Week of May 11– May 17, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 25

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature but of ourselves.” - Rachel Carson www.rachelcarson.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-operators, in partnership with the Infant and Toddler Safety Association, has released an instructional video entitled Car Seat Safety Check. The DVD provides step-by-step instructions for selecting appropriate car seats and installing them properly. http://micro.newswire.ca/release.cgi?rkey=1604039882&view=27607-0&Start=0 Explained Jayne Russell of The Co-operators, “We reach as many people as we can through our clinics, but clearly we need to do more. We produced the video as a way of complementing the service and advice we offer at our clinics. It’s just one more tool parents can use to make sure their little ones are safe on the road." A limited number of the DVDs are available. To order a free copy, email community@cooperators.ca. ITSA, which also produces car seat education materials, can be reached at 1-888-570-0181

§      Plastic bags will be a thing of the past at the Colchester Co-op Food Store as of July 1. Management made the final decision on May 1 and staff has been busy informing customers of the change as they come through the registers. There has been little negative public feedback since staff started informing costumers, said general manager Peter Steele. “I think it’s the right thing to do to get plastic shopping bags out of the system and out of the waste stream,” he said. http://www.novascotiabusinessjournal.com/index.cfm?sid=133046&sc=107

§      Gilles D. Ménard, 1942-2008, aged 65, passed away peacefully on April 28th, 2008 at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital in Moncton, NB after a lengthy illness. Born in Hawkesbury, Ontario, he was the son of the late Delry and Mathilde (Ayotte) Ménard. Gilles was involved in the Canadian Cooperative movement his entire adult life, including service with United Cooperatives of Ontario, the Canadian Cooperative Association, the Co-operative Development Foundation, Co-op Atlantic, United Maritime Fishermen and Bluenose Fisheries Ltd., the Fedération des caisses populaires acadiennes and, most recently, by serving several terms on the board of directors of The Co-operators Group and the conseil canadien de la Cooperation. Gilles was also honoured to be named Senator of the Canada Jaycees. On line condolences can be made at www.cobbsfuneralhome.ca  http://www.canadaeast.com/classifieds/obituaries/listing.php?id=130144&t=66&c=8&pub=3&period=14  Editors’ Notes: During the early 1980’s Gilles invited me to be part of “Talent Atlantic”, a community program sponsored by the large co-ops and credit unions and following that I  was elected to the board of Co-op Center in Moncton –  Maureen. I met Gilles when he became a member of the board of The Atlantic Co-operator where I was employed. At the time Gilles was working at Co-op Atlantic. –Brenda He always had time to stop and talk and was one of the first groups of subscribers to Co-op Circles. Gilles’ presence at co-op meetings in Atlantic Canada will be missed.

§      JUDES and Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op will present an evening with Francisco VanderHoff, a co-founder of Fair Trade. Fr. Francisco VanderHoff will share his experience and thoughts on the future of Fair Trade and Errol Sharpe of Fernwood Publishing will speak about his recent visit to a Fair Trade coffee community in Mexico. Also, JustUs! will screen Wisdom of the Mountains, a short video capturing the spirit and experience of the indigenous Zapotec peoples, Fair Trade coffee farmers in Chayotepec, Mexico on Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 7 pm K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre Auditorium, University Avenue, Wolfville, Acadia University  and Thursday, May 22, 2008, 7 pm, 5657 North Street Church, Halifax (at the Corner of North and Fuller Terrace)  For more information, please email info@judesfairtrade.ca or phone 902-542-7474 Ext 230


Trends - You’ve got to hand it to the folks who run the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec. The city is home to the Université de Sherbrooke, which itself is home to a research chair on cellulose based ethanol production. The difference is that the research focuses on producing ethanol from biomass that doesn’t include corn or other crops such as canola or soy – think ethanol produced from waste products derived from agriculture and the forestry industry. Last week, the city council’s sustainable development committee announced that it wasn’t going to fuel its municipal fleet on plant-based biofuels because it “wasn’t ethical to divert agricultural products from the food chain”.  Councillor Jean-François Rouleau says plant based biofuels are partly to blame for today’s global food shortage and that he “disagrees with taking potential food off people’s plates in order to put it into fuel tanks”. More on the story here: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2008/05/08/sherbrooke-biofuel.html. Bravo to Councillor Rouleau and his committee for taking the high road and thinking of others. Let’s hope many others follow suit.  Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - Food for Life Partnership: This initiative “works to transform school and community food culture across England, by harnessing the ideas and initiative of young people and community leaders. Our mission is to reach out through schools to give communities access to seasonal, local and organic food, and to the skills they need to cook and grow fresh food for themselves. We want a new generation to explore how their food choices impact on their health and that of the planet, and to rediscover the pleasure of taking time to enjoy real food.”  For more information visit: www.foodforlife.org.ukBronwyn MacKinnon


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree The Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership program is having its spring seminar this week in Nova Scotia. At each camp, there is an open meal where any co-operator in the area who is interested in the program can attend a barbeque with the campers. At this seminar, Saturday, May 24 from noon until 1pm marks the time for the seasoned co-operators and the young co-operators to break bread and chat. If you are interested, the seminar is happening at Camp Mush a Mush in Bridgewater, NS. You may reach the program Coordinator at (506) 862-0737 and visit the website at www.acyl.org  – Erin Hancock


Trading Fairly – Over the next few weeks, Co-op Circles will feature Web links to fair trade projects and products.  Fair Trade Cleaning in Toronto, ON is an eco-friendly home and office cleaning and organizing service with a focus on fairness. While charging its customers a competitive rate, it pays its cleaners a significantly higher rate than other cleaning companies. http://fairtradeclean.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: “I though the beaches were weird, all rock and polluted. I am glad they are learning about recycling and not putting plastic in the water because it hurts the fish.” – Danny, Marshview School , Sackville NB


Co-op Ed 101- This time of year many people start thinking about planting and plants.  Here is an interesting web site on a Co-op that has been in Ontario for almost 100 years. Vineland Growers' Co-operative started in September, 1913, when four prominent Niagara Peninsula fruit growers met at the home of Alonzo H. Culp to discuss the formation of a co-operative fruit company http://www.vinelandgrowers.com/?id=30

From the four founding members and the original managing director in 1913, the company has grown steadily, from 28 members in 1919 to over 300 members in 2003. Read their newsletter at

http://www.vinelandgrowers.com/files/VG_Newsletter_Oct07.pdf Late in 2007, Vineland launched their own online catalogue store so customers from across North America can buy the same high quality products that local customers now enjoy. Go to www.vinelandgrowers.com and Click “Online Store!” Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      June 12 – Co-op Leadership Workshop with Francoise Morrisette, author of “Made in Canada Leadership” – 1 PM, Best Glengarry Hotel, Truro, NS

§      June 12 – Annual General Meeting, Nova Scotia Co-op Council, 3 PM;  Banquet with keynote speaker Peter Mansbridge, 6:30 PM

§      June 12-14 – Co-op Housing Federation’s Annual General Meeting, Toronto, ON – The Future is Now

§      June 21-24 – 2008 Cooperative Communicators Association Institute, Portland, Maine, Hook Line & Sinker To register on-line go to www.communicators.coop For further information, e-mail susie.bullock@communicators.coop

§      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 - Last week’s contest had seven correct submissions. The first one was from Theresa McDonnell, St. George's NL Well done. everyone!!  Everyone who enters has their name placed in the contest can for the month end draw.  The contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca. Last week’s contest:  Eleanor found $4. Putting that $4 together with the money she had before her good luck, she now had 5 times the amount of money she would have had if she had lost $4. How much money did Eleanor have before she found the $4? Answer:  Before Eleanor found the $4, she had $6. If she had lost $4 from the $6, she would have had only $2 left. The $4 she found plus the $6 she already had means she now has $10, which if 5 times the $2 should would have had if she had lost $4 instead of finding $4. This week’s contest:  The dog named Jam is heavier than the dog named Jelly. Jam is a black and tan bulldog. He got his name because as a puppy he followed so closely he was always getting jammed in the door. Copper is a Retriever who will play Frisbee by the hour. He weighs more than Brandy but less than Pumpkin. Copper whose shiny coat gets him lots of attention when walking with his owner, will sit quietly outside tied to the railing while his owner goes to the post office to get the mail. Brandy weighs more than Jelly. Brandy is a mostly black water spaniel who will jump out of a canoe, swim along side for 15 minutes, and then come back in for a rest. He will also pick and eat blueberries from the bushes in season. Pumpkin is a golden Lab. Pumpkin who loves to swim in St Georges Bay, NS, is a true water dog who also loves to go with his owners on their sailboat. He weighs less than Jam. List the dogs in the order of their weights, starting with the heaviest.


Co-op Cooking – For many people, nothing says comfort food like macaroni and cheese. Here's a simple but very good tasting version.  
Macaroni and Cheese 
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (10 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup canned tomatoes, diced
In a saucepan, heat the butter until foamy. Add the celery and onion, cooking until onion is transparent. Stir in the soup, milk and cheese. Stir constantly until cheese is melted. Blend in the macaroni and tomatoes. Turn into greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. If you wish, buttered bread crumbs may be sprinkled over top before heating. - Glenna Weagle


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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, May 21, 2008