Week of Nov. 16 – Nov. 22, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 47

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

To subscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca

To unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca


Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Once you begin to acknowledge random acts of kindness - both the ones you have received and the ones you have given - you can no longer believe that what you do does not matter.” - Dawna Markova  http://www.dawnamarkova.com/ 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

·      Small business week was celebrated around Newfoundland and Labrador recently and there was no shortage of events and information sessions for entrepreneurs in Bay St. George to mark the occasion.  The week opened with a luncheon when the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce announced Indian Head Co-op as the winner of the 8th annual Leo Bruce Award. “It was a bit of a surprise,” said Co-op manager Tony White. “I consider it quite an honour, along with the staff and board,” he said. White said the Co-op, which is in its 41st year of business in the area, employs 40 people in the community and does what it can to support local charities and activities. “It says a lot for the store and what we do for the town, and the town’s been through some tough times and we’ve survived them all so far … and hopefully we will be here for the next 40 years.”

·      Sponsored by Fredericton Direct Charge Co-op, Fredkid.com is everything a parent ever wanted to know about raising a kid in the Greater Fredericton Area. Fredericton Co-op is entering year two of its sponsorship of the non-profit organization Healthy Families, Healthy Communities Association. This group is dedicated to linking families with each other and with the community in the greater Fredericton Area.  The driving philosophy of HFHCA is that when parents are connected to each other and to their city, stronger, healthier families and communities emerge.  One of the important accomplishments of the organization is the creation of a website fredkid.com. It is an online resource for parents and caregivers of children so that families can be connected to each other and to the resources of the city. Many of the values espoused by this organization are similar to the values of the cooperative movement. The Fredericton Co-op Board believes that by working together it can enhance its presence in the community and improve the lives of local families and co-op members. Fredericton Co-op is a title sponsor of this organization and has committed $10,000 per year over the next two years.

·      On November 1, 2008, Bayview Credit Union staff joined forces with staff from Irving company Atlantic Wallboard to assist Habitat for Humanity Saint John with their current building project in the south end of Saint John on St. Andrews Street. Bayview partnered with Irving to help make a real difference in the lives of people in its community. Volunteers insulated walls, hung drywall, drank lots of coffee, and had a great time working together on this project. www.bayviewnb.com

·      The board of Community Credit Union with branches in Truro, Amherst and Bass River, has approved $9,000 in bursaries for students high schools within the community it serves. This brings the credit union’s total commitment to students to $50,000 since the program began in 2001. A total of 57 students has benefited from the bursaries. Howard Welch, board chair, and Prem Dhir, bursary committee chair, say it is a great pleasure to be able to support the students and the number of applications is growing each year. Applications can be picked up at any of the credit union’s branches. www.communitycreditunion.ns.ca

·      Fredericton Co-op has the largest selection of local produce of any other major food retailer in the city of Fredericton. Co-ops play a big role in supporting and working with New Brunswick-based businesses and entrepreneurs and help strengthen the economy and standard of living. Atlantic Canada’s Co-op stores, which includes Fredericton Direct Charge Co-op and the Co-op Country Store, are the only business group that commits to Atlantic Canada’s food production sector by working with producers at every stage of the cycle: selling producers the seed, feed and other products they need to grow their food; consulting with the producers to ensure the best, healthiest product; and selling their food through our Co-op stores. Fredericton Co-op buys from local suppliers and farmers, and this season, the corn available at the Co-op was local. Corn acreage and production in the greater Fredericton area has decreased in the past two years and in order to ensure the Co-op had an ample supply of high quality New Brunswick corn, the Co-op management made an agreement to procure 10,000 dozen corn from a farmers group in Carleton county. Fredericton Co-op members continued to have access to high quality fresh NB grown corn. A similar relationship has been established with local apple growers. In turn the Co-op ensures the farmers receive a fair price for their product, by working together in co-operation. In addition to this example, the Co-op works diligently to source local and New Brunswick grown agricultural products whenever possible. This includes close relationships with local vegetable, flowers, plant and beef producers. This fall fresh local apples from Hoyt's Orchards and  Coburn’s Apple Cider are in stock and members can choose from fall vegetables grown in the greater Fredericton area and the Saint John River Valley.

·      In special meetings held on November 5, members of three Caisses from the northwest region of the province of New Brunswick have voted in favour of a merger plan which was presented to them. http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=36 Members voted in favour of the new Caisse populaire Trois Rives. Therefore, Caisse populaire Haut-Madawaska, Caisse populaire République and Caisse populaire de Saint-Basile will form a single entity, identified as Caisse populaire Trois Rives. The new Caisse will be officially constituted on January 1st, 2009, following the approval of the project by the Superintendent of the Caisses populaires.

·      The newly expanded board of directors of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (www.canadianworker.coop) will include two directors. In a "nail-biter" election that went to a second ballot, Yuill Herbert (Sustainability Solutions Group co-operative, Tatamagouche NS) and Eric Tusz-King (EnerGreen Builders Co-operative, Sackville NB) were both elected to CWCF’s national board.


Trends - The effect of rising energy costs is impacting the cost of the food we eat. It costs more to grow, produce and transport food from the field to the store, whether that comes from California, USA or California Settlement, N.B. The rising cost of production and distribution hasn’t been lost on the companies that produce the food we eat. They know consumers will cut back on purchasing certain food items (or substitute lower cost replacements) so many have taken to reducing the amount of product in containers, and keeping a somewhat close to original price. Skippy peanut butter in the US* has gone from 18 ounces to 16.3 ounces in the same size jar, simply by putting a dimple in the bottom of the jar where consumers can’t see it. Ten-percent less peanut butter for roughly the same price. Many two-litre ice cream containers are now 1.6 litres. Research has shown that consumers think manufacturers are being dishonest when they reduce the size of their product (“chronically deceptive marketing practices” are the words one interviewee has used), while manufacturers defend themselves by explaining that weights and measures are printed on the outside of packages. *In Canada, it is illegal to sell peanut butter in anything but a 125, 375, 500 or 750 g jar, or a 1, 1.5 or 2 kg jar. There are a few other restrictions for wine and certain syrups; everything else is Caveat emptor. - Ron Levesque


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: “The lady that came to my school on Fogo Island told us stories about children in schools far away and we talked about the Fish Co-op where my mom works.” – Melody, Grade 5


Out of the Ordinary – The Social Economy Centre of the University of Toronto is hosting a series of workshops throughout 2008 and 2009 for community organizations. They will focus on topics like greening your organization, strategic planning, marketing, social accounting and change management. For more information go to: http://sec.oise.utoronto.ca/english/workshops.php


Co-op Ed 101 – While travelling in Newfoundland recently, I met some co-operators who were board members of CHANAL, the provincial housing federation. http://chanal.no-ip.org/ The most easterly federation in Canada, CHANAL was founded in 1990 to serve and represent the housing co-operatives of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has about 25 members, all also members of CHF Canada. CHANAL provides a range of services for members and the general public. CHANAL takes part in the lobbying activities organized nationally by CHF Canada. A volunteer represents the association at CHF Canada’s Co-op Housing Association of Newfoundland and Labrador http://www.chfc.ca/eng/pages2007/feds_1_1.asp ,CHANAL, 75 Barbour Drive, Suite 204 P.O. Box 453 Mount Pearl, Newfoundland A1N 2C4, phone: (709) 747-5615 chanal@nl.rogers.com - Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Nov 18-19 – Energy Solutions for Our Farms and Communities, Moncton, NB -This is the first conference dedicated to finding energy solutions that will work for the agriculture industry in Atlantic Canada. CONFERENCE DETAILS: http://www.atlanticfarmenergy.ca/

§      Dec. 3 - LUNCHBOX SPEAKERS' SERIES, The Social Economy Centre – University of Toronto Presents Social Purchasing with Dave Robinson, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Peter Frampton, Social Purchasing Portal and Don Wells, McMaster University. This event will also be webcast live on the Internet.  Please see our website for detailed instructions: HTTP://SOCIALECONOMY.UTORONTO.CA

§      Feb 2 – 5, 2009 Institute for Co-operative Studies, Banff, AB. Presented by the Canadian Co-operative Association, the Institute of Co-operative Studies is the only national co-operative event that contributes to the development of leadership across organizations and sectors within a co-operative and credit union context. Details, as they become available, will be posted to www.CoopsCanada.coop/meetings/instituteofcoopstudies.


Contest of the Week – Last week we had three correct e-mail answers. David Kerr, MB, Theresa McDonnell, NL,  and Nicole Rosenow-Redhead, NS. 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 entry to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.

 Last week’s contest: For each of the pairs of words below, insert a word in the blank space between them to form two separate words such that the inserted word finishes the first word and begins the second. “DON ____ HOLESTAR ____ ROOM
PAD ____ YARD”.
The answer Don nut hole Star board room Pad dock yard This week’s contest: Which of the following words does not belong and why? BAILIFF, ANOINT, ASININE, LOGORITHM, GAIETY


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership program (ACYL) has been helping Atlantic Canadian youth understand co-operatives, community involvement and leadership for 14 year now. Staff and members of co-ops and credit unions have been volunteering to deliver workshops and run activities since the beginning of the program. In order to honour these contributors, youth who have attended an ACYL seminar can nominate a leader that has made a positive impact on their life or who has made a contribution worth recognizing. You can submit nominations by December 1st to Trevor MacDougall at leadership@acyl.coop. Also, if you would like to learn more about the program or consider serving as a volunteer staff person in the future, visit www.acyl.coop - Erin Hancock


Co-op Cooking – My first experience with fish grilled on a plank was at a local community supper and I was delighted with the wonderful flavour. Since then I've enjoyed plank grilling at home, using a variety of foods.  To try your hand at plank grilling, buy untreated wood planks at specialty food stores or on Web sites. The following recipe uses a cedar plank but you will also find apple, cherry, maple and oak. Each wood gives an unique flavour. Soak the planks for four hours or overnight to create moisture while cooking and to keep them from burning as you cook. Check often to make sure planks are not on fire. Keep a spray bottle of water handy to put out hot spots.

Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon

1 untreated cedar plank (14x7x1 inch)

1/2 cup Sundried Tomato and Oregano Dressing

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup  oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained, finely chopped

1 salmon fillet (2 lb/900 g), 1 inch thick

Immerse plank in water, placing a weight on top of plank to keep it submerged. Soak at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat barbecue to medium heat. Mix dressing, parsley and tomatoes; set aside. Brush top of cedar plank with 1 Tbsp. oil; top with fish. Place on barbecue; cover barbecue with lid. Grill 10 min. Brush with dressing mixture; continue grilling 10 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork. - 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


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, Nov. 26, 2008