Week of Apr. 20– Apr. 26, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 21

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “We create institutions and policies on the basis of the way we make assumptions about us and others. We accept the fact that we will always have poor people around us. So we have had poor people around us. If we had believed that poverty is unacceptable to us, and that it should not belong to a civilized society, we would have created appropriate institutions and policies to create a poverty-free world.” - Muhammad Yunus www.muhammadyunus.org 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 Co-operative Enterprise Council (New Brunswick) Steering Committee is hosting an information session and Inaugural Annual General Meeting Friday, April 25, 2008 at 9:00am the Crowne Plaza in Moncton. The Co-operative Enterprise Council exists to cultivate healthy co-operative economic development within New Brunswick. The council aims to link co-operatives across the province, support co-op development, advocate for better government support for co-ops, create training opportunities and more. The Steering Committee consisting of Wayne Dempsey, Ken Elliott, Jim Hale, Erin Hancock (Secretary), Wendy Keats, Brian McCullum (Chair) and Bob Taylor (Treasurer) have been working toward establishing the council since spring 2007. If you would like to get more information, pursue membership or offer any thoughts, please contact the Co-operative Enterprise Council at coopenterprisecouncil@gmail.com  or come to the meeting.

§      New this year, Advance Savings Credit Union with branches in Moncton, Salisbury, Petitcodiac and Port Elgin area of NB have an innovative Volunteer program called “The Volunteer Network”.  If you need help with an upcoming charity event, or need someone to dish out meals or pack food boxes, or any other volunteer type activity, fill out the volunteer request form and the credit union will see what it can do to help! More details at http://www.advancesavings.ca/community_volunteer_network.htm

§      Northumberland Co-operative Limited has announced they will be offering six (6) scholarships to students entering a post secondary program in the fall. The scholarships have been named to honour the work of Charles Butler and William Vickers, two men who made outstanding contributions to the development and growth of Northumberland Co-operative Limited. http://www.northumberlanddairy.ca/e/1000/scholarships.cfm The scholarships are valued at $1000 each. Application deadline is June 27, 2008.

§      The Canadian Co-operative Association's Youth Experience International Program offers young graduates the work experience they need to secure good jobs - in Canada or abroad. It also provides them with an opportunity to discover the world and themselves. Youth Co-operative Opportunities are between the ages of 19 and 30, are Canadian citizens or permanent residents eligible to work in Canada, are post-secondary graduates (University or College), not enrolled in an educational program. http://www.coopscanada.coop/coopdevelopment/internationaldev/youthexperience/   Tentative Application Deadline is May 9.  2008-09 Internship Positions include: Youth Savings Officer, Ghana; Impact Assessment Officer, Northern Ghana;  HIV/AIDS and Gender Program Officer, Malawi; Environmental Protection Officer, Uganda;  Assistant Administration and Finance Officer, El Salvador; Assistant Administration Officer, Nicaragua; Gender Program Officer, Honduras; Assistant Project Coordinator, Honduras and Project Researcher, Ukraine http://www.coopscanada.coop/forms/yei/OnlineApplication.htm

§      Co-op Atlantic and New Brunswick’s Co-op stores are sponsoring the 2008 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, with participating teams from high schools throughout New Brunswick. The 2008 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is designed to bridge the gap between high schools and the business community. The challenge will help students become better prepared to face the opportunities ahead and will enable participants to develop leadership, communication, and presentation skills, as well as enhance their ability to conceptualize and create projects. For young people with an entrepreneurial mind, co-operatives offer some of the best opportunities and tools around. http://www.coopatlantic.ca/htm.aspx?id=565

§      Nova Scotia Co-operative Youth Alliance co-ordinator Meghan Farrell says a recent forum in Cape Breton was designed to help generate interest among young people about the co-operative movement in general and the movement’s value to small rural communities in particular. Young people will get a chance to volunteer in co-operatives and help development communities, says Farrell. Similar events are expected to be held in central and southern Nova Scotia soon. To check for further details visit the Alliance’s Web site: http://nscya.wetpaint.com

§      Prince Edward Island has 4,423 families with children under 6. Many of those families are Co-op members – and they all can benefit from having the best family lives possible. The Co-op stores on Prince Edward Island have joined the province in launching Take 30 for the Family. www.take30.pe.ca  This program will help equip parents and other caregivers of children 0 to 8 years old with the information and tools they need to succeed in spending more quality time playing and learning together while maintaining a positive work/life balance. http://www.coopatlantic.ca/htm.aspx?id=562

§      About 30 employees at the Atlantic Beef Products plant in Albany, P.E.I. have been laid off after a decision was made to kill fewer cattle during the week. The plant reduced the number of cattle to be slaughtered weekly from more than 400 cattle to 280. The move was made partly to control costs. The plant was losing about $250,000 a month. Many Maritime farmers have been shipping cattle to the United States, where they can get higher returns for certain grades of beef. Older, so-called cull cattle are also more valuable in the U.S. The company plans to control costs with the fewer cattle so that the plant starts breaking even, before ramping up production again.

§      Ruth Bhengu, Ugu district municipality deputy mayor in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, visited Nova Scotia recently and toured co-operative businesses.  Touring with a dozen officials from her country, the goal of the mission was to learn how a sustainable co-operative model could help her country battle poverty and improve economic conditions. Hugh Landry, director of Convergence Consulting Solutions in Antigonish, was hired by the Ugu district municipality to organize the group’s visit. He worked the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council to set up visits to co-operatives and visited agencies like ACOA, as well as a tour of the Masters Program in co-op and credit union management at St Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. Ms Bhengu’s district is currently working on a school nutrition co-operative and a toilet paper production co-operative.


Trends - I may have written about a trend that’s a couple of years old already, yet yielding variations in its evolution. The ‘pop up’ trend first started as pop-up retail – a form of retail where small supply companies or manufacturers of consumer goods would ‘pop up’ in a town for a weekend or week in a closed building or tractor trailer, usually with the temporary accoutrements of retail (displays, signage, registers, etc). The idea is that you set up, sell, and leave town. Though ‘fly by night’ may come to mind, for the most part, they are above the water retailers. The latest company to join the ‘pop up’ trend is Sparespaces (see www.sparespaces.org). By making use of space that would otherwise be wasted during the transition from one paying tenant to another, SpareSpace brings the urban office within reach of budding creatives who otherwise might not be able to afford it. The company uses specially designed crate furniture (yes, a desk-in-a-crate, etc), and puts unused or transition space to commercial use, typically for creative companies in search of inspiration. Building owners get some revenue in between tenants and creative companies get affordable space (likely short-term, but affordable). Think of it as sustainability for rentals – a need is met and no buildings are constructed. Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - Earth Day: So, I’m writing this on Earth Day and when you read it the next day just pretend it’s Earth Day.  In fact, why not pretend everyday is Earth Day, because it is.  It’s nice to have one day a year designated to thinking about the Earth and how our actions affect it but let’s make an effort everyday and then we will see real action and results.  So, what will you do for “Earth Everyday”? 

1) Turn off the lights in the other room that no one is using!

2) Walk to the store instead of driving.

3) Don’t forget your cloth bags in your trunk when you go grocery shopping!

4) Find one thing you purchase on a regular basis and switch to a green alternative.  For example, change your laundry detergent to phosphate free.

5) Now that most of us can see the ground again, pick up the garbage around your house or neighborhood that has accumulated over the winter.

Try to find one little thing to change, and work toward changing one big thing in your life, that will be kinder to the Earth and future generations! Happy Earth Everyday!

 – Bronwyn MacKinnon


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree The Co-operative Enterprise Council (New Brunswick) has conducted a survey of New Brunswick co-ops. Respondents identified “attracting youth and young families” as a key priority for co-ops in New Brunswick. The CEC is looking to address the need through research and receiving feedback from members and other NB co-ops. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please contact the council at coopenterprisecouncil@gmail.com  – 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. World Fair Trade Day is celebrated every second Saturday of May, and is endorsed by the International Fair Trade Association www.ifat.org , the global association of Fair Trade Organizations, comprised of 300 organizations from 70 countries around the world. This year's theme is “Fair Trade + Ecology”. Groups are invited to hold an event to celebrate World Fair Trade Day www.wftday.org In Halifax, NS, on Sat., May 3 Fair Trade Week will be celebrated. At 12 noon: "Social Fabric", a free slide show and talk about community development & fair trade in action, and the women who make cloth from plants & cocoons as their foremothers did. Also, from 9 am - 4 pm, a display and sale of FAIRLY TRADED silks and cottons including scarves, bags, tableware, yardage and more. All handcrafted with natural dyes by village artisans in Thailand & Laos. Both events at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 5500 Inglis St. For more info: 902-624-0427, ask@tammachat.com


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 Jeff, Yarmouth, NS: “I learned that the people there ask questions about snow in Canada. In the Philippines they have coconut trees and in Ghana they have fruit trees.”


Co-op Ed 101- Today, I will suspend my introduction to co-operatives far away and focus on one closer to home. This week our extended family lost a loved one quite suddenly to cancer. The funeral co-op of which I am a founding member, Passage Funeral Co-op, was called and they were wonderful. The details were all arranged and the immediate family was assisted in every way possible. So this week I will share the history and feature this co-op.  Its new Web site has the details of the co-op as well as a lot of valuable information and pictures http://www.funerairepassagefuneral.ca/en/aboutUs.cfm It is a full service funeral home situated on Route 134 at Shediac Bridge, Kent County. The funeral home has three viewing salons, a family room and a show room. The Co-operative is governed by a Board of Directors and managed by a licensed funeral director assisted by staff and a group of dedicated volunteers. It serves members and non-members in Kent, Albert, Westmorland Counties and the Greater Moncton Area. The Co-operative now has over 800 family members. – Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      April 24 - Valley Credit Union’s Annual Meeting ,Waterville and District Fire Hall - 7:00pm

§      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 didn’t pick a winner this week because we had 5 correct answers arrive all within a 10 minute window. So knowing our readers appreciate co-operation, we have named all 5 winners.  Congratulations to  four New Brunswick subscribers - Duncan Matheson, Ron Levesque, Dennis Williams, Larraine Perry - and our friend David Kerr in Manitoba.  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. Last week’s contest:  Janice has $2.46 worth of coins in her pocket. The coins are of four different denominations, and she has the same number of each denomination. What are the four denominations? Answer:  Janice has six pennies, six nickels, six dimes, and six quarters. The easiest way to arrive at the answer is to notice immediately that, since the last number in the amount she has is 6, she must have either six pennies or one penny. She can’t have just one penny, because then she would have only one each of three other denominations, and that can’t add up to $2.46. So she must have six of each denomination. She can’t have six silver dollars, because then she'd have more than $2.46. This week’s contest:  Many of you read Circles first thing in the morning with your wake up coffee or tea so here’s a challenge. If a pound of tea has twice as much caffeine as a pound of coffee, and if a pound of tea is enough to make 160 cups of tea, and if a pound of coffee is enough to make 40 cups, and if a 12-ounce can of cola has about one-fourth the caffeine as a cup of coffee, how much caffeine does one cup of tea have compared to one cup of coffee? How much caffeine does one cup of tea have compared to a 12-ounce can of cola?


Co-op Cooking - These days we hear that diabetes is the fastest growing disease in our country and I have a number of friends who must now be watchful of their diets. Here is a recipe from a University of Illinois Extension program that may become a family favourite. It’s given in amounts for 2 servings but is easily doubled and tripled. 
Diabetic exchanges - 4 medium fat meals, 1 starch, 1 carbohydrate. 413 calories per serving.
Italian Beef Stir-Fry
3/4 cup pasta
1 1/2 tsp virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. beef sliced in thin diagonal slices
1-2 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tomato or cherry tomatoes to equal amount
2 tbsp Italian dressing
2 tsp Parmesan cheese
2 tsp parsley, chopped
Cook pasta according to package directions, but do not add salt to cooking water. Drain cooked pasta and keep warm. Cut garlic cloves into thin slices or put through garlic press. Cut cherry tomatoes in half or slice tomato in thin wedges. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place half of beef strips in skillet and stir-fry 1 minute or until outside surface is no longer pink. Do not overcook. Remove to warm platter. Stir-fry remaining beef with the garlic. Remove to warm platter. Sprinkle with black pepper. Cover to keep warm. In same skillet, add mushrooms and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beef and Italian dressing. Heat through. Spoon beef mixture over hot pasta. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.  - 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

§      “In reading Bronwyn's article on sustainable landscaping I could not help but think about how the last two generations changed our world. In my parent's time, nothing usable was thrown away. Only a house or a car was bought on credit. If they could not buy a needed item, they either saved until they could buy it, or they made due with an alternative. Old cotton clothing like tee shirts became cleaning rags. Clothes were separated into play and work clothes and "good" clothes that were changed as soon as one got home. Almost everything was reused if at all possible. Clothes and toys were passed on to others who needed them. Waste was frowned upon. Then came a couple of generations that sometimes openly mocked the way the "depression" generation treated their possessions and their finances. They became the "throw-away generations". We are now paying dearly for this drastic change and many people are trying to reduce, reuse, recycle and live green. In other words trying to go back to a time when people were more careful with how they lived their lives on this earth.” – LP, NB


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 30, 2008