Week of June 25 – July 1, 2006, Vol. 1, No. 32

Edited and Compiled for you, by Rising Tide Co-operative Ltd.

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Openings“It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw, not because she is Canada but because she's something sublime that you were born into, some great rugged power that you are a part of.” - Emily Carr  http://www.emilycarr.org/  Happy Canada Day! Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


This Week in Co-op Circles

·      The credit unions across Prince Edward Island www.peicreditunions.com  took up the challenge to become involved in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life by organizing teams and/or supporting an existing team. This "first time" undertaking for credit union employees was a huge success and raised $23,000. Three relays were held this year, in Kensington - June 2nd, in Summerside - June 9th, and in Charlottetown - June 16th.

·      The team project "The Social Economy and Sustainability: Innovations in Bridging, Bonding, and Capacity Building", http://www.sshrc.ca/web/whatsnew/press_releases/2005/social_economy_e.asp is looking for a full-time project co-ordinator. Closing date is July 12 and the contact is Dr. Leslie Brown, Project Director, PH: 902-457-6240, FAX: 902-457-6455;   leslie.brown@msvu.ca, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS B3M 2J6 Start Date: September 1, 2006 Location of work: Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Salary: $40,000 - $43,000 per annum Term of appointment: one year; renewable up to 3 years

·      Mountain Equipment Co-op is once again providing research grants to support wilderness conservation and sustainable recreational land use. The grants range from $5,000 to $20,000. You can apply on-line at www.mec.ca The project must be initiated by or undertaken in collaboration with an environmental and/or recreation community organization. The project must have grassroots support. Project goals must be attainable within a one-year grant term. The group must have a strong plan in place to disseminate results, use the research to support the work of other ENGOs and influence land-use decisions and outcomes.

·      The 2006 annual general meeting and conference of the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation will be held Thursday, November 16th to Saturday, November 18th, 2006 in Edmonton, Alberta. Keynote speaker will be Javier Salaberria of Mondragon, Spain. He is President of the International Worker Co-op Federation (CICOPA) as well as President of the Basque Federation of Co-operatives in Mondragon and the author of a book on the Social Economy movement. For more information go to www.canadianworker.coop

·      York Credit Union’s (www.yorkcu.nb.ca)  (in Fredericton, NB) General Manager, Dennis Williams, received an intriguing letter recently, advising that on May 16th another York Credit Union (www.ycu.org.uk)  launched services to the people of York, England.  Credit unions are becoming quite a “phenomenon” in the UK these days. “The development of Credit Unions in the UK is relatively new, following the deregulation of the majority of Building Societies and the acquisition of the regulatory frame-work by the Financial Services Authority. As a result they have seen the development of larger, more professionally run credit unions based on models taken from established markets, such as Canada.  In turn this has led to the UK Treasury taking a more proactive role in the development of the Credit Union movement.”  says General Manager Mike Horncastle. Says Williams, “Their GM wrote to us in hopes of receiving a message of support from our York Credit Union (in Fredericton), which they found in an Internet search, for their opening launch celebration. We ensured that the message was a positive one, providing our history of developing a strong Credit Union with 4300 members and $33,000,000 in assets, including a $28,000,000 loan portfolio,” advises Williams. In addition, the Fredericton credit union sent along a bag full of “York Credit Union” labeled paraphernalia for the Grand Opening, a print of Fredericton, N.B pottery and maple syrup. It was received with extreme gratitude. “What can I say but WOW!!  I feel truly humbled by your, and your team’s, generosity.” said Manager Mike Horncastle, York Credit Union, England.


Expanding Your Back Yard – This week, I will if you will – Towards Sustainable Consumption http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php?id=367 People are willing to make changes but they need leadership from government to do it.


Governing For Tomorrow  – ***NEW FEATURE***Good board governance and leadership are key elements when planning for, and maintaining, success in our co-op sector. Each week, we will feature a link to articles focusing on these areas. This week, Rolling with Change: Directors of agricultural co-ops learn on the job. http://www.mbrservices.com/cooppartners/viewArticle.cfm?ID=1558


What is Your Vision Statement?  – This week’s vision statement comes from Beaver Creek Housing Co-op http://www.beavercreekcoop.on.ca  “We are a diverse and affordable housing community that promotes a safe and healthy environment. We depend on each other to contribute to the organization and the life at the co-op. We balance the needs of our community with the needs of each individual. We maintain our strong community and a responsible relationship with the larger community by using co-operative principles and by effectively resolving conflicts.” Send your co-operative or credit union vision statement to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

Co-op 101 Educational Links - More and more workers are looking at the worker co-op model to gain some control over their wages and working conditions. Cooperative Care    http://www.co-opcare.com/aboutus.htm  is a worker-owned cooperative of direct care workers who deliver home care and personal care services to people who are elderly or disabled in  rural Wisconsin . The cooperative has a mission that is two fold: to give high quality care that helps people stay in their homes; to provide good jobs that pay fairly, offer benefits, and provide support to home care and personal care workers. The cooperative was incorporated with the State of Wisconsin in June of 2001.  It was developed with State of Wisconsin. Today, there are 85 member-owners, all direct care givers.  They provide about 3,000 hours of home and personal care each month. For more information http://www.srph.tamhsc.edu/centers/rhp2010/pdf/access/ltc/CoopCare.pdf

Or Contact:   Cooperative Care, Home and Personal Care Services, Box 620 402 East Main St, Wautoma, WI 54982 or e mail: mcgwin@co-opcare.com



You CAN Do That the ‘Co-op’ Way  - Each week, we will feature a co-operative formed to meet a particular need in communities around the world. This week, from the state of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Electric Co-op: http://www.nhec.coop/ .  This electric co-op partners with a variety of member businesses to offer its members discounts on fun activities and services.


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

·        June 30 – July 2, 2006 - 60th Annual Congress and General Assembly of the Conseil Canadien de la Coopération (CCC), in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia. Le Conseil Coopératif Acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse is currently helping CCC with the various preparations of the congress.

·        July 7-8, 2006 – 30th Annual Festival of Community Economics Conference, Cape Breton University If you wish to attend, please contact Greg MacLeod at gregmacleod@ns.sympatico.ca or via phone at (902) 567-0000.

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


Contest of the weekLast week’s winner: Ron Levesque, NB. Answer: --Next letters in the series: A and W - they stand for ‘And Why’... And complete the series of letters that are the first letter in each word of the question. This week’s contest:  Rearrange the letters in these 2 words to make one important word:   “overcoat pie”.  Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon. Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca


It’s Easy to Cook -We would like to include your recipes made with Co-op brand products like Co-op Gold, Market Town and Harmonie. Tell us a bit about why your recipe is a favourite. Those who contribute recipes will be eligible to win a cookbook.

Want to try a low cal dessert with the season’s fresh berries?

Fresh Strawberry Pie

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter, reduced-calorie

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 packages Sweet 'n Low sweetener, or Equal

3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

Melt butter over low heat. Add graham cracker crumbs. Mix well. Press mixture on bottom and sides of 9-inch pie pan that has been sprayed with vegetable spray.  Wash and slice strawberries. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup pineapple juice. Cook over low heat until thickened and clear, stirring constantly.  Add remaining pineapple juice and stir until thick. Remove from heat and add Equal. Stir in fruit. Spoon into graham cracker crust. Chill. Serve with low-calorie whipped topping, if desired. In July, we will feature light, easy summer food. If you have a recipe that fits, please send it to: cooking1@nbnet.nb.ca


Our Readers Write - Tell us what you think. Send news, events and information for the Co-op Community Bulletin Board. Suggest features you think might be beneficial to people reading Co-op Circles. We want this electronic newsletter to serve you (be sure to include your e-mail and phone number). Send your item(s), comments and suggestions to News1@nbnet.nb.ca 

·      To the good folks at “Co-op Circles” and the Rising Tide Cooperative, I’ve just learned of your newsletter and wanted to share with your readers something that may have never been done with a cooperative, let alone a worker cooperative like ourselves.  Specifically we have, in conjunction with a local, socially responsible bank, launched a unique Certificate of Deposit where the funds raised are dedicated for our use. This could be an exciting new tool to: enable individuals to invest in the co-op economy, raise capital for the co-op sector, even while protecting the independence of co-ops,  raise the capital necessary financing Fair Trade imports, which currently maybe one of the weaker links in the Fair Trade supply chain. At least within the U.S. we do not think this has been done by any company (co-op or conventional), and we have not heard of it being done in other countries either (though we’re less sure about that.)…you can go straight to the information page on our website at:  www.equalexchange.com/eecd, Sincerely, Rodney North, Co-op Member, Board Director, Equal Exchange


Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Co-operative’s commitment to the Co-op Principles of Co-op Education and Concern for Community. This electronic newsletter is published every week. It is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in co-operative and community development in Atlantic Canada and around the world.

We will be happy to put you on our Co-op Circles mailing list. We are proud that co-operators from Canada, the U.S, England, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are part of our Circle. To subscribe: coop_circles_subscribe@email.com or to unsubscribe: coop_circles_unsubscribe@email.com Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at News1@nbnet.nb.ca.

Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, July 5, 2006.