Week of May 24 - May 30, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 20

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles.  “There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn't bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn't afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here's the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.” Paul Hawken in a commencement address to University of Portland students. www.paulhawken.com 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

·      Kensington Co-op Art Gallery in Kensington, PEI, will be opening for the season on June 13, with a special show of work produced by the students of Kensington Intermediate & Secondary School. The KISH Student Art League's show will run until June 28 with a special open house event on June 21, 1 to 3 p.m., when visitors will have the opportunity to meet the student artists and speak with them about their work. In addition, the gallery will feature members’work for show and sale all season. Visitors to the gallery will have a chance to view local art, meet 20 artist members and watch them at work http://www.journalpioneer.com/index.cfm?sid=254584&sc=121

·      There was great support for recent auction for the IWK at Pictou County Co-op Food Market. http://www.ngnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=253807&sc=51  Area merchants of Pictou County  gave freely to the Pictou Co-op Members auction for IWK held recently. A special thanks to Linacy Fire Department, New Glasgow North End Rec Centre, the management and staff at Pictou Co-op Food Market and the many co-op members who volunteered their time in support of sick kids. Art Jenkins, from Pictou County Co-op Food Market was the auction co-ordinator.

·      An expanded holding facility is helping Tignish Fisheries Co-op and Royal Star Foods weather the current crisis in the lobster fishery. Membership gave the co-op’s board of directors approval last fall to move ahead with the modernization of Royal Star’s lobster pound.  The pound has gone from a holding capacity of just over 100,000 pounds of live product to being able to hold between 370,000 and 500,000 pounds, depending on the ratio of canners to markets and the containers they are stored in. http://www.journalpioneer.com/index.cfm?sid=253053&sc=118

·      This will interest our subscribers who have gardens, flowers, and fruit trees. Nova Scotia lost 26 per cent of its honey bees over the winter—a record number. Half of the 25 commercial beekeepers in the province lost over 40 per cent of their bees. Losses are prevalent across the country. Prince Edward Island lost approximately 40 per cent and preliminary numbers from New Brunswick are 30 to 35 per cent http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/index.cfm?sid=253310&sc=586

·      The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) is pleased with the federal government’s decision to renew and enhance the Co-operative Development Initiative (CDI), a program aimed at providing support to new and emerging co-operatives across Canada. The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture) says the government will invest $19.1 million over the next four years to support the establishment of new co-operatives and test innovative methods of using the co-operative model. “This is wonderful news for the co-operative sector, for Canadians who use the services co-operatives provide and for the communities in which co-operatives are located,” said CCA Executive Director Carol Hunter. “By renewing and enhancing CDI, the government has recognized that co-operatives create jobs and bring enormous value to Canada's economy.” The new program will have two major components: Advisory Services, which will improve access to co-operative development information and services that will assist in the formation of new co-operatives and Innovative Co-operative Projects, which will provide project support for new and emerging co-operatives.   In addition, there will be a Research and Knowledge Development component, which will support new and applied research to support co-operative development.  This component will be managed by the federal Co-operatives Secretariat, which is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The previous CDI program supported more than 1,500 co-operatives through Advisory Services and project funding, and helped create some 200 new co-operatives. Information on how to apply for the Innovative Co-operative Projects component of the new program, including criteria and deadlines, will be available on CCA’s website, www.coopscanada.coop, within the next few weeks. To learn more about the Co-operative Development Initiative, visit the www.coop.gc.ca site.

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Trends - If you needed any more proof that business’ priorities, especially in the US, are completely backwards, look no further than the May 20 Wall Street Journal article titled “Banks Use Life Insurance to Fund Bonuses”. Now, you could be forgiven for thinking that banks would never, ever, take out life insurance on their employees (some without their consent or knowledge, no less) in order to fund the bonuses of their executives...and you’d be wrong. That’s exactly what they’ve done and continue to do. The WSJ says the insurance policies are essentially informal pension funds for executives...over time, employers receive tax-free death benefits when employees, former employees and retirees die. “Over the coming decades, banks will receive an estimated $400 billion in death benefits, consultants estimate. The death benefits sometimes are referred to in filings as ‘mortality dividends’ or ‘yields.’ Employers track the deaths of former employees by checking Social Security Administration records.” I don’t know if this is legal in Canada – you can certainly buy life insurance and direct the benefits upon your death to a charitable organization or cause – but that’s done with your knowledge and consent.  – Ron Levesque

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Co-op Ed 101 – This week is a continuation of last week’s item about St Anthony, NL. The crafts in the shops were lovely to see and I was captivated by the rugs. Prices are high as these are a sought after art form, now.  I can remember as a child watching my grandmother who was born in the Miramichi area of New Brunswick, but lived in Edmundston, hooking rugs out of my grandfather’s dyed long underwear and old woolen pants. Usually hers were rectangular with fall colored leaves on a beige background and surrounded by a black border  If any of you have hooked rug memories please share them with us at news1@nbnet.nb.ca   Pictures and stories of the hooked mats of the Grenfell Mission of Newfoundland and Labrador  can be found at  http://www.heritage.nf.ca/arts/silkmats.html The quiet months of February and March were known as the “matting season” along the rugged coast of northern Newfoundland and Labrador. It was a time of respite from the fishing season. The craft was generations old by the time the Grenfell Mission began. The roots of mat hooking lay with the founding English and Scottish settlers. The women all hooked, most from their earliest childhood. In 1905, Grenfell met Jessie Luther, an American woman who had set up a sanitarium with crafts as part of the treatment. Excited by her methods, Grenfell encouraged her to come north. In 1906, Luther journeyed to the tiny settlement of St. Anthony on the northeastern most tip of Newfoundland to establish a weaving project. It helped the local women augment their families’ meagre and unreliable income from fishing. To the mat hooking industry, the mission brought standardization, colour, harmony and incentive. Sixteen mission picture mats, many designed by Grenfell himself, were in production by 1916. Distinctly northern images - dog teams, snowy owls and polar bears - were in the centre of the mat. - Maureen MacLean

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The North American Students of Co-operation (NASCO) have launched a serious lobbying effort towards the Obama administration to gain support for student housing co-op initiatives in the US. NASCO is hoping to secure federal loans for new student housing co-ops in order to create more opportunities for students to access affordable housing. If you would like to learn more or contribute support, visit http://nasco.coop/node/2433 - Erin Hancock

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      May 29, 2009 Annual General Meeting of the Co-operative Enterprise Council of New Brunswick, 9:00 – 12:00 at the Ramada Inn in Moncton, NB.

§      May 29-30, 2009 Co-op Atlantic Annual General Meeting, Ramada Crystal Palace. Notice and delegate credential forms at www.coopatlantic.ca/htm.aspx?id=561

§      June 3-5, 2009 Canadian CED Network Conference, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB - three days of learning, networking and celebration Go to www.ccednet-rcdec.ca for details on conference.

§      June 3, 2009  Canadian CED Network’s Food Policy Working Group is hosting a One-Day Forum on Local Food (9:00am - 4:00pm, Riddell Hall – University of Winnipeg). For more information, contact Matthew Thompson by email at mthompson@ccednet-rcdec.ca or by phone at 416-760-2577.

§      June 15, 2009 60th Annual Gala, Nova Scotia Co-operative Council with guest speaker Rev Jesse Jackson at World Trade and Convention Centre, Halifax, NS. Tickets can be obtained by contacting andrea@nsco-opcouncil.ca or (902) 893-8966

§      June 16-19, 2009 CCA’s 100th anniversary Congress, Ottawa, ON. See www.coopscanada.coop/100th/congress.cfm

§      June 19-21, 2009 Symposium organized by the Masters in Management of Co-operatives and Credit Unions Program at St Mary’s University, Halifax, NS. Theme is “Legislative and Public Policy Issues”. Abstracts of papers must be received by Mar 31. Final paper and presentation slides by June 1, if applicable. More information and a style guide are available from Tom Webb, jtwebb@auracom.com or tom.webb@smu.ca or contact Larry Haiven (902) 420-5082 or larryhaiven@smu.ca

§      Nov 19-21, 2009 Canadian Worker Co-op AGM and Conference, Moncton, NB

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Contest of the WeekLast week’s contest: The winner was PJ Trefry, Coastal Financial Credit Union Answers: 1.Below Elbow  2.Stable Bleats  3.Monster Mentors

4.Hectare Cheater  5.Last Salt  This week’s contest: Delete a letter from the words below and then add a 3-letter word to them (doesn't matter where) to form a new word that matches the clues in the ( ).
1. Rich (to look; to ____)
2. Spite (a place you go to when you are on the internet)
3. Mite (to send; to ____)
4. Elf (to show what something is, like to put a ____ on an item to show what type of item it is)
5. Ice (when you use your brain, you use your ____)

Please keep those entries coming! Everyone who enters has their name placed in the contest can for the month end drawing The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon. May’s prize is a CD of International Music.  Send your entry to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.

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Co-op Cooking – Couscous is a pasta made from a grain (semolina). The couscous sold in supermarkets today is very convenient as it the instant type that has been steamed and dried many times. I have a friend who introduced me to couscous a few years ago and this is one of her favourite ways to prepare it. 
Couscous with Vegetables
1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 onion, chopped
1 cup instant, whole wheat couscous
1 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
1 19-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or coriander
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
In large saucepan, combine stock, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, ginger and garlic; bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, carrots and onion. Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes (tender-crisp). While vegetables are cooking, place couscous in medium bowl, add 1 cup boiling water, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Add red pepper, chickpeas and raisins to the mushroom mixture; cook 2 to 3 minutes (until  hot). Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Stir in parsley or coriander. Fluff couscous with a fork and spoon into bowls. Top with vegetable mixture including broth. Sprinkle with pine nuts if desired. - Glenna Weagle

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Atlantic Canada Writes, Publishes and Reads  – Each week, we will feature a book (some old, some new) from a writer living and working in Atlantic Canada and published by an Atlantic Canadian publishing house. This week, we feature Formac-Lorimer Books in Halifax, NS, and a great reference and cooking book: Fresh & Local: Straight from Canadian farms to your table by Craig Flinn. It celebrates the seasons with 150 recipes featuring fresh and local ingredients. http://www.formac.ca/formac-lorimer If you have a favourite book or publishing house (from the East Coast) that you would like to promote, let us know and we will include it. Send your suggestions to news1@nbnet.nb.ca

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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

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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.mystfx.ca/coady-library/coop_circles/index.htm 

Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, June 3, 2009