Week of Feb. 15– Feb. 21, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 6

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.” - Mahatma Gandhi en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi  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

·      Many co-operators knew John Arther Murphy who died suddenly this past weekend. From Beaver Meadow, near Antigonish, NS, he was a familiar face and name to many co-operators who attended Topshee Conferences in Antigonish, or shopped at Braemore or through their affiliation with social development organizations like Development and Peace, or politically through the New Democratic Party. John Arther leaves the community and province of Nova Scotia much richer because of his sincere and genuine interest in everyone he met. http://www.clcurry.com/Obituaries/42876/

·      Port Hood RV Co-operative Ltd of Port Hood, NS, has launched a third share offering under the province’s community economic development investment fund (CEDIF). It wants to further develop its recreational vehicle park and facilities. The investment fund gives Nova Scotia investors a 30 per cent, non-refundable tax credit against Nova Scotia taxes paid or payable and RRSP eligibility. The co-operative spokesperson Joe Morris says it hopes to raise a minimum of $70,000 to develop a water playground area that would include an adult swimming pool, a hot tub and wading pool for children. Plans are to have the facility open in June. The cost is estimated at $150,000 and the co-operative has saved $80,000 from previous offerings. The co-op has already raised $750,000 for Sunset Sands RV Park in two previous offerings. The park, which opened in May 2008, has 55 fully serviced RV lots, two large RVs available for rent, playground, and laundry and washroom building. The park is next to a beach area and the Al MacInnis Sports Centre. If the offering goes well, the plan is further expansion with 25 more serviced lots. Long range plans includes construction of 10 cottages, 10 tenting sites and additional RV sites. For further information check out the Web site at www.sunsetsands.ca or e-mail: info@sunsetsands.ca

·      In Nova Scotia, investors can now buy preferred shares in co-operative businesses. Changes to the Nova Scotia Co-operative Associations Act now allows co-ops to issue non-voting preferred shares. Nova Scotia Co-operative Council CEO Dianne Kelderman says the council has been pushing for this since 2001 so co-ops would have another way to access needed capital. Before this change, co-ops had two ways to finance their operations. They could sell common shares to members or they could go to a bank or credit union. “It really levels the playing field,” says Kelderman. “They can sell shares to members of the public who can judge their potential for a return of their investment.” Six other provinces, including Prince Edward Island allow for preferred shares in co-operatives.

·      Valley Credit Union in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley believes in supporting its communities. http://www.valleycreditunion.com/  As a socially responsible company, VCU believes in giving back.  This past holiday season Valley Credit Union donated $3,000 to local school breakfast programs and through the Skip-a-payment campaign, it raised over $4400 for local chapters of the Salvation Army.

·      Credit Union Atlantic (CUA) opened a new business lending centre in late January. Credit Union Atlantic for Business will focus solely on the lending needs of small and medium sized enterprises. http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn= This is the first credit union storefront specifically for business customer owners in Nova Scotia.   Designed with the unique needs of business owners in mind, CUA for Business offers the full range of financing products and services, and fully equipped meeting space available to clients. Credit Union Atlantic’s existing team of Commercial Account Managers and support staff relocated to the new business centre. Credit Union Atlantic for Business is located on Young Street in Halifax and will be open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

·      Since July of 2006, staff of East Coast Credit Union in Cape Breton has participated in the Larches Payroll Deduction Plan.  Staff voluntarily and confidentially contributes as much as they wish to L'Arche via a payroll deduction.  The total amount of all contributions is then presented at year-end to L'Arche Cape Breton.  The total amount raised in 2008 was $8,500, and East Coast Credit Union says this brings the three-year total to $18,551.32. For more information http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn=

·      The winners of the 2008/2009 Nova Scotia Credit Unions Bursary Awards were announced this week by the Credit Union Central http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn= Each year, $13,000 is disbursed as $500 bursaries; awarded to two students at each of the 13 NSCC campuses. The first Nova Scotia Credit Unions Bursary Awards were bestowed in 1996. For the first time this year there was an outreach effort to offer individual credit unions the opportunity to participate in the process by sitting on the selection committee in their communities. The credit unions also have the opportunity to meet with the students and present them with an award certificate, in addition to participating in a celebration of excellence at the Student Success Nights held at each campus in the spring and early summer.





Trends - I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the southeastern school in New Brunswick that stopped playing O Canada at the request, on religious grounds, of a couple of families. I’ve been trying to resolve for myself, mostly, the motivations for such a request. I can understand some of the religious accommodations that are made in some cases. By the same token, I also wonder where tolerance fits into the equation, only because you can’t please everybody all the time. But the National Anthem, well, that seems to strike closer to home (and I’m not even an overtly patriotic person). Then I read Colette Lebel’s column in this month’s Coopérateur Agricole. Ms. Lebel, who is director of Corporate Affairs for Coop Fédérée, muses about how democracy is changing. Where in the past, it was a co-op member’s duty to attend and vote at annual meetings, or even to support the Co-op, today it’s perceived (and I’d argue, marketed) as a right. On the surface, both seem to be interchangeable alternatives, except that a duty begets responsibility, while a right is more like a privilege, a tool to be used or not at one’s whim. So if we accept the premise that society is shifting from responsibilities to privileges, duties to rights, it begins to explain a lot of things, including one’s tolerance to listening to the National Anthem. Read Ms. Lebel’s column here: http://www.lacoop.coop/cooperateur/chroniques/pause-pensee/2009/02_ENG.asp Ron Levesque


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: That the people in the Philippines speak English. That the Canadian people helped by raising money to rebuild their own church. That there are about 7,000 islands but people only live on 100 of them.” - Julie M, Grade 6


Co-op Ed 101I always knew that there was a co-op to answer most needs, but I was very surprised to find this co-op that does wildlife research in Florida.  I found it when I was researching some birds I saw on a recent trip. The Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit was established in 1979. http://www.wec.ufl.edu/coop/  Have a look at some of the great photos http://www.wec.ufl.edu/coop/photocontest.htm  The purpose of the Florida Unit is to provide for active cooperation in the advancement, organization, and conduct of scholarly research and training in the field of fish and wildlife sciences principally through graduate education and research at the University of Florida. - Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Feb18, 2009 New Canadians and the Social Economy  Noon - 1:30 pm, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto , 252 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Room 12-199 For more information, contact Lisa White at secspeaker@oise.utoronto.ca, or visit our website at http://socialeconomy.utoronto.ca This event will also be webcast live on the Internet.  Please see our website for detailed instructions.

§      Feb 20, 2009 Human Resource Management in Non-Profit and Other Community Organizations with Kunle Akingbola, University of Toronto To register:  http://sec.oise.utoronto.ca/english/workshops.php or contact Lisa White at secworkshops@oise.utoronto.ca , 416-978-0022. Register soon, as space is limited.

§      Mar 20-21, 2009 Credit Union Central of Prince Edward Island Annual Meeting, Delta Prince Edward, Charlottetown, PEI

§      April 17-18, 2009 Credit Union Central of New Brunswick Annual Meeting, Delta Fredericton, Fredericton, NB

§      April 22 -23, 2009 Blueprints of the Brand Forum, Westin Hotel, Halifax, NS – designed specifically for Credit Union CEOs and General Managers, this forum offers the tools to further enhance the brand for Credit Unions.

§      April 24, 2009 League Savings and Mortgage Annual Meeting, Westin Hotel, Halifax, NS

§      April 24-25, 2009 Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia Annual Meeting, Westin Hotel, Halifax, NS

§      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.  


Contest of the WeekLast week’s contest: If 5 cats can catch 5 rats in 5 minutes, how many cats do you need to catch 100 rats in 100 minutes? Answer: 5 cats Bryon Tudor, SK, is our winner. Here’s his explanation: If 5 cats catch 5 rats in 5 minutes, we’ll assume that each cat caught one rat and it took them 5 minutes to catch each rat. If there are 100 rats to catch, that would take 1 cat 500 minutes to do.  But since the rats must be caught in just 100 minutes, that 1 rat would need four friends to help him (or her).  So the answer is 5 – it will take 5 cats to catch 100 rats in 100 minutes.  (assuming they don’t slow down during the 100 minutes of catching rats.)  Send your answer to this week’s contest to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca by Tuesday, at noon. All entries go into the monthly draw for a special prize. This week’s contest: Two painters can paint two rooms in two hours. If 12 rooms have to be painted in six hours, how many painters do you need?


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Amanda Hachey, former New Brunswicker, is soon finishing up her work with a farming co-op in Vietnam. Some of her colleagues at the co-op (Da Nang) have secured some funding to do a study tour of international co-ops over the next few years and Amanda is wondering if any Atlantic Canadian agricultural co-ops might be interested in hosting their fellow co-operators from overseas. See her blog at www.vistanam.blogspot.com

and contact her by email at adhachey@gmail.com if your co-op might be interested- Erin Hancock


Co-op Cooking – These days when I am looking forward to spring and the wonder of crocus appearing from beneath the snow, it seems I am constantly looking for something different for dinner. Here's a new taste for a couple of veggies I have been serving all winter that sometimes fills the bill.
Bean and Carrot Medley with Parmesan Vinagrette
1 1/2 cup green beans
1 1/2 cup carrots, cut into sticks

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
14 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
sprinkle of freshly ground pepper
Steam or boil beans and carrots together until tender-crisp. Drain well. Whisk vinegar, mustard and spices to combine. Add olive oil in slow stream, whisking to combine. Add Parmesan cheese and pepper. Whisk to blend. Add to hot vegetables; toss to coat.- Glenna Weagle


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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, Feb. 25, 2009