try and respond to both the needs of specific groups and to the general community.” Promoting business with a social purpose Stacey Corriveau’s conviction came during a course she attended at SFU on social enterprise. The idea of business with a social purpose led her to secure funding and launch the Fraser Valley Centre for Social Enterprise as a vehicle to encourage social entrepreneurship through learning events, research, information sharing, and cross-sectoral collaboration. Skills training centre opens A Kwantlen First Nations representative blessed the grand opening of the modern new facilities of Fraser Valley Trades Centre (FVTC) Monday as a force of hope for young Aboriginal people wanting skills that would enable them to have successful, independent lives. Small loans not new to region Atlantic Canada has a history of making small loans to would-be entrepre- neurs going back to the turn of the last century, a business school director told delegates attending an international conference in Halifax on Monday. Canada has long lent a hand When this year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Bangladeshi economist, Muhammad Yunus, and the Grameen Bank, for pioneering work in providing microcredit to the world's poor, Canadians deserved to feel a certain national satisfaction. Apart from Canada's own long record of pioneering work in the field of microcredit, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was one of the institutions that provided early financial support to help Mr. Yunus launch the Grameen Bank more than 20 years ago. Canada commits $40 million to developing world microfinancing The federal government announced $40 million Sunday for small loans and other microfinance help for destitute people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The expenditure on the Nobel prize-winning method of alleviating poverty and suffering was announced as about 2,000 delegates from around the world gathered in Halifax for the four-day Global Microcredit Summit.

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Microcredit comes to aid of Nova Scotians with big ideas Grace Jefferies-Aldridge wasn’t asking for tens of thousands of dollars. All she needed was a small loan to help get her home-based business off the ground. After getting the cold shoulder from a couple of business funding agencies, the 28-year- old Cole Harbour resident was ecstatic to find that the Nova Credit Union would lend her $7,500. Last week, she launched Mosaic Diverse Retail Products, which sells culturally diverse gifts, toys and other items online.

November 8 - 9, 2006 Finding a solution Whether you see it or not, homelessness is a problem in Merritt. Patrick Lindsay, general manager of the Community Futures Development Corporation in Merritt, believes they should be using their social economy program to address this issue. Last week he proposed this to the board and they agreed. “They concurred that our mandate would fit into working on a problem like this,” he explains. “Homelessness is a problem. You can see it everywhere if you look.” Sambazon Named Winner of The Secretary of State's 2006 Award for Corporate Excellence Sambazon, the leading global supplier of the Amazon superfood Acai berry, has been named a winner in the small - medium business category for the Secretary of State's prestigious 2006 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). Guided by the principles of market driven conservation, Sambazon pioneered the first of its kind Fair Trade and Certified Organic Supply Chain of acai in Brazil and helped create worldwide awareness of the acai berry. Health services co-op working hard to keep Golden seniors healthy, active and staying here Karen Smedley wants to see change in Golden and she is seeking the community’s help to do so. For many years, Smedley says there was a mass exile of residents from Golden and Area A as they aged. She says there simply were not the services available here for an aging population. Then, a few years ago, cuts to the health system such as a loss of beds at Durand Manor sent even more seniors packing. Sask. Wheat Pool merger bid shocks analysts, farmers Analysts and farm groups were taken aback by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool's unsolicited offer Tuesday to merge with Agricore United, saying the bid would be one of the biggest takeovers in Canadian agricultural history. Regina-based Saskatchewan Wheat Pool said Tuesday it would be making a formal offer to combine its assets with Winnipeg-based Agricore United to create a $1.2-billion company. Water shortage alarm sounded: Co-op wants to tap into Sandilands aquifer Up to 45,000 people would run out of water and industries would shut down if a 1988-like drought hit southern Manitoba again, a Clean Environment Commission hearing was told Tuesday. "We would have to put a dam across the Red River. We would have no option," Sam Schellenberg, CEO of the Pembina Valley Water Co-op (PVWC), said in an interview after his warning to the commission. Fundraiser won't help Hezbollah Money raised at a United Nations agency benefit concert for Lebanon next month won't fund reconstruction efforts by Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamist militant group Canada considers a terrorist organization, organizers said yesterday. Instead, Oxfam will use the proceeds to fund women's farm co-operatives in the Bekaa Valley, restore microfinancing to craftspeople and tradespeople, and hire young people for temporary jobs in agriculture, transportation and construction. November 7, 2006

Premier showcase for B.C. artisans On one end of the crafts spectrum are the stalls at farmers' markets that sell tinkly wind chimes, sand candles and crocheted toilet-roll covers. At the other end is Circle Craft, which has earned its reputation as one of the premier showcases for the work of B.C. artisans for the past three decades or so. As it gets ready to launch its 33rd annual Christmas Craft Market this week -- the 20th at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre -- the venerable artists' co-operative is comfortable in its shoes as a champion of high-quality handicrafts. November 3 - 6, 2006

Farming out some cash: 13 development groups receive ACOA funding to aid rural businesses Development groups, tourism backers and promoters of Nova Scotia culture were the big recipients of federal funding through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in the last 60 days. Although long-promised money to tire maker Michelin was the single largest amount of financing from the federal Crown corporation in the period, funding of between $400,000 and $1 million was provided to each of the 13 business development corporations in the province that provide loans, training and counselling to rural businesses.

Martin lauds native-youth project Former prime minister Paul Martin plans to spend a lot of time in this Northwestern Ontario city during the next year to ensure a pilot project for aboriginal youth becomes a national success story. He spent most of yesterday at Thunder Bay's all-aboriginal high school, meeting the 20 students participating in an aboriginal entrepreneurship program being created and funded by Mr. Martin.

Packing plant land up for sale The 22 acres that was to house a huge multi million dollar meat processing plant has been put on the market after the New Generation Processors Co-op behind the project, collapsed. Last Wednesday, co-op chairman, Ken Lewis, said that the Co-op board had made an executive decision that day to put the land, purchased earlier in the year, up for sale. “We’re winding the Co-op down,” said Lewis.

Credit Union Central of British Columbia: Credit Union Community Support in B.C. Tops $16 Million and 26,000 Hours Supporting local communities with their hearts, hands and money, B.C. credit unions have raised the bar on their previous best efforts. According to a survey of their community philanthropy conducted by Ipsos Reid, credit unions gave nearly $16.7 million to B.C. communities in 2005, up from $11.8 million a year earlier. November 2, 2006

Tortillas dished up with heart and soul: Co-op founded 30 years ago, Maria, 84, starts work at 2 a.m. Morning comes early for Maria, a worker at the Tortilleria. The 84-year-old woman is always the first to arrive. Her shift begins at 2 a.m., when she pulls out bowls of flour and water and starts to make the first of hundreds of tortillas that will be served in the co-op that day.

Inside Art: Creating positive change for inmates with art For the last two and a half years, you might not have known that history was being made right on your doorstep. Did you know that at Kent and Mountain Institutions, there were some successful inmates who were not living off the institutional pay (your tax dollars) but in fact were generating their own income, paying room and board back to the prison, paying income tax, and donating to the community? This is the result of a relatively new business venture, a ground breaking art marketing cooperative, called InsideArt which sells the artworks of inmates and outmates (successful artists not incarcerated) side by side on the web, giving inmates a bigger vision for the future and giving them the skills they need to set up a legitimate business on the outside.

Board of Directors Decide to Wind up Warkworth Co-operative Warkworth Co-operative Services will be closing at the end of next week, announced its board of directors today. The co-operative has sites in Norwood and Warkworth, and focuses on agronomy, livestock feed, fuel products and services and has farm hardware and related goods at its stores.

Prairie coalition raises CWB questions The debate over the future of the Canadian Wheat Board is more complicated than the Harper government is making it out to be, a coalition of Prairie farm groups said Thursday. The coalition released more than two dozen questions farmers should ask themselves before supporting Ottawa’s plan to end the wheat board’s sales monopoly.

Fair trade effort needs members Fair trade crafts are helping build self-sufficient communities in Latin America, but the society organizing the initiative needs new members. Formerly known as the Paraguay Project, the Canadian Society for Equitable Partnerships with Latin America (EQUIP) is best known for its fair trade craft sales.

Rosedale-Queen Mary United Church creates new Community Centre Association The sizable community halls at the Rosedale-Queen Mary United Church are looking for new tenants. On Sunday, Oct. 22, the RQM United congregation agreed to the creation of a new Community Centre Association. The new association will be a not-for-profit organization that will operate the church halls as a community centre project for the social economy sector. November 1, 2006

Importance of rural Alberta recognized with new fund A new fund is set to invest $100 million in rural Alberta over a three-year period in the hopes of stimulating growth and development. The Rural Alberta Development Fund announced it was open for business on Monday, Oct. 23, and is now accepting applications for community led projects that promote growth, prosperity and quality of life in rural areas of the province. October 27 - 31, 2006

Nattivak’s self-reliance wins praise from QIA Qikiqtarjuaq’s Nattivak Hunters and Trappers Association and their self-reliant approach to community economic development won lavish praise last week from the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. ”If you need our support in any manner, we are here to help you. We support self-reliance for our people,” said Thomassie Alikatuktuk, QIA’s president.

Starbucks accused of blocking farmers' bid for a better deal Starbucks, the coffee giant, was yesterday accused of using its might to deprive Ethiopian subsistence farmers of tens of millions of pounds a year.

Binners seek respect Dumpster divers have become an integral part of city's recycling system, panel says. The sound of squeaky shopping cart wheels rolling down back alleys is a familiar sound for anyone living in Vancouver. Dumpster divers have become integral part of the city's informal recycling program, and long-time binners say it's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.

Patients, caregivers connecting with self-help Internet start-ups Ann West peers hopefully at the blue, flat-panel screen, curious to see how a website might help her cope with the wide ranging and potentially frightening symptoms of her husband's Alzheimer's disease. The website being presented to her by Kathryn Garden, vice president of DementiaGuide Inc., is an on-line health information business that helps track the disease and provides caregivers with information on how to manage it. Once thought unlikely bets as for-profit ventures, the sites are springing up in an era when high-speed Internet access has become widespread.

Translink And Co-operative Auto Network Launch"Company Car" Service For some people, taking transit to work every day just isn't possible. Employees often find themselves needing a car during the day for business. Now there's a new service on four wheels being offered that provides the convenience of easy access to a vehicle without having to rent, lease or buy.

Forging change: Socially responsible investing is as much about the products people don't buy as the ones they do. For Malcolm Johnson, it's the environment; for Joan Hadrill, the effort to end war. What these people have in common is that they've put their money where their values are. Johnson's investment portfolio includes income trusts from two companies that generate wind power and another that cultivates trees for reforestation. Hadrill's portfolio includes Ethical Funds, the Vancouver-based company that sells socially responsible mutual funds. October 26, 2006

Co-ops and mutuals rank high A new global ranking of the world's top co-operatives will put the lid once and for all on claims that co-ops and mutuals don't measure up to 'for-profit' corporates. Global 300 - an ICA initiative launched on October 25, shows that the leading members of the global co-op and mutual sector are much bigger than most people realise. The world's top 300 co-ops and mutuals represent over 1 trillion USD in revenue and over 30 trillion in assets, equivalent to at least the 10th economy in the world in GDP.

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Codette Co-op closing after 77 years of service The closing of the Pineland Co-op in Codette was an unexpected shock for people of the community. After being a reliable place for car repairs, gas and snacks for 77 years, the Codette Co-op will lock its doors for the final time on Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m. The Board of Directors made the decision due to declining sales over the last few years.

Significant Support for the Co-operative Sector From MPP Ted McMeekin Ted McMeekin, M.P.P. for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot, announced that he would be introducing a private members' bill supporting the establishment of a provincial Co-operatives Secretariat. McMeekin made the surprise announcement during the Co-operative Gala on October 18th. Linda Jeffrey, M.P.P. for Brampton Centre, and also in attendance at the Gala, lent her full support. This is a significant development for the Co-operative sector, which has been lobbying government to formally recognize the role, size and economic impact of the co-operative sector through a dedicated Secretariat.

Notes for a speech by the Honourable Jim Prentice, PC, QC, MP Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-status Indians at the Opening of the First Nations Socio-economic Forum "...The Forum has great personal significance for me, because we will be discussing the future of Aboriginal youth. Together we must find ways to provide the young people of your communities with more opportunities, better jobs and above all greater confidence in their own abilities." October 25, 2006

Ivey is first Canadian Business School to join United Nations' Global Compact Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario has joined the United Nations' Global Compact and is the first Canadian business school to be part of this global initiative. The Global Compact ( was launched by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1999. His challenge was for business leaders to join an international initiative to bring together companies with UN agencies, labour and civil society to support universal environmental and social principles. October 24, 2006

Federal cabinet minister makes surprise visit to Afghanistan "...Verner also announced $5 million for a program to help integrate women into local markets, providing them with small loans to create home-based gardens where they can grow fruits and vegetables to feed their families and to sell...The project will be managed by the Mennonite Economic Development Associates, an organization based in Waterloo, Ont. Verner expects the project will benefit more than 5,000 people."

New operator, new plan for Ramea fish plant An agreement has been reached that will see Labrador Gem Seafoods Inc. of L’Anse au Clair purchase the Ramea fish plant for $1. Over the last 18 months the Ramea Cooperative was successful in getting public funds to bring the plant up to an efficient and effective operation. The plant is certified by the provincial government, everything is in good standing and the plant is in excellent shape, said Mr. Dumaresque.

Port Hood making plans for RV park The Cape Breton community of Port Hood wants to invest up to $900,000 in a new camping park for recreational vehicles to help boost tourism, create some seasonal employment and better utilize its sports centre during the summer. Port Hood RV Co-Operative Ltd., set up to develop the park, needs a minimum of $400,000 to begin construction. The co-op is selling shares at $5,000 each through the Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF).

Liberals' Ignatieff commits to aboriginal development, but no price tags A Michael Ignatieff government would be committed to helping Canada's aboriginal people by encouraging entrepreneurship, settling outstanding land claims and improving health care and housing, the federal Liberal leadership candidate promised Monday. October 23, 2006

Martin Highlights Sault Resident’s Literacy Success In Battle Against Cuts Michael Shaughnessy of Sault Ste. Marie puts his life story and articulate words on the importance of literacy and the harm done to Canadians by the recent Conservative government cuts. Martin listed the HRSDC cuts among the $1 billion: $200 million to the voluntary sector; $55 million youth employment; $45 million Canada Mortgage and Housing; $17 million adult learning and literacy program; $17 million workplace skills; $13 the social development partnership; and $13 million Social Economy Initiative. There are more cuts in other ministries.

Co-ops thriving in Nova Scotia At a time when other sectors are struggling to survive, the co-operative sector in Nova Scotia continues with unprecedented growth. During this past year, total sales in non-financial co-operatives increased by over $1 million, posting total revenues of over $742.2 million. Credit unions, our financial co-operatives, grew by seven per cent. In 34 communities across Nova Scotia, a credit union is the only finance institution.

Regina organic co-op honoured with merit award A Regina-based organic co-operative has picked up a Saskatchewan Co-Operative Merit Award.

Co-op wants to tear down building A leaky co-op housing building may be torn down and rebuilt if the City of Burnaby allows it to be rezoned.

Ways to fight poverty Hamilton has now the highest number of children per capita living in poverty of any community in Ontario. Yet for the first time in many years, there are some new opportunities. The important Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction has set as its goal the making of Hamilton as the best place to raise a child. Community, business and city council members are working together for our community's children. October 19, 2006

Métis National Council Reacts to 2nd Reading on Kelowna Accord Members of Parliament had an opportunity to make a difference last night by voting in favour of the "Kelowna Accord." The Métis National Council sat in the gallery as the vote was held for second reading of Paul Martin's private members' bill, An Act to Implement the Kelowna Accord.

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Partnership With Libraries Helps Families Access ServiceOntario Online The Henvy Inlet First Nation Public Library is partnering with ServiceOntario to make it easier for area residents to access Ontario government services in their community.

An Aboriginal solution to Alberta's worker shortage Alberta Workforce Connex, an innovative and results-driven forum to address the worker shortage is being held Wednesday, October 18th and Thursday, October 19th at the Capri Centre Trade and Convention Centre. For the first time, many employers will learn about their ability to access Aboriginal talent through Aboriginal employment centres and develop strategies to effectively train, recruit and retain Alberta's untapped Aboriginal workforce.

Income-assistance cuts examined According to the provincial government’s Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance, some 306,700 jobs have been created in B.C. since 2001, and unemployment is at the lowest recorded level ever: 4.8 percent last August. The total provincewide income-assistance caseload (one case consists of a single person or a family) has dropped by 36 percent since 2001, when the ministry began implementing a range of policy changes, including introducing more stringent eligibility criteria for income-assistance applicants and measures that allowed easier removal of cases, scaling back on staff, closing offices, and cutting social-assistance programs. The Income Assistance Project, a qualitative five-year study conducted by researchers from UBC, SFU, and UNBC, is keeping tabs on the effects of this policy. Researchers are investigating how low-income, lone-mother families have been affected by the 2002 policy changes. Beginning in 2003, researchers worked with 22 single mothers in urban Vancouver and the rural Bulkley Valley. So far, they have found that these parents have been hit hard.

It's alarming how many aboriginals are in prison Canada's jails are as full as its postsecondary institutions with aboriginal men and women. There were 22,881 native postsecondary students in 2004-05 who had registered Indian or Inuit status and received federal education funding. There are roughly 17,000 native inmates of federal or provincial jails. This is a national disgrace.

Ontario Providing More Tools To Support Sustainable Communities Legislation to reform Ontario's land-use planning system and promote sustainable development has been passed by the Ontario legislature.

Create a well-fed city, residents urged In line with a United Nations initiative to end hunger, a visiting anti-poverty advocate has challenged Whitehorse residents to be the first ones in Canada to make their city hunger-free.

Action needed on housing In this red-hot real estate market, providing affordable housing for lower income families is a difficult and elusive goal. From last September to this, housing prices in Edmonton increased by 48.8 per cent, the biggest increase in any city in Canada during that time. The average price of a single-family home in Edmonton jumped to $322,077. October 18, 2006

How to tackle the crisis in rental housing Government must invest in the best options: co-op and non-profit housing. When Housing Minister Rich Coleman unveiled the government's new housing strategy earlier this month, he missed a golden opportunity to address the biggest problem in British Columbia's hot real estate market -- the dwindling supply of affordable rental housing. Instead, Coleman introduced a new rental assistance program, featuring portable housing allowances for low-income working families...Coleman should take immediate steps to increase the supply of affordable housing by investing in a new co-op and non-profit housing program.

Martin advocates social solutions to African poverty The concept of social economy developed in Canada could help people in many African nations to climb out of poverty, says former prime minister Paul Martin.

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Habitat for Humanity Montreal announces new build site and launches the first Quebec ReStore Habitat for Humanity Montreal announced today the first construction project in east-end Montreal and also officially opened Habitat's 50th ReStore in Canada and the first in Québec, located in the LaSalle borough of Montreal. They also announced that they have received a donation of $360,000 over the next three years from long time Habitat for Humanity supporters: Genworth Financial Canada, a leading mortgage insurance provider, retailing giant Home Depot Canada, and MCAP, Canada's largest independent mortgage and equipment financing company.

Council votes to release $1 M to struggling co-op The Mountain Haven Co-operative Homes project remains alive, despite the fact the housing co-op has only been able to secure 21 buyers who will actually qualify to live in the long-awaited affordable housing project in Three Sisters. Town council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the town releasing $1.05 million in provincial grant cash to the co-op, which has been struggling to get its project built.

Co-op movement boosts over 20 new startups Over 20 new co-ops ranging from equity funds to a medical clinic have started in Nova Scotia this year. "It is a time of incredible growth for the co-op movement in Nova Scotia," said Dianne Kelderman, CEO of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, the development arm of the co-operative and credit union system in the province. "There’ve been over 20 new co-operatives incorporated in the last 12 months alone in sectors ranging from agriculture to light manufacturing." October 17, 2006

HRSDC: Older Workers in Hard-Hit Regions Get $70 Million Boost From Canada's New Government The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced a new national cost shared program to help older workers in vulnerable communities who have lost their jobs. Vulnerable communities are places where jobs are harder to find as they experience ongoing high unemployment. These communities are also places that are often reliant on a single employer or industry.

Leading retailer releases first accountability report Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Canada's largest consumer co-operative and one of its leading corporate citizens, today released its inaugural accountability report. "MEC's accountability report is a model," said Bob Willard, author of The Sustainability Advantage. "Its transparent, warts-and-all view shows MEC's sustainability beauty marks, its blemishes, and its genuine commitment to improve in partnership with stakeholders throughout its supply chain."

Precarn boosts R&D support for small companies Ottawa-based Precarn Incorporated will double its support for intelligent systems and robotics research and development efforts at small businesses across Canada with an additional $2 million in funding. Precarn is an independent not-for-profit company that supports the pre-commercial development of leading-edge technologies.

Wealth Inequality in 21st Century Threatens Economy and Democracy Project censored covers domestic and global trends towards increasing wealth inequality.

The Ontario Co-operative Association: Renewable Energy Leader in Ontario Co-operative Sector Celebrated A Hamilton-Halton-Haldimand based renewable energy co-operative will receive the New Co-operative of Distinction Spirit Award in recognition of its success in the area of renewable wind energy and leadership in the community power sector.

The Goo-Tube Threat. The plan: track our every digital move, and sell, sell, sell. The takeover of YouTube by Google announced October 9 and the 2005 buyout by Rupert Murdoch of MySpace are not just about mega-deals for new media. They are the leading edge of a powerful interactive system that is being designed to serve the interests of some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet...Given this emerging marketing model, the U.S. broadband infrastructure may well become one giant "brandwashing" machine. The most powerful communications system ever developed by humans is increasingly being put in the service of selling, commercialization and commodification. And it will lead to an inherently conservative and narcissistic political culture, in which the interests of the self and the consumption of products are the primary, most visible, media messages. And unless we begin to challenge it now, the emerging digital culture will seriously challenge our ability to effectively communicate, inform and organize.

Greater Vancouver Homelessness Awareness Week Organized by the Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness, October 16th to 22, 2006 is the first annual Homelessness Awareness Week in Greater Vancouver. Our theme for this year is Homelessness and Health.

Harvesting more than just spuds Valley Growers, Greater Sudbury’s largest potato farm with 475 acres in production this year, are adding value to their crop and jobs to their community, says manager Tami Rainville. “We’re not just growing potatoes. We are directing a whole agricultural process from field to packaging to processing that is all based in this community, all done locally,” said Rainville. October 16, 2006

Bangladeshi microcredit pioneer Yunds and his bank win Nobel Peace Prize Microcredit was given world recognition for its role creating lasting peace through economic and social development from below when Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

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Solving the world's problems, Google style., the philanthropic arm of Google corporation, aims to form partnerships with both for-profit and non-profit entities and to make contributions to their projects. "Because of the for-profit nature, the organization will be able to invest in start-up entrepreneurial initiatives within communities, lobby Congress, develop new technologies, and reinvest profits in the organization. Harper’s social Darwinism Federal conservatives launch budget cuts, including a $7.7 million ACOA program to develop the "social economy" — co-operatives, credit unions and community economic development organizations.

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Co-ops offer consumers choices There's more than one way to do business in Victoria.

Business browser: Startup help sought Small businesses want more federal support.

Beef co-op coming back to Alberta The future of many Peace Country ranchers could be hanging in the balance as a local beef co-op tries to rescue its plans for a slaughterhouse after abruptly pulling out of Dawson Creek.

Co-operative aims to buy park land A new citizens' co-operative aimed at preserving Mount Orford Park from commercial and residential development was launched in Montreal yesterday. If the co-operative's bid is successful, the land will be used for year-round family activities. The only building co-op members envision on the land is an "ultra-green ecological hostel" that would serve as a nature appreciation centre.