Week of Dec. 14 – Dec. 20, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 51

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. This week, a quote for this “season of peace”: “Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.” - Norman B. Rice http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=1758&category=PoliticalMakers Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to News1@nbnet.nb.ca  

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This Week in Co-op Circles

·      Private Justin Jones, the 21-year-old from Baie Verte, NL, who died in Afghanistan on Saturday, was a former Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership seminar participant. A Facebook page to honour his memory has been established. See the “In Memory of Justin Jones” page at www.facebook.com .

·      Dianne Kelderman, Nova Scotia Co-operative Council http://www.nsco-opcouncil.ca/ , is one of 14 business leaders that Nova Scotia’s premier Rodney MacDonald has recruited to the Premier’s Economic Advisory Panel. The panel will be in place for two years and meet quarterly. Members will provide the government with advice on economic trends and opportunities in Nova Scotia and worldwide.

·      Scotian Gold Co-operative, www.scotiangold.com an Annapolis Valley, NS, apple processor says the largest crop of apples ever was brought through its doors this fall. A warm growing season, new orchards and the right amount of rain made for a bumper crop. “Renewed optimism in the orchard industry as a result of higher-value varieties such as Honeycrisp, Gala and Ambrosia has led to rapid plantings of new, high-density orchards,” said David Parrish, vice-president of apple sales for Scotian Gold.

·      Bergengren Credit Union www.bergengrencu.com in Antigonish, NS, has provided $10,000 to a fund to help Antigonish town and county residents who might experience difficulties paying for heat during the winter. The credit union is part of a group of community organizations, businesses and local government who have put in place a heat poverty strategy committee to ensure residents are warm this winter. The goal is a fund of $50,000. Town and county municipal governments have each contributed $5,000.

·      Charlottetown’s two Co-op Food Markets started off the CBC’s Turkey Drive 2008 on Thursday, Nov. 27 with a donation of 600 turkeys plus potatoes, turnips, stuffing, cranberry sauce and even roasting pans to help round out the feast. Total value of the donation was $20,000, raised by Co-op members participating in 50-50 draws throughout the year. With nine drop off locations from Souris to Tignish, there is an opportunity for all Islanders to participate in this campaign, which will bring Christmas dinner to many Islanders. The Turkey Drive will wrap up Thursday, Dec. 18. Go to www.cbc.ca/pei/features/turkeydrive2008/

·      The Co-operators www.cooperators.ca  has introduced green insurance options, socially responsible investment funds http://micro.newswire.ca/release.cgi?rkey=1612015421&view=27607-0&Start=0 Canadians want their values and priorities to be reflected in financial services and products, and The Co-operators is introducing three new offerings. It has unveiled new initiatives in its home insurance, auto insurance and investment portfolios that promote environmentally, socially and economically responsible behaviour.

·      A campaign is under way to ensure better health care in northeastern New Brunswick. Members from the caisses populaires and service centers will be inviting the population to participate in obtaining better health care services in our community. Mini Christmas trees costing a donation of $ 2, $ 5, $ 10, $ 25 and $ 50 will be offered in all of the Caisses populaires in the Gloucester region as well as at some other businesses. These mini Christmas trees will be hung to demonstrate the population’s support of quality health care in their communities. The financial goal is $ 50,000. The money raised will be shared by the Chaleur Regional Hospital Foundation, the, the Fondation de l'Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus Inc. 1988, the Fondation de l'Hôpital de Lamèque Inc. and the Fondation Les Amis de l'Hôpital de Tracadie Inc. and will go toward their respective annual campaigns http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=364

·      Bayview Credit Union in Saint John, NB is looking for an Operations Manager. Deadline for applications is Dec 22. For more information, go to  www.bayviewnb.com.

·      Tignish Credit Union https://www.tignishcreditu.com in Tignish, PEI, has reported another successful year at its AGM in late November. Manager Louis Shea reported loan growth of $1.9 million in 2008. In addition, member deposits grew by $7.3 million or nine per cent this year and deposits remain at just over 90 per cent of assets. Manager Shea told the membership, “We have grown in the areas of assets, loans and deposits. Our equity has also increased by $409,525 and is at 6.9 per cent and we have set aside enough money in our loan loss reserve to cover all identified risk. This was possible because our profitability was 2.28 per cent of assets before rebates and reserves.” Board of directors chair Brenda McAlduff told members that more than $1.1 million is being returned directly to the owners.” The credit union continues to hold its weekly 50/50 draw with donations to Tignish, Alberton and Miminegash Volunteer Fire Departments and the Jacques Cartier Arena in Alberton and the Tignish Credit Union Arena and Rural Community Learning Inc receiving $5,000 each. The Westisle Breakfast Program was given $3,000 and the West Prince Caring Cupboard received $2,500. Aggie Connick and Weldon Rennie retired from the Board of Directors. Brenda McAlduff was re-elected along with two new members Michael Gaudet and Janet Hackett. Judy Morrissey-Richard was named 2008 Tignish Credit Union Member of the Year for her many years of community service that includes hundreds of hours of volunteer work.

·      The Atlantic Filmmakers Co-operative www.afcoop.ca  invited everyone in the Halifax area to its annual Super-8 Christmas screening in the CBC Radio Room on Monday, Dec 15 at 8 pm. Each year AFCO-OP challenges local filmmakers to create a short holiday-themed movie using a single reel of Super-9 mm film. For more information about the filmmakers’ co-op, contact production@afcoop.ca or phone 420-4572.

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Trends - I so wanted to write something nice about co-operatives and Christmas, but alas, I can’t find anything. (For those wondering why I don’t mention all the donations that Co-ops (and other businesses) make to food banks, my view is that Co-ops should be doing more to fix the problem than simply replacing the Band Aid® every holiday season). Instead, this week’s Trends comes from the Earth Times, which reproduced a Co-op America press release highlighting the top CEO Scrooges for 2008. One in particular had me wondering (again) what kind of world we live in. It seems the CEO of Nestle, which owns Nestle Waters, threatened to sue Miami-Dade County in Florida “after the county aired public service messages telling people that the county’s public tap water was cheaper, safer and purer than bottled water...Multiple studies uphold Miami’s claim that tap water is just as safe if not safer than bottled water”. The International Bottled Water Association, which represents water bottlers, is also considering legal action against the county. So if you ask me what my tap water (which comes straight from the ground) tastes like, the official answer is ‘yucky!’ for fear of being sued. Read more here: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/worst-ceos-of-the-dismal,652749.shtml and Merry Christmas - Ron Levesque

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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 learned a lot from Ms. MacLean. I learned that in the Philippines they eat a lot of rice, even three times a day, but they grow a lot, too. I also learned that rice is climbing in price and there may be a shortage. At Christmas, they celebrate but don’t give a lot of gifts, but they go to church and then have a nice meal. She said they have credit unions they call credit co-ops and the mothers get loans there to send their children to school.” -  Kathy, Moncton, NB

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Bad Choices – I feel a Rick Mercer rant coming on but I will just present the facts as I heard and read them (with perhaps a touch of commentary!). Box lunches provided by the army to some army cadets training at Camp Aldershot in the Annapolis Valley contained apples with the sticker “Product of New Zealand”. They were training within spitting distance of Scotian Gold Co-operative, one of the largest apple processors in Atlantic Canada. A food bank drive in Charlottetown went with frozen turkeys from Manitoba rather than from a local PEI supplier. Sure, the surface story doesn’t accurately portray all the underlying complexities. However, planning and foresight are wonderful things. Christmas comes every year and the CBC turkey drive has become an annual event. Cadet training in Aldershot is a regular occurrence.  Maybe if we dot all our “I”s and cross all our “T”s and pay attention to the details, “Select Nova Scotia” and “Our Choice is Atlantic First” become more than catch phrases on a piece of paper.

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Co-op Ed 101 –See how one co-op in the United Kingdom has combined its Christmas ad campaign with its values.  The Co-operative’s That’s the Spirit campaign http://christmas.co-operative.coop/index.php  partners with chart-topping artist, Gabriella Cilmi. A total of 10 television segments began mid-November, counting down the weeks to Christmas. “From buying the tree and putting the lights on to going to your children’s school nativity play, we are capturing the festive spirit in the run-up to Christmas. In addition, the campaign highlights The Co-operative’s strengths of great offers and convenience, ultimately allowing customers to do what really matters at Christmas – spending time with family and friends.” The campaign is backed by groundbreaking artist Gabriella Cilmi’s upbeat cover of the classic Connie Francis hit, “Warm This Winter”. - Maureen MacLean

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Jan 7, 2009, 9 am – NOON:  MARKETING FOR SOCIAL ECONOMY ORGANIZATIONS with BRENDA GAINER, Associate Professor, Marketing, Schulich School of Business, York University This session will cover basic marketing strategies and tactics, including segmentation, targeting and positioning, as they apply to non-profit and other social-purpose organizations.  By the end of the workshop participants will understand how to bring the course learning together to create a practical marketing plan for their organization or issue. COST: $100 + GST; Each additional participant from the same organization will receive a $15 discount, as will those who register for more than one workshop. TO REGISTER:  http://sec.oise.utoronto.ca/english/workshops.php or contact Lisa White at mailto:secworkshops@oise.utoronto.casecworkshops@oise.utoronto.ca , 416-978-0022 LOCATION:  Social Economy Centre of the University of Toronto, 252 Bloor St. W. (5th floor), Toronto, ON M5S 1V6, (St. George Subway Station)

§      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.

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Contest of the WeekLast week’s winners were Cathy Darland, NB, Glenna Weagle, NS, and Larraine Perry, NB.   We thank all our many contest participants. We always look forward to your entries and the notes you often write to us.  See you all in 2009! 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. Good luck! Last week’s contest:  Make a fish name by adding a letter and rearranging letters
1. Nut + a = tuna
2. Tour +t = trout
3. Prickle + e = pickerel
4. Floured + n = flounder
5. Mason + l = salmon
6. Ringer + h = herring
7. Papers + n = snapper
8. Gyro + p = porgy
9. Apron + t = tarpon
10. Pompon + a = pompano

This week’s contest:  From the following clues figure, out who gave what gift, who received the gift, what color wrapping paper the gift was wrapped in, and where the gift was given.
People: Sam, Thalia, Victor, and Zach

Gifts: Diamond watch, a Best Buy gift card, a Computer, and baseball tickets
People who received gifts: Joe, Jill, Jason, Jack
Wrapping paper colors: Blue and green, red and white, orange and yellow, and pink
Places: A bedroom, a restaurant, a living room, and a cruise
Clues:

1. Sam loves his wife Jill and didn't give her her gift at their house.
2. The man who gave the diamond watch wrapped the gift in two colors.
3. Jason received his gift from his wife at her favourite restaurant, Sushi Island.
4. The gift wrapped in orange and yellow wasn't received by a woman and was not received outside of a house.
5. The person who gave the baseball tickets knew his best bud would love them.
6. Victor was holding a Christmas party where he would give his roommate a Best Buy gift card.
7. The guy who gave Joe his gift wrapped it in pink.
8. During Jack's Christmas party his bud snuck into his bedroom where he put his orange and yellow wrapped gift on Jack's bed.
9. The man who gave the diamond watch thought that the blue and green wrapping paper matched the sapphires and emeralds on the watch.  

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - In sad young co-operative news, past participant of the Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership program and strong young community leader, 21-year-old Justin Jones from Baie Verte, NL,  died while serving in the Canadian military abroad. A Facebook page to honour his memory has been established. See the “In Memory of Justin Jones” page and add to the thoughtful memories of the young leader. - Erin Hancock

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Co-op Cooking – Looking for something that says “From my house to yours” or is suitable for a hostess gift. Perhaps one of the following might fit the bill and as they are pretty simple, you can enlist the help of your children in the preparation    Glenna
Coffeehouse Chocolate Spoons
8 oz semi-sweet cooking chocolate
8 oz white cooking chocolate
20 to 24 plastic spoons
In heavy saucepan over low heat, warm semi-sweet chocolate until it begins to melt. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Dip half of the spoons into the chocolate, coating the bowls. Tap the handles against the side of the pan to remove excess chocolate. Place on wax paper and refrigerate to set. Repeat with the white cooking chocolate and the remaining spoons. When chocolate is set, place remaining warm semi-sweet chocolate in a small, self-sealing plastic bag. Using scissors, snip off one corner of the bag. Pipe chocolate designs onto white chocolate spoons. Repeat with the remaining white chocolate, using it to decorate the semi-sweet chocolate spoons.
Gift giving ideas: Enclose two or more spoons with a coffee cup filled with coffee beans. Wrap in cellophane and tie with gold, green or red ribbons. Or you can wrap several spoons in cellophane and tie with curling ribbons for a festive touch.
Chocolate Raisin and Oatmeal Cookie Mix
In a clean 1-quart jar or container, layer the following ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup chocolate-covered raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Seal and decorate the container. Add the following instructions:
To make Chocolate Raisin Oatmeal Cookies:  Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil. In a large mixing bowl, stir together contents of container with 1/3 cup softened butter, 2 eggs and   1/2 tsp vanilla extract until well combined (dough will be soft). Drop by rounded teaspoons 2-inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes (until edges are browned). Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.- Glenna Weagle

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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

·      “Ron’s article two weeks ago is so true but he asks the question: “Do co-operatives fit in this ‘new’ mould?” Like anything else they have a great possibility to do so but it is only with their actions will it become a reality. If one looks at Co-op Atlantic and its stores (I use ‘its stores’ because in the mind of the shopper, they see it that way) it is just a poorly run organization that does not aspire to be a co-operative.”SM, NB

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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, Jan. 7, 2008