Week of Nov. 22– Nov. 28, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 42

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

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Everybody needs a hug. It changes your metabolism.” - Leo Buscaglia  www.buscaglia.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

§         Nova Credit Union has been honoured with a Maritime Business Ethics Award presented by the Better Business Bureau of The Maritime Provinces Inc. iNova won in the “fewer than 15 employees” category.  “We wish to congratulate the Better Business Bureau for the Maritime Provinces for having this award and feel we have just begun to make a difference in promoting ethical business practices in everything we do,” says iNova General Manager Willy Robinson.  The Halifax-based credit union was nominated and selected as a result of its ability to demonstrate that it is a responsible and sustainable organization that has ethical leadership, programs and practices. Steve Scanlan, Chair of the iNova Credit Union Board and Willy Robinson, GM accepted the award at the 5th Annual Maritime Ethics Dinner held November 18, 2009.  Three staff members also attended; Sharon MacLeod, Office Manager, Angie Fong and Nick Franklin, Financial Services Representatives.  “It was like the Academy Awards… it was most exciting and I was very proud,” iNova Office Manager Sharon MacLeod commented. To find out more about iNova Credit Union, please refer to its web-site:  www.inovacreditunion.coop

§         A reception to launch the film You CAN Do It! will be held at Bethany Center in Antigonish, NS, on Thursday, November 26, between 3 and 5 pm. There will be an opportunity to view some of the film and chat with the creators of this documentary.   You CAN Do It! tells the story of the Antigonish Movement. The film relates parallel stories of life in rural Nova Scotia in the 1920’s and 1930’s and life in the developing world today. Through the use of primary source interviews, archival video, still photos, and the insights of academics who have studied The Antigonish Movement, this production recounts the experiences of the pioneers in the movement, and the impact on Canadian Society and its continuing influence throughout the developing world. You CAN Do It! was originally edited as a high school teaching resource. This edition has been remastered for general distribution and contains bonus interviews with a number of people whose lives were directly touched by the Antigonish Movement. This film is a production of Bergengren Credit Union https://www.bergengrencu.com/Home/YourCreditUnion/AboutUs/History/YouCanDoIt/index.jsp and The Tompkins/Coady Multimedia Committee and produced by SeaBright Productions. DVD copies of this film will be available for $25.00 soon at Bergengren Credit Union branches.  For more information please contact: Cathy MacDonald at cmacdonald@nsbcu.ca or (902) 867-5759. Copies for educational use and public viewing are available from: McNabb Connolly 1-866-722-1522 / (905) 278-0566 info@mcnabbconnolly.ca / www.mcnabbconnolly.ca

§         East Coast Credit Union is implementing a branch re-structuring plan in response to the economic downturn and business conditions. This restructure will see its existing 13 branch network reduced to 10. East Coast Credit Union will cease operations of its North Isle Madame, Mulgrave and North East Margaree branches effective February 28, 2010.  “The decision to reduce our branch network has been a very difficult one,” says East Coast Credit Union President and CEO, Doug Hastings. “The reality of the situation is that we must improve our level of efficiency in order to remain competitive and ensure sustainability. The branch re-structuring plan enables us to remain competitive on deposit and loan products, while continuing to provide the professional service our customer-owners expect from us.” The closure of these three branches will also reduce East Coast’s employee complement by seven full-time positions. “Over the next three to four months all impacted customer-owners will be contacted to ensure they are well informed on the process and that their accounts are located at the East Coast branch of their choice,” says Hastings. “There will be no disruption of service and the credit union will make every effort to ensure transitions are smooth.” http://www.eastcoastcreditu.ca/?service=vpage/3433

§          The Chronicle Herald’s Newspaper in Education Program, Nova Scotia Credit Unions and the Nova Scotia Securities Commission have collaborated to produce a special education feature in today’s issue (Nov.25) of The Chronicle Herald. The focus is to educate students to make good choices in money management. For more information go to www.nscreditunions.ca  Nova Scotia credit unions are providing high schools with a comprehensive financial literacy program, YOUR Everything Money Guide. Also the Canadian Securities Administrators Web site http://www2.makeitcountonline.ca/csa/parents/ has a parents and teachers’ guide to youth money management http://www.securities-administrators.ca/

§         This holiday season, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) www.cdfcanada.coop is encouraging you to give a gift that keeps on giving. From Nov. 24 to Dec. 8, check out the 70 items featured in ‘Tis the Season, an online auction. From stocking stuffers to stone carvings from a Canadian artist, there is something for everyone. Go to http://realauction.ca/cdfc/en/  to begin bidding. By participating in the online auction, you help children, women and men in the developing world build pathways out of poverty. All auction proceeds support the Co-operative Development Foundation. Growmark, Inc is sponsoring the auction.

§         OMISTA Credit Union http://omista.com/news_detail.aspx?news_id=81 has once again sponsored the Greater Moncton Progress Club Annual Antler Breakfast as a Gold Level sponsor. The breakfast will be taking place on November 27, 2009 at the Delta Beausejour, Grand Salon from 6:30am to 9:30am.

§         The latest issue of the Co-operative Management Advantage, Volume 4, Issue 1 October 2009 is now available at www.mmccu.coop .  The newsletter is a publication of the Masters Program, Co-op and Credit Union Management, and contains items on the Co-operative Fund of New England, Managing Change, Dr. John Chamard Remembered, Speaking Up for US Co-ops and Credit Unions, Bob Dylan and co-operation,  and Co-ops that ROCK. The Masters program’s goal is 20 students at orientation 2010. 

§         Nova Scotia Co-operative Council was the 2008 winner of the Canadian Co-operative Association’s Leadership in Co-operative Governance Award in the small co-op category. The awards recognize governance innovation and excellence in co-operatives and credit unions across Canada. The awards seek to showcase the movement's strengths in the area of governance and provide the opportunity for co-op and credit union boards to learn from each other. Nova Scotia Co-operative Council (NSCC) undertook a board-led, comprehensive governance review built on significant research and best practices.  The result was a comprehensive and sound governance framework and manual that is considered their guide for all of their actions and decisions. To learn more about the Council, go to www.nsco-opcouncil.ca


Trends - Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Most readers are probably familiar with the Segway – a two-wheeled human transporter that can carry a grown man and some luggage across town or in a designated traveling lane. A Segway keeps its rider balanced using a gyroscope that compensates for extreme movements and brings the rider back into balance. A company has taken the concept a step further (or back, depending on your point of view), incorporating the gyroscope technology into specially designed front wheel for a child’s bicycle, in effect making that bike very stable. The wheel’s gyroscope has three speeds to help the bike maintain balance or gradually eliminating it so that when your little tike has learned to ride, he or she is simply riding with a cool front wheel. You can try the experiment at home with a bicycle wheel – hold it at the axle when it is spinning and see how difficult it is to ‘sway’ the wheel. See more here: www.thegyrobike.com Ron Levesque


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree -. The Courier Co-op Toronto is focused on providing a fair working environment for the worker-owners. They state: “Our mission is to change the employment standards for couriers.” Visit their website to learn more about their philosophy, how they operate and view their photos at http://www.couriercoop.ca/. - Erin Hancock


Co-op Ed 101 - Canadian Organic Maple Co. Ltd. http://canadianorganicmaple.com/about.cfm produces 100 per cent organic maple syrup. The  family-run sugary is located in the heart of the Appalachian Hardwood Forest in New Brunswick, at a place called Divide, so called because this location divides the watershed between two of New Brunswick’s greatest rivers, the St. John River and the Miramichi River.  The sugary consists of approximately 90,000 taps nestled in a natural and pristine forest, producing approximately 22,000 gallons of organic maple syrup annually. Recently the co-op was part of a group that mounted an impressive display at Grocery Innovations trade show in Toronto http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/index.cfm?sid=304515&sc=586 –– Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Nov 25, 2009 Heritage Credit Union invites people for a Lunch-n-Learn session focusing on the benefits of group retirement solutions. 12 Noon, Heritage Credit Union’s Corporate Office, Suite 102-238A Brownlow Ave, Dartmouth, NS. RSVP is required by Nov. 13 to Susan Peterson (464-7106) or e-mail susan.peterson@heritagecu.com 

§      Nov 25, 2009 NBTA Credit Union Annual General Meeting / Call for Board of Directors takes place at 650 Montgomery Street, Fredericton. Details at  http://www.nbtacu.nb.ca/

§      Apr 15-17, 2010 – Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting

§      May 28-29, 2010 – Co-op Atlantic’s Annual General Meeting


Contest of the Week - Last week’s only correct answer came from Falon Owen, Coastal Financial Credit Union, Yarmouth, NS.  He sent his answer in a chart form which is the easiest method to use when figuring out these types of contests.  This week’s contest: The kids on the street set up a secret club. Bobby wanted to get into the club so he hid and watched the leader at the door of the club house. The leader said a number to each member as they approached, and the member would respond with a number of their own. One member came up to the door, the guard said twelve, and the member responded with six and was let in. Another member came to the door, the guard said six and the member responded with three and was let in. Believing he had the code Bobby went up to the leader. The leader said ten, and the Bobby said five, but was not let in. What was the secret answer? Thanks to all who tried. 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.


Co-op Cooking – Fall is the time of year when Shepherd’s Pie, accompanied by a great salad, seems to be a good choice for a main meal. This one has the added bonus of being made with sweet potato or yams. Occasionally when I have no cream cheese in the house, I substitute plain yogurt, some favourite herbs and a bit of garlic or garlic powder.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

1 sweet potato or yam, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks

2 tbsp herb & garlic cream cheese

1/2 lb extra lean ground beef

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 green onion, chopped

2 tbsp sundried tomato and oregano dressing

2 tsp flour

1/4 cup water

1 cup frozen green beans

Microwave potatoes in small bowl until tender (approx 4 minutes on high). Mash until smooth; gradually adding cream cheese and mix until well blended. Set aside. Cook meat with mushrooms and onions in dressing until meat is browned, stirring occasionally. Drain. Mix flour and water until well blended; add to meat mixture; cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add beans; mix lightly. Spoon meat mixture into ramekins or casserole dish. Spread sweet potato over top. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until casserole is heated through. - Glenna Weagle


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§      Please add me to your circulation list at this address. I have left  MAFRI -a department of the Province of Manitoba which was responsible for cooperative development - and I would like to stay connected. Now that I am connected to the internet, I look forward to a regular co-op “fix” from you.DK, MB


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, Dec. 2, 2009


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