Week of July 12– July 18, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 25

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective*

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles.  “We have thousands of opportunities every day to be grateful: for having good weather, to be able to sit in such a beautiful room on such comfortable furniture, to have slept well last night, to be able to get up, to be healthy, to have enough to eat. ... There's opportunity upon opportunity to be grateful; that's what life is.” - Brother David Steindl-Rast www.gratefulness.org/brotherdavid/index.htm 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 recently released its 2008 Sustainability Report titled Building a Foundation for Sustainability. It is the 5th year the group has released information so that its stakeholders understand more about its triple bottom line performance (economic, social and environmental). The report is available on line at www.cooperators.ca/sustainability_report When you view the report you will be asked to respond to an e-survey. For every response received, $5 will be donated to the Tree Canada Foundation.

§      The Nova Scotia co-operative sector, like every other business sector, is experiencing challenges with recruiting and maintaining skilled and talented workers, particularly young people. The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, along with its partners in government and the community college, is undertaking a survey to assess the future labour issues/shortages within the co-operative and credit union sector, with a goal of building a strategy to help its members address their needs. For information about the survey or to access a copy, please contact andrea@nsco-opcouncil.ca

§      The Co-op Development Initiative, for 2009-2013, is now in place.   The Advisory Services component is not yet operating.  However the program called “Innovative Co-operative Projects” or ICP (comparable to the previous Innovations and Research program) is now accepting applications.  The initial deadline is July 31st.  You will find the ICP application form and the application guidelines at this link: http://coopscanada.coop/en/coopdev/CDI/Innovative-Co-operative-Projects

§      The Co-operative Enterprise Council http://www.cecnb.ca/   in New Brunswick has welcomed Greg LeBlanc as its newest Director.  Elected at the May 29th annual membership meeting, Greg represents the Community Energy Co-op from Knowlesville, NB.  He has a background in renewable energy and community sustainability. 

§      This year marks the 3rd Annual Credit Union Atlantic Lung Run. Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia is challenging people to form a team and join in on Sunday, August 9. Run, jog or walk – it’s all for the Lung Association’s Camp Treasure Chest – a summer camp for children living with moderate to severe asthma. This year’s goal is to recruit over 450 participants and raise more than $30,000 to support the camp. http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn=

§      In Nova Scotia, Bergengren and Heritage Credit Unions made Progress Magazine’s list of “25 Best Places to Work in Atlantic Canada”. Bergengren Credit Union, which employs 67 at branches in Antigonish and Pictou counties, and Heritage Credit Union, which employs 76 at branches in Halifax, Colchester and Hants counties, were ranked 21st and 22nd respectively. http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/ Credit unions throughout Atlantic Canada made up 20 per cent of this year’s “25 Best Places to Work in Atlantic Canada” list. Also recognized were two New Brunswick credit unions, OMISTA Credit Union of Moncton and Bayview Credit Union of Saint John and area, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union in St. John’s, NL.


Trends - Car sharing has been around in Europe for a number of years, but it is only now making inroads in North America, and then only in large cities. One car sharing company that is using technology to its advantage is Zipcar (www.zipcar.com). You typically find and reserve an available Zipcar online, and when you near it (physically) you simply brandish your Zipcard, which contains a small RFID (Radio Frequency IDentifier), near a receiver in the windshield and the car, which knows you are the one who wants to rent it, unlocks its doors. Recently, though, the company announced another neat feat of technology – iPhone users will be able to search for available Zipcars on their iPhone. A map with pushpins representing available Zipcars in your proximity will show up, and then you will be able to reserve the car, make its horn go off when you near it, and unlock the doors – all with your iPhone. It is kind of like calling your very own taxi, but without the hassle of dealing with the high cost (or sometimes obnoxious drivers).  Ron Levesque


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Young co-operators from across Canada were honored be part of the CCA 100th Anniversary and AGM recently in Ottawa.  Youth delegates from all types of co-operatives, including the youth committee of the Conseil Canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité have renewed their commitment to youth awareness and engagement in Canada.  After several meetings on June 17 and the Canadian Co-operative Association’s Plenary Session “Young Co-operators - Perspectives on Vision, Voice and Change” there is a collective sense of enthusiasm to meet our nation’s diverse economic, social and cultural needs. To learn more about CCA’s focus on youth, visit  http://www.coopscanada.coop/en/info_resources/Young-Co-operators (submitted by Trevor MacDougall, ACYL Program Coordinator)


Co-op Ed 101 - This week I found an article on the success of  Pioneer Co-operative Association Ltd. http://www.pioneercoop.ca/ Record sales of just over $200 million were realized by the Pioneer Co-op in 2008. The Pioneer Co-op has more than doubled its sales over the last 10 years. In 2000, its sales for the year were $81.1 million, compared to the 2008 total of $200,002,096. In the directors’ report given by Beth Henderson, it was announced that the Pioneer Co-op realized earnings of $14.9 million and that $10.3 million will be allocated back to the members with 50 per cent of this to be returned in the form of a cash dividend In April, 1936, the board of the Swift Current Oil and Gas Co. Ltd. passed a motion to call an extraordinary meeting of its shareholders to consider reorganizing the company as a co-operative, forming Pioneer Co-operative Association Ltd.


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

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


Contest of the WeekLast week’s contest: The winners were Cathy Darland, Moncton and Larraine Perry, Saint John, NB. Answer: 30 days This week’s contest: Each group of definitions describes three words that are spelled the same, except for one letter (each group describes a different set of words). Example: king, ring, wing. The length of the words in each group is provided. 1) to traverse & salad plant related to mustard & gross (5 letters) 2) a type of fruit & to feel about blindly & to complain (5 letters) 3) just & den & characteristic of a mammal (4 letters) 4) alone & only & transferred for money (4 letters) 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. Send your entry to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca. June’s prize of a CD of International Music was won by Pat Dempsey, Coastal Financial Credit Union board, Yarmouth, NS.


Co-op Cooking – With an emphasis on using more locally produced foods, and with strawberries coming into season, here is a quick and easy dessert that will impress everyone. When choosing a yogurt, I read the ingredient list. There are two brands on my market shelves that contain only milk and cultures, allowing me to add fruit and other ingredients as desired.  

Strawberry Trifle

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups thick plain yogurt

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon rind

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 home-made or store-bought pound cake, cubed

4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

Whipped cream or dessert topping (optional)

A few halved strawberries (optional)

Combine milk, yogurt, lemon juice, lemon rind and vanilla extract. Let stand 5 minutes. Mixture will thicken. Place ¼ of cake pieces in bottom of 10-cup glass bowl. Cover with 1 cup sliced strawberries and ¼ of lemon custard. Repeat layers until all ingredients have been used, ending with lemon custard. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve, garnishing with whipped cream and halved strawberries if desired. Note: Strawberries may be replaced with any fresh fruit. - Glenna Weagle


Atlantic Canada Writes, Publishes and Reads –This week, we feature Acorn Press www.acornpresscanada.com which is launching this Thursday (tomorrow, July 9) Wild Island: Prince Edward Island’s Hidden Wilderness by John Sylvester. Whether it is a long walk down a deserted beach, the discovery of spring wildflowers on the forest floor, or the sight of a bald eagle soaring above his canoe, it is the experience of wild things that brings peace, wonder, and inspiration to John Sylvester’s work and life. Wild Island gathers together fragments of what remains of the “wild things” found on “The Million-Acre Farm,” presenting a picture of Prince Edward Island as Sylvester imagines it might have appeared before permanent settlement. A portion of the royalties are being donated to The Island Nature Trust, a conservation group that for thirty years has worked tirelessly to protect the Island’s remaining natural communities. 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


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

§      “I love the weekly contest. You didn’t tell us at what time on Day 6 the rescue ship hove into view. If the extra people arrived at the end of the day and they switched the rations, putting everyone on 1/2 ration after having eaten their evening meal they should perhaps have more days food, etc. As always, thanks for the mental stretch.” – GW, NS


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, July 22, 2009


Rising Tide Collective* - Erin Hancock, Ron Levesque, Brenda MacKinnon, Maureen MacLean, Glenna Weagle