Week of Apr. 6– Apr. 12, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 19

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” - James Allen jamesallen.wwwhubs.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

§      Members of three caisses in the Acadian Peninsula have voted in favour of the new Caisse populaire Acadie http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=174 Caisse populaire Acadie, Caisse populaire de Caraquet and Caisse populaire de Paquetville will form a single entity identified as Caisse populaire Acadie. The new Caisse will be officially constituted on May 1st, 2008, following the approval of the project by the Superintendent of the Caisses populaires, Robert Penney.

§      Valley Credit Union in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley  is giving students the knowledge and skills they need to effectively manage their financial future, by providing local high schools with NEFE, a comprehensive financial literacy program.  http://www.valleycreditunion.com/web?service=direct/1/WhatsNewView/SidebarBlocks/dlinkWNMore&sp=S1432 The high school financial literacy program is a six-unit course introducing students to basic financial planning concepts, and illustrating how these concepts apply to every day life. The course materials are presented from a teenager's perspective. Topics covered include the time value of money, earning an income, saving money, protecting assets, establishing and prioritizing financial goals, and understanding the cost of using credit.

§      Nova Scotia credit unions make single largest corporate financial contribution to Early Intervention Association  http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn= through the Nova Scotia Credit Unions Charitable Foundation. This multi-year funding commitment to The Early Intervention Association of Nova Scotia (EINS) will help provide programs, assistance and support to families who have an infant or young child with developmental challenges  The funding provided by the Charitable Foundation will assist with program delivery in the 18 Early Intervention programs across the province. 

§      Nova Scotia credit unions are celebrating a successful year this week.  Credit union delegates from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are gathering at Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia’s 74th Annual General Meeting (AGM). http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn=

§      Long time co-operator Vance Bridges of Summerside,PEI sent us this note and since Vance is one of our favourite co-operators, we always like to lend him a helping hand. So here’s our pitch:  Interested in a short get away in May? This spring you can travel to see the tulips in Ottawa and then on to Niagara Falls with Vance and Sheila Bridges.  The tour will pick up passengers in Charlottetown, Summerside, Amherst, Moncton and Fredericton. This m otorcoach tour includes transportation, first class hotels,  13 meals and a number of special events. $1,399.00 per person twin including taxes. Call toll free 1 800 503 8883


Trends -  I came across a promotion on Monday that really had me wondering what supermarkets think about their customers’ intelligence. A little while back I wrote that I didn’t like the word ‘consumer’ – to me it evokes a mindless machine that simply consumes without regard for the effects on its immediate environment. This particular promotion is at the U.S. Safeway stores (www.safeway.com) and the headline clamoured: “Safeway offers healthy living promotion” and it got my attention. Customers (and I use the word rather loosely) get $10 off a future order if they spend $30 on participating ‘healthy’ products. There are thousands, and they include things like Welches juices, Newman’s Own, Yves Veggie, Sun Maid raisins, Ocean Spray juices and cocktails, etc. That’s all fine. But it also includes such healthy living products as Diet Coke, Diet 7-Up, M&Ms (but only the 100 calorie packs), Dasani and Aquafina bottled water, 3 Musketeers bars, all manner of artificially scented body products, even WD-40.  WD-40!?!? And there was just this glimmer of hope in the past few weeks with reports that consumers could see through the ‘greenwashing’ for what it really was. Let’s hope that’s still the case at Safeway. – Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - Spring Cleaning: It’s that time of year again and if you are interested in some environmentally friendly cleaning options, there are lots out there.  Check out the following websites:



http://www.styleathome.com/DesignerTalk/tradesecrets/environmentally-friendly-cleaning-products-n231214p1.htmlBronwyn MacKinnon


Co-op Ed 101 Having just returned from three weeks in Italy, I thought readers might like to learn about the  retail co-ops where we shopped while traveling. http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/foodshops/supermarkets.htm The stores are lovely and staff very friendly and selection in the fresh departments was wonderful. They are called  Ipercoop, a brand for co-operative hypermarket stores in Italy and Croatia used by co-operatives members of Coop Italia. In Italian, the hypermarket, i.e. combination of a supermarket and a department store, is called ipermercato.

Here are a few things we learned quickly:

You need a 1 Euro coin to get a shopping cart.

You must weigh and price all your fruits and vegetables.

You must bag your own groceries and sometimes you have to pay extra for the bags.

The COOP stores don't always take credit cards, so make sure you have cash. They use their own credit card. The larger stores usually have at ATM nearby. – Maureen MacLean


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree Since 2006, the British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies (http://www.bcics.org/aboutus) has been supporting a radio program, Each for All: The Co-operative Connection, to share stories about co-operatives and raise awareness about social issues (including interviews and music). Now the show is available to download as a podcast. Check it out  http://bcics.uvic.ca/radio/ There are 2 programs posted now that address youth specifically: Visiting a Youth Housing Co-op in Montreal and Building Co-op Futures Youth Conference 2006. – Erin Hancock


Trading Fairly – Over the next few weeks, Co-op Circles will feature Web links to fair trade projects and products. As consumers, we can make choices to support local producers in our own backyard and producers in the developing world, so that both are treated fairly and can have a livelihood that is life sustaining. This week we heard from Satya Ramen, Development Coordinator with JUDES (Just Us! Development and Education Society). “I work for JUDES, which is a non-profit organization working to educate people in the Maritimes about the social, environmental, and economic benefits of Fair Trade.  You may be aware of this already, but Fair Trade Weeks are coming up in May, coordinated nationally by TransFair (http://transfair.ca/en/nftw).  It might be something that your readers are interested in learning more about.  Individuals, co-op stores, and others can order information material to put at an event or in a retail location and to learn more about Fair Trade.  JUDES also has information on our website (to be expanded shortly) – www.judesfairtrade.ca. The other thing I’m aware of is that TransFair is currently updating its list of where to buy Fair Trade products.  If anyone wants to be added to their national list from this region, then they might want to contact TransFair, as well.” You can contact Satya at info@judesfairtrade.ca www.judesfairtrade.ca, Tel: 902-542-7474, Cell: 902-877-0263 JUDES is a not-for-profit educational organization committed to raising public awareness about social and environmental issues relating to international development and the benefits of Fair Trade.  It welcomes donations to help support their educational activities.


Today I Learned Something New: International Development Through the Eyes of Students - During the year, as part of my work with the Canadian Co-operative Association, I visit schools and talk about co-operatives and communities in developing countries. I always appreciate the insights of the students, shared through comment sheets. This week from Tanya, NS, Grade 4: “I thought the beaches were weird; all rock and polluted. I am glad they are learning about recycling and not putting plastic in the water.”


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

·     April 25-26 – Inaugural annual general meeting, Co-operative Enterprise Council, Crowne Plaza, Moncton, NB

·     April 25-26 – Co-op Atlantic Annual General Meeting

·     June 23-28, 2008 - What’s Working in Community Development conference, Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia The pre-conference announcement can be downloaded from: http://www.horizonscda.ca/PDF%20Files/PreConfLo.pdf  If you are submitting an abstract or presentation outline, it must be received by December 31st, 2007.  The call for abstracts/presentations can be downloaded from: http://www.horizonscda.ca/PDF%20Files/AbstractsLo.pdf


Contest of the Week – We had no correct entries for last week’s contest.  The contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.  All entries will be placed in the “Contest Can” for the month end draw. Congratulations to Sally White for being the lucky winner whose name was drawn for  March.  A Compilation CD of international music is on its way to you. Thank you all for submitting your weekly entries. Week 18 Contest: Can you figure out what the following words have in common? 

Answer: If you take the first letter from each word and place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, you have the word you started with. This week’s contest:  An apartment building has two floors, with three apartments on each floor. The Grays live in the top middle apartment. The Blues live directly above the Browns. If the Greens live on the top floor, then they live next door to the Blues. The Whites live to the left of the Greens, either on the top or bottom floor. The Blacks live on the top floor. Which family lives in which apartment?


Co-op Cooking – It's been a long, snow-filled winter but the sun is now warm when you get out of the wind and I think spring has finally found us. Makes one realize how things have changed in our world. Used to be that asparagus spears poking through the ground were a sign that spring had arrived. But now, in the global marketplace in which we live, asparagus is an almost year-round veggie. If you like pasta salads, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one.
Lemon Shrimp Pasta Salad
5 cups bow-tie pasta (uncooked)
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
2 tsp fresh oregano leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 lb cooked, large shrimp
1 cup halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
1 pkg. (200g) shredded Cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus for the final 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain, rinse with cool water and drain well. Mix dressing, oregano and lemon peel. Place pasta in large bowl. Add dressing mixture and remaining ingredients. Toss lightly to coat. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. - Glenna Weagle


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

§      Thanks for the newsletter note.  Much appreciated.  When you do stuff on fair trade you might think about finding out where co-ops in Atlantic Canada can obtain product.  Wouldn't it be great if we were the first in the region with a selection of fairly traded clothing?, TW, NS

§      Do you have access to any Gluten Free Recipes you could post now and then? I enjoy Co-op Circles. Thanks. CD, PEI Editor’s Note: We will feature some gluten free recipes in the weeks ahead. We welcome recipes from readers as well.


Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Collective’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: 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, April 16, 2008