Week of Nov. 22– Nov. 28, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 43

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

To subscribe or unsubscribe: circles@nbnet.nb.ca


Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Everyday, think as you wake up: Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive. I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself to expand my heart out to others for the benefit of all beings.” – His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama www.dalailama.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

§      Respected union leader and community activist Gerald A. Yetman, age 83, died on Friday, November 27, 2009, in Taigh Na Mara in Glace Bay, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Montreal, Que., Gerald was a veteran of the Second World War, serving with the Merchant Marines. He came to North Sydney in 1948, became active with the Carpenters Union in the 1960s, President of the North Sydney Local, served five years as President of the Cape Breton District Labour Council. He joined CUPE as a National Representative in 1975 and worked for CUPE in Halifax, New Glasgow and Sydney for 15 years. He was the first full time elected president of Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. Gerald worked as a contractor in Cape Breton, served as president of the North Sydney Credit Union, the Bras d’Or Co-op Society, and on the executive of Branch No. 19 Royal Canadian Legion. He was presented a Commemorative Medal for 125th anniversary of Canada by the Governor General in 1993. He was president of the Cape Breton Branch of the Merchant Navy Association and served as first vice-president, National Association of Merchant Mariners. He was also a former councillor and deputy warden of Victoria County. He was a long time proud member of the NDP and CCF. A funeral mass was celebrated on Tuesday in St. Joseph Church, North Sydney. For more details, go to www.inmemoriam.ca/announcement-27073-Gerald-A-Yetman.html

§      Nova Scotia  poultry processor ACA Co-operative Ltd. in New Minas, NS, is laying off 110 workers and managers. Ninety-six unionized workers and 14 supervisors and managers at its plant in New Minas will be affected. ACA Co-operative Ltd., which processes chicken and turkey under the Eden Valley brand, blamed financial losses for the decision. CEO Ian Blenkharn says the layoffs “are painful but necessary” if ACA hopes to make the plant sustainable over the long term. ACA says the New Minas operation lost $6 million in 2008, prompting the closure on the company’s Eastern Protein Foods plant in Kentville and earlier layoffs in New Minas. Blenkharn says those changes improved the company’s financial position but not enough to ensure its future. ACA Co-operative has been in operation since 1943 and is owned by 63 poultry producers in Nova Scotia. http://www.novanewsnow.com/article-295033-Major-changes-job-losses-at-ACA-Coop.html

§      The caisse populaire in Clare is currently selling tickets at its branches for a chance to win 3 great prizes: 1st Prize: Christmas Grocery Basket courtesy of Caisse populaire de Clare Staff, 2nd Prize: Office desk chair courtesy of Cassa Business Equipment Ltd, 3rd Prize: 10 lbs of lobsters courtesy of Cimalo Fisheries Ltd. Tickets are on sale for $2 or 5 tickets for $5 (License # AGA-227236-09) and the draw date is on Wednesday December 23, 2009. https://www.caissepopclare.com/Home/ Staff is also holding a bake sale on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at all four branches. Proceeds will go for staff fundraising for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

§      There will be a special meeting of the York Credit Union membership to discuss and vote on a proposed amalgamation between it and OMISTA Credit Union from Moncton. York and  OMISTA Credit Union have been in merger talks for almost a year and the suggested merger date is January 1st, 2010. The meeting and vote will be held at the Fredericton Inn, tonight at 6pm, December 2nd, 2009. Two-thirds of the owners attending the meeting must vote yes, to go ahead. OMISTA is a large credit union with three branches in Moncton. It has 7400 owners and about three times the assets of York Credit Union. Together with York it would be the second largest credit union in New Brunswick. The head office would be in Moncton and York would become two branches of OMISTA.  The initial board of directors of the amalgamated credit union would consist of 14 directors -12 selected from the current OMISTA board and two selected from York’s board. The by-laws allow for two regional directors from the York CU area from then on. The amalgamated credit union would have standard pricing on all of its products and services. 

§      Caisses populaires acadiennes contributed $100,000 to Théâtre populaire d'Acadie’s (TPA)  major fundraising campaign.  http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=757 The  news was announced Nov. 24th in the foyer of the Centre culturel de Caraquet by Camille Thériault, President and CEO of the Mouvement des Caisses populaires acadiennes.

§      The three Moncton area credit unions, Advance Savings, OMISTA, and PSE have pooled resources to purchase one tank of oil at $233.33 each to help heat Harvest House. http://omista.com/news_detail.aspx?news_id=82   Mission Possible, an initiative for the Chamber of Commerce, is focused on raising funds for Harvest House, an organization that provides services and shelter for the homeless and less fortunate in downtown Moncton. The campaign involved a team of people camping out in a giant cardboard box for 54 hours from November 12-14 in an attempt to raise awareness about homelessness and the services that Harvest House provides. The campaign called Help Heat Harvest House had a goal to raise enough money to fill the 20 tanks of oil that it takes to keep Harvest House heated for the winter months. It costs them roughly $700 per tank so the goal was to raise $14,000.

§      Paul Innes and Tammy Christopher, OMISTA Credit Union, Gary Forsey, Steel Centre Credit Union and Jeanette Holmden, PSE Credit Union will be returning to Ghana in early 2010 as part of the Canadian Co-operative Association’s Coaching Program in that country. The Canadian Co-operative Association is sending this group of credit union professionals to Africa  to mentor credit union personnel there as their systems develop.  In addition to those going to Ghana, Laurie Gallant, Malpeque Bay Credit Union, and Eric Smith, formerly with Carleton Pioneer Credit Union and now retired, will be going to Uganda and Malawi.  CA's Coaching Program offers opportunities for Canadian credit union professionals to share their skills and advice directly with individual credit unions in Africa. Working in teams of two, coaches spend two weeks sharing their knowledge and expertise with credit unions in Uganda, Malawi and Ghana. This hands-on approach enables coaches to get to know the credit union, its members and the community. This familiarity allowing them to work with the credit union staff to understand the issues and discuss concrete solutions. If you are interested in a coaching opportunity in the future, please keep checking the CCA’s Web site for future programs. www.coopsCanada.coop  

§      Following its AGM, Conference in Moncton, New Brunswick, the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) elected a new President. Alain Bridault, who represents Region Federation member Le Réseau de la coopération du travail du Québec. Alain, who is also President of his worker co-op, La Coopérative Orion in Quebec City, is the first CWCF President from Quebec. A co-founder of the Bachelor’s degree in Co-operative Administration at Laurentian University in the 1980’s, and a lecturer for many years at the Masters in Management of Co-operatives at the University of Sherbrooke, Alain brings strong governance, co-operative and organizational development skills to the position. The other board executive members elected are: vice- president Yuill Herbert of Sustainability Solutions Group in Nova Scotia, and treasurer Colin MacDougall of La Siembra Co-op in Ontario. Acclaimed to the board were Colin MacDougall (incumbent) and a new Board member, Lee Fuge of the International Women’s Catering Co-op in Victoria, BC. Continuing Board members rounding out the 7-person Board include: April Bourgeois of Co-op Ventures Worker Co-op in Regina, Tigist Dafla of Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op in Edmonton, and Eric Tusz-King of EnerGreen Builders’ Co-op in Sackville, NB. Outgoing BC Director Marty Frost. Marty left the Board after 16 years of service. See: www.canadianworker.coop/news/worker-co-op-news/cwcf-conference-2009 . The 2010 CWCF Conference will be held on Bowen Island, BC, October 28th-30th.

§      Beaubear Credit Union in Miramichi, NB, has just recently launched its Annual Food Bank Fundraising Campaign called “Share the Magic of Christmas”.   Last year Beaubear successfully raised over $3200 for the Miramichi Community Food bank.   This year it hopes to surpass that amount.   In conversation with June Somers, the Director of the food Bank, she indicated the number of families that use the food bank has increased 25% over last year.   Beaubear invites all Miramichiers to support the Miramichi Community Food bank by contributing to its fundraiser.  With every $2 donation members will receive a ballot for a chance to win a $400 grocery card in a draw to be held on Friday, December 18th.  Each Friday leading up to the grand Prize draw, a draw will be made for a $25 grocery card.  Donations may be made at either the Water St branch or the Newcastle Boulevard branch of Beaubear Credit Union.    On Wednesday, November 25th Beaubear Credit Union, Beaubear Co-op and Northumberland Dairy joined forces and made a donation with a retail value of $5000 to the Miramichi Community Food Bank.  This donation consisted of 271 cases of food that were delivered by employees from all three organizations.  This is the fourth year for Beaubear Co-op and Beaubear Credit Union to participate in this food bank donation. This is Northumberland Dairy’s first year and they are certainly a welcomed addition to this partnership in providing help to a much needed community service and showing the strength of co-operatives. www.beaubear.ca


Trends - You will agree that Time magazine is a mainstream American publication. So it was quite surprising last Friday – Black Friday, the holiest of shopping days – when an article titled “Why Big Shopping Bargains Are Bad News For America” appeared on its website. In the article, author Barbara Kiviat argues what most cooperators (though I am less certain about cooperative retailers) have known for years – that the race to the bottom...eventually gets you to the bottom and all that it entails – child labour, exploitation, intensive farming, and more. We’ve pretty much hit the bottom. As Kiviat says: “Cheap simply means cheap” and while some may marvel at the amount of money they ’saved’ on Black Friday (or the Canadian equivalent, ‘Boxing Day’), the lustre is gone almost as soon as the discounted item crosses the threshold or at least when the credit card bill is finally ripped out of the envelope. If that does not do it, perhaps when the item is carted off to the dumpster ‘because it is cheaper to buy another than to fix it’. Read Kiviat’s article here: http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1943252,00.html  Ron Levesque


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - A couple of years ago Jean-François Draperi, Director of the Centre d’économie sociale du Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, created curriculum to provide a week of education on economic co-operation for schools throughout Europe. The curriculum, entitled “semaine de la cooperation de l’ecole” exposes young people to co-operative governance, sustainable development and fair trade. If you are an educator or want to consider advocating for such a unit within your local social science programs, visit the website at http://www.semaine.coop/ (website in French). - Erin Hancock


Co-op Ed 101 - I was looking for interesting examples of co-op pre schools  and I found Prospect Cooperative Nursery School, 646 Prospect Street, Maplewood, New Jersey http://www.prospectpreschool.org/Start.htm Prospect is a non-sectarian nursery school, located in a beautiful stone Prospect Presbyterian Church. Designed for families who wish to share in the early education of their young children, Prospect offers parents the opportunity to become an integral part of their child’s early learning experience. Here, parents assist in designing and implementing curriculum, share in administrative decision-making, and, are an intrinsic part of the day-to-day classroom experience.–– Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to News1@nbnet.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 WeekLast week’s winner: Last week’s only correct answer came from Randi Alexander, Marketing Coordinator, Leading Edge Credit Union, P.O. Box 680, Grand Bay East, NLAnswer: 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? Answer: three, the number of letters in the number the guard said. This week’s contest: Some cats were at the local Kitty Palace Day Care  while their owners were working. Each cat was in a separate cage, all in a single row. One of the employees left the cages unlocked and the seven cats have all gotten out into the play area. She needs to put each of them back in the right cage, but this is all she remembers. Help her get them in the right cages before anyone arrives to pick them up. Cats: Butterscotch, Snuggles, Fluffy, Lady, Princess, Miss Mew, and Dusty
1. Dusty doesn’t like other cats much, so he was on one of the ends. 2. Princess was somewhere to the left of Butterscotch. 3. Miss Mew was in the third run from the right. 4. The only cat between Fluffy and Lady was Princess. 5. Snuggles was directly to the left of Lady. 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 – Here is a stew that is perfect for this time of year. Not only does it combine many of the wonderful flavours available locally from farms and farm markets, but it goes into a slow cooker and cooks on your counter while you are enjoying the wonderful weather.

Autumn Harvest Stew

1 lb boneless pork shoulder

2 cups cubed, peeled sweet potatoes

2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 small cooking apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 medium onion, chopped

3/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 cups apple cider or apple juice

Trim fat from meat. Cut pork into 1-inch cubes. In a 3 1/2 or 4-quart crockery cooker layer potatoes, parsnip, apples, and onion. Sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add meat. Pour apple cider or juice over all. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Ladle into bowls. - 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

§      Thanks. To you and your team, congratulations for a good piece of work. I’m reading it from Africa where I’m working until Dec 4. Merci,- LR, NB


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. 9, 2009


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