Week of Mar. 25 – Mar. 31, 2007, Vol. 2, No. 22

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

To subscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca

To unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca

Openings“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.” - Marshall McLuhan www.marshallmcluhan.com  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

·     People in the Strait Area in Nova Scotia are grappling with transportation issues as are many rural communities in Atlantic Canada. Over the fall of 2006, the Strait-Area Alternative Transportation Committee received significant feedback from the community through surveys, meetings and discussions on a proposed alternative transportation pilot project for the Strait Region. The team is now developing a business plan/model which will be a co-operative. At this time the committee will be seeking input from communities, businesses, municipalities, provincial and federal representatives and we will be working towards building partnerships to have a pilot project start for the summer of 2007.  If you are interested in finding out about the work this group has completed to date, contact Malcolm Beaton at the Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency www.strait-highlands.ns.ca  in Port Hawkesbury. The group’s plan is to purchase busses/vans to connect communities in the area.

·     Dianne Kelderman of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council has written to ACOA Minister Peter MacKay about cuts to the Social Economy Initiative in the Atlantic Region in the 2006 Federal Budget. “The proposal to ACOA was seeking a $20 million commitment from the federal Social Economy Initiative. In other words, we were offering to commit $2 for every $1 of federal contribution. We were also offering the network, expertise, infrastructure, administration, management systems, and access across all of Atlantic Canada, through our network of 287 credit unions.” Kelderman further outlines that “on January 11, 2007, Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn announced a $22.8 million non-repayable funding contribution to the Fiducie du Chantier de l’economie sociale” after indicating in 2006 that the funding was cut. For more about the NSCC’s activities go to www.nsco-opcouncil.ca

·     Larry Higdon, Baie Verte Co-op manager says Advocate Youth Services Co-operative is now up and running in the town of Baie Verte, NL. Advocate is the name of the now closed mine around which the town of Baie Verte was built. To learn more about the youth co-op and the co-op store’s involvement in it, click on http://www.thenorwester.ca/index.cfm?iid=2397&sid=20031

·     Bergengren Credit Union www.bergengrencu.com and New Glasgow Credit Union will vote soon to determine if the two groups will amalgamate to serve Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough Counties in Eastern Nova Scotia. All branches would be maintained and there would be no loss of staff. Both boards endorse the idea and members of New Glasgow will vote on April 19, which Bergengren members will vote April 26. If the members approve, the amalgamation will be effective July 1 and operate under the Bergengren Credit Union name.

·     Heritage Credit Union will hold its annual general meeting April 24, at the Brightwood Golf and Country Club in Dartmouth. A reception will follow the meeting. Board candidates biographies and more information about the meeting can be found at www.heritagecu.com Craig Williams has joined Heritage as manager of Commercial Lending. He will be located Heritage’s main office at 155 Ochterloney St in Dartmouth.

·     The New Brunswick government has set aside up to $60 million to save Shippagan's financially strapped credit union, Caisse populaire de Shippagan,  but a taxpayer advocacy group suggests the Liberals should be spending the money "in priority areas." http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2007/03/15/nb-caissepopulaire.html?ref=rss


Expanding Your Back Yard – In January, Carol Hunter, executive director of the Canadian Co-operative Association sat down with Mountain Equipment Co-op CEO Peter Robinson to discuss his perspectives on MEC as one of Canada's most innovative co-operatives and leading corporate citizens, on member engagement and advocacy, and on Canada’s co-operative movement. You can hear that conversation by going to: http://www.coopscanada.coop/resources/conversations/ Mountain Equipment is Canada's largest supplier of quality outdoor equipment. With more than two million members in 192 countries, it is a vibrant retail co-operative with stores across Canada, as well as a comprehensive web store and phone/mail order service.


Governing For TomorrowDefending Fundamentals: A well-considered governance system yields results by James Morgan - “Carver has often compared Policy Governance to a clock or watch: don’t expect it to run properly if you add or subtract parts. A board that is drawn into tinkering with Policy Governance at the system level is likely to find itself ornamental but dysfunctional, like the stopped grandfather clock in the hall.”  http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/index.php?id=713


What is Your Vision Statement?  –Kent Credit Union in Kent, Ohio “will be the leading source of financial services, advice, innovation, and education for our membership and within the community. Members will equate Kent Credit Union with service excellence, business sophistication, and financial strength. Members will view Kent Credit Union as a highly valued and mutually trusted partner in their lives. The people in the community will understand and appreciate our cooperative structure and values.” http://www.ksscu.com/index.php Send your co-operative or credit union vision statement to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

Co-op 101 Educational Links – This week, I helped a friend make funeral arrangements. It was a difficult task, made even more so as it was so unexpected. Although I am a member of Passages Funeral Co-op in my area, I have not yet made use of their pre- planning service.  I realize now that it is something we should all do. I looked up a few details on funeral co-ops in Quebec and the Maritimes which you might find interesting.

Here are 10 good reasons to become a member of your funeral co-op:

http://www.cfo.coop/english/profil_cooperative/comment_devenir_membre.asp For funeral homes in PEI, see  http://www.peifuneralcoops.com/

In New Brunswick there is Fundy Funeral Co-op   http://www.fundyfuneralhome.com/aboutus.htm  in the Saint John area, as well as La Colombe (Tracadie to Rogersville) and Carleton Funeral Co-op in the Woodstock area.  Quebec’s 30 odd funeral co-operatives represent an undeniable economic and social force. Out of a population of seven million Quebecois, funeral co-operatives boast 131,000 members and assets of more than $91 million. Funeral co-operatives are players in a rapidly growing market in which they occupy an increasingly large share (12.3 per cent of the current market.) In Nova Scotia Arimathea Funeral Cooperative was licensed by the province of N.S. in 1994 to arrange funeral and burial services. in the Upper Musquodoboit area http://www.coastalcommunities.ns.ca/magazine/backissues/v5_i3.html#make


You CAN Do That the ‘Co-op’ Way - Each week, we feature a co-operative or collective formed to meet a particular need in communities around the world. This week, from Wisconsin, the Willy Street Co-op http://www.willystreet.coop/resources/food-lunchbox.html Since 1974, the Willy Street Co-op has offered an expanding selection of natural and organic products. It strives to uphold owner values in all its activities through adherence to co-op principles.


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

·      March 21: Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Annual General Meeting, Capital Hotel, Ken mount Road, St. John’s, NL

·      March 30-31: CUCNB Annual General Meeting, Hilton Hotel, Saint John, NB

·      March 30-31:  Credit Union Central of Prince Edward Island Annual General Meeting, Delta Prince Edward, Charlottetown, PEI

·      April 4: Microcredit Conference, Truro, NS Contact nscoopcouncil@eastlink.ca or (902) 893-8966 to register.

·      April 16-17: Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia AGM

·      April 18: League Savings & Mortgage Company AGM

·      April 18-21: The 2007 National Community Economic Development Conference will be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and is being organized by the Canadian CED Network in partnership with local host Futures In Newfoundland and Labrador’s Youth - Bring It Home: Building Communities from a Rock Foundation. Conference organizers are inviting proposals specifically for four conference streams, as well as other topics of interest. The four streams are: Technology and CED, Youth and CED, Aboriginal CED, and Building Bridges.  The Canadian Co-operative Association is attempting to coordinate submissions on co-op topics and would appreciate knowing what is being submitted to the conference organizers. Please contact Lynne Markell, lynne.markell@coopsCanada.coop  if you are planning on submitting a co-op topic.

·      April 26, 2007: Annual General Meeting, Consumers Community Co-operative

·      April 27-28, 2007: Annual General Meeting, Co-op Atlantic, Crowne Plaza and Moncton Coliseum

·      May 28-June 1: Three organizations will come together for the first time in a joint conference. The International Co-operative Alliance Committee on Co-operative Research (ICA), the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC), and the Assocation for Cooperative Educators (ACE) will together host one unified conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 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 Scienceshttp://usaskstudies.coop/socialeconomy/Congress2007 Please note that the deadline for submitting proposals for presentations at the Co-operative Innovation: Influencing the Social Economy conference in Saskatoon in May 2007 is rapidly approaching. The deadline is February 1st. http://www.usaskstudies.coop/socialeconomy/Congress2007

·      May 28 – 29: Co-operative Corporate Governance Conference, Ottawa, ON. The Canadian Co-operative Association, in partnership with The Co-operators is lining up another strong roster of noted experts, practitioners and professionals working within the corporate governance and co-operative sectors. Building upon the success of previous conferences, this year’s event will be reviewing current trends and developments in corporate governance and relate it to co-operatives and credit unions. Aimed at corporate secretaries, governance professionals and staff working in the corporate secretary’s office, the conference will be addressing the themes of development and training; maintaining the integrity and identify of the co-op model; making evaluations effective; and directors liability. The conference also provides the opportunity through facilitated discussion for participants to share experience and best practices amongst their peer group. For further details, contact Quintin.Fox@coopsCanada.coop

·      June 22, 23 and 24: 61e Congrès annuel du Conseil Canadien de la Coopération à Québec, Québec City, Québec

·      June 26 – 29: Co-operative Development: Harness the Hidden Potential, National Congress and Canadian Co-operative Association and Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives AGMs, St. John’s, NL. Through a range of interactive and participative keynote presentations, plenary discussions and workshops, the Congress sessions will explore what co-operative development means and how the system can look to build a lasting legacy for the communities it serves. As part of the broader discussions over the three days, sessions will include dialogue and learning exchanges focusing on leadership and movement-building strategies from a global, national and local perspective. For more information, go to www.CoopsCanada.coop/Congress2007.

·      July 20-22:  Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy: Building Cooperation East and South, University of North Carolina, Asheville, NC

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


Contest of the week – We had several correct entries last week and are recognizing three readers as winners as their email arrived within minutes of each other on Wednesday morning. Well done Cathy Darland, Ron Levesque and Diane McCaie. Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca  Last week’s contest and answer:  A fire engine was rushing to a small fire, 15 miles away. The fire engine set out with 120 gallons of water, however, the water tank had a leak and the fire engine was losing water at the rate of 2 gallons per minute. The fire engine travelled at a constant 30 miles per hour. The fire required 50 gallons of water.  Did the fire engine have enough water when it arrived? Answer:  Yes, the fire engine would have 60 gallons of water left when it arrived. The fire engine would need 30 minutes to travel 15 miles (at 30 mph). A 2 gallon loss per minute X 30 mins = 60 gallons lost 120 gallons in tank minus 60 gallons lost = 60 gallons remaining (enough to extinguish the fire). This week’s contest: Starting with a five letter word, change one letter to create a new word. This word is then changed by one letter to create another new word. For example, DOG, DIG, FIG etc. These words in turn mean:

a gaggle of geese
a device for measuring time
what you can do with a mouse
a baby chicken
a device to prevent wheels from moving
a surprise
a small house
a pile of cards
a small piece of wood
unable to move


It’s Easy to Cook In March, we will feature cole crops. This week, we feature cabbage. Cabbage is relatively cheap, yet one of the richest when it comes to protective vitamins. Talk about the original weight loss food! One cup of cabbage contains only around 15 calories. There are three major types of cabbage: green, red and Savoy. The color of green cabbage ranges from pale to dark green while red cabbage has leaves that are either crimson or purple with white veins running through. Both green and red cabbages have smooth textured leaves. The leaves of Savoy cabbage are more ruffled and yellowish-green in color. For health benefits, please see

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=19  For many more recipes, see http://www.annes-recipes.com/main_ingredient/vegetable-cabbage_recipes_A.html

Almost Cabbage Rolls the Easy Way

1 head cabbage, clean & quartered, with each quarter halved
Salt & pepper to taste
1 extra large onion, chopped
1 extra large bell pepper, chopped

2-3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 sprigs parsley, chopped
1 lb. extra lean chopped or ground beef
2 cups cold cooked rice (make ahead)

1/2 can tomato sauce or 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped. (add after cabbage)

Spray large skillet (that has a good cover) with cooking spray. Brown meat (leave drippings unless too fat). Add onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic and parsley, stirring. Sauté with meat until onions are clear. Add cabbage and tomato paste. Season all very well to taste. Add approximately 1 3/4  or 2 cups hot water and rice. Stir all together and cover. Simmer. Stir occasionally. If too dry, add water. If too wet, uncover after cooking. Cook until cabbage is tender. Serves 4-6. Serve with green salad. Very quick - start to finish, approximately 1 hour.


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 


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 worldWe 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: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca or to unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca  Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at News1@nbnet.nb.ca

Thanks to the Marie Michael Library, Coady International Institute, for archiving Co-op Circles. http://www.coady.stfx.ca/library/coop_circles/index.htm  


Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, Apr. 4, 2007