Week of Feb. 22– Feb. 28, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 7

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” - Jane Howard http://www.advocacy2.org/index.php/Network_Basics  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


·      For those interested in investing in the Just Us! Fair Trade Investment Co-operative, two public information sessions will be held: Just Us! Café, 5896 Spring Garden Road, Halfiax, Thursday, Feb 26, 7:30 PM, and Just Us! Café, Main Street, Wolfville, NS (held this past Sunday). People investing in this community economic development investment fund (CEDIF) are eligible to receive 30 per cent non-refundable provincial tax credit and RRSP tax benefits. For further information, contact Melissa Stewart (902) 542-7474, ext 248 or e-mail accounting@justuscoffee.com

·      The Cape Breton Stage Company Co-operative, a new theatre co-operative formed in Sydney to bring live theatre to the downtown area, wrapped up its production of Notes 2 last week. Built on the success of the 2008 production titled Notes, a work incorporating local songwriters, playwrights and directors, Notes 2 featured two plays, two movement pieces and one short film inspired by the song Days and Days by local singer songwriter Colette Deveaux.

·      In 1968 Frank Collins, a sixteen year old high school student, was instrumental in the establishment of the Clarenville Area Consumers Co-op.  To help celebrate the co-operative’s 40th anniversary and to pay special tribute to the man who started it all, the Frank Collins/Clarenville Area Co-op Honorary Scholarship was created.  Each year the co-op will award $1000 to a Level III student who demonstrates community mindedness, portrays a good work ethic and is the child of a Clarenville Area Co-op member.  The first scholarship was awarded in December 2008 to Michael Walsh from Shoal Harbour, Newfoundland who is currently attending Memorial University.

·      The Co-operators Group is sponsoring the Conference for Sustainability Leadership for university and college students, aged 19 – 25 in Guelph on Sept 24th-27th.  David Suzuki will be the keynote speaker and all conference, transportation, accommodation and meal expenses will be fully covered.  They are looking for youth from New Brunswick to attend as few have applied so far and the deadline is this Friday.   If you know of any young person in university or community college (as of September 2009) who might be interested, please let them know about this opportunity.  They must apply to http://www.impactyouthsustainability.ca no later than this Friday.  

·       CCEDNet will hold its annual conference in Winnipeg, MB on June 3-5 and “Celebrating Women in Co-ops – Who are they? Where are they? How does the co-op model work for them?” will be one of the workshops offered. It will include an overview about co-ops to set the context for the workshop: co-op principles, types and a scan of women’s role in Canada and a panel of women co-operators: including Nancy Hartling, Support to Single Parents, a Moncton organization partnering with the new Women’s Co-op Development Enterprise Centre, Musaghi Kizikilwa, Enviro-Safe, a worker co-op that provides cleaning services in Winnipeg and Rebecca Deng, Lost Boys and Girls of the Sudan, a worker co-op that provides catering services in Winnipeg. Facilitators will be:  Melanie Conn, Devco, a training and co-op development co-op based in Vancouver and Terri Proulx, SEED Winnipeg  For further information contact Melanie Conn, DEVCO-Co-op Development & Training, melanie@devco.coop www.devco.coop

·       Co-operatives across the region are trying to engage and retain youth as members/owners, volunteers and employees.  ACYL is recognized as the first step in this process.  The Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership program is hosting two seminars this spring in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.  The first seminar will be at Canoe Cove just outside Charlottetown, PE from April 30 – May 3, 2009.  The second seminar will be at Killdevil Camp in Gros Morne National Park, NL from May 21 – May 24, 2009.  Information on the fall seminar in Nova Scotia will be coming soon. ACYL is asking co-operatives and credit unions from around the Atlantic Provinces to help sponsor youth (14 to 18 years) to participate in this co-operative learning experience.  It is also an opportunity to empower one of your young leaders (employees) to volunteer at an ACYL event.   Youth and volunteer applications can be found at http://www.acyl.coop/english/wall.htm

·      Peter Leblanc of River Bourgeois, NS, is the 2008 The Co-operators Volunteer 4-H Leader of the Year. He was awarded a $1,000 grand prize for his more than 25 years of volunteering with 4-H. Leblanc was one of nine leaders from across the country selected for the award including Alain Blanchette, Westmorland County, Salisbury, NB, and Johanne Ings, Cherrycliff/Winsloe Brackley, Vernon, PEI. Collectively, the winners have more than 120 years of involvement with 4-H. “This award from The Co-operators and the Canadian 4-H Council is a great way to recognize the tireless efforts of our more than 8,500 volunteers,” said Canadian 4-H Council President Bob McAuley. “Without them, we would not have the vibrant 4-H program in Canada that we have today. http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/index.cfm?sid=223547&sc=586

·      The Co-operators Group Ltd. has announced an expansion of its membership as five co-operatives recently became member-owners of the organization. A total of 46 Canadian co-ops, credit union centrals and like-minded organizations now comprise the co-operative ownership group, following The Co-operators Board of Directors' approval of membership applications from Co-operative Auto Network, Farmers Co-operative Dairy Ltd., Granny's Poultry Cooperative Ltd., Organic Meadow Co-operative Inc., and United Community Services Co-op. http://micro.newswire.ca/release.cgi?rkey=1701096212&view=27607-0&Start=0

·      Five staff members from The Co-operators group of companies will soon be participating in short-term volunteer opportunities overseas. The volunteers were selected from across Canada, and will be sharing their professional skills with community organizations in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in March 2009.It’s all part of a new partnership The Co-operators has developed with Leave for Change, a volunteer program run by Uniterra. Uniterra is Canada’s largest international volunteer organization and is funded through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Through Leave for Change, The Co-operators volunteers will participate in work assignments of three weeks. Read more at http://micro.newswire.ca/release.cgi?rkey=1702117381&view=27607-0&Start=0


Trends – I wrote in this space last year about a company offering smart distributed power (www.qurrent.com), where households on a street generate and share their own energy though a number of innovations. Well, one of the easiest ways for households to save 5 to 15% on their energy bills is to show the householders their rate of consumption in real time. “Most people have only a vague idea of how much energy they are using for different purposes and what sort of difference they could make by changing day-to-day behaviour or investing in efficiency measures.” (2006, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford). It turns out that when consumers ARE made aware of their energy use in real-time – for example, a meter identifies the appliances and the amount of energy they’re using), those same consumers can manage their use toward a reduction of 5 to 15 percent, without radically changing their lifestyle. Google has recently launched a service it’s calling PowerMeter that shows a household’s energy use in real time. As Google explains it: “Google PowerMeter will receive information from utility smart meters and energy management devices and provide anyone who signs up access to her home electricity consumption right on her iGoogle homepage.” There is a fair bit of way to go – connecting with the smartmeters, getting permission from the utilities, etc, but this simple fact mentioned earlier – put people in control – has potential. See more at www.google.org/powermeter/  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: “I learned that the beaches are often polluted so kids can’t play there safely.  The people use boats a lot to get from place to place and many houses have tin sheets for roofs.” -Jedidah W, Grade 6,  NL


Co-op Ed 101 – This week I have been thinking about nice fresh food because in Atlantic Canada everything is covered in snow. A bit of research and I found this co-op in Nebraska. I think it would be a pleasure to join it and volunteer. Nebraska Food Co-op serves Nebraska farmer and producers and consumers may join the cooperative and be buyers, sellers or both.  These producers and consumers care about the land, share an enjoyment of simple food, and seek equitable relationships. It is a marketing and distribution service designed to improve market access for farmer producers and local food access for consumers. http://www.nebraskafood.org/about.phpur   Mission: To foster a local food community and promote a culture of stewardship by cultivating farmer-consumer relationships, promoting the enjoyment of healthful food, increasing food security through diversity, and enhancing overall rural sustainability. - Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      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: Marsha Long, Bayview Credit Union, Saint John, NB had the first correct submission. Answer: 4 painters  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: I recently gave a new watch to my friend for his birthday. However, as usual with my presents, it was quite useless as it gains 6 minutes every hour. I set it using my own accurate clock at midnight and the watch now shows 8:26 am. I know that it stopped 30 minutes ago, so what is the correct time now?


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The Sleepless Goat young worker co-op café in Kingston, Ontario has recently added to its ethical operations. On top of offering fair trade coffee and products, they have recently started using biodegradable coffee cups. Learn more about the café at http://www.thesleeplessgoat.ca/main.html

- Erin Hancock


Co-op Cooking – This is a great tasting one-dish Mediterranean-style recipe. Add a Chef Salad (or Greek or Caesar), good whole-grain bread, a glass of wine and a light dessert and you have a fantastic meal. 
Mediterranean Paella
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 bell peppers (red, yellow and green), seeded and chopped
1 lb. boneless chicken breast
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil (or canola oil if you prefer)
3 oz sausage - spiced to your taste
8 oz canned, chopped tomatoes
1 cup brown rice
pinch of saffron
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 oz firm white fish fillet, deboned and cut into shrimp-sized pieces
2 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Heat oil in large, deep skillet or wok. Add chicken cubes, onion, peppers and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes, (until vegetables soften), stirring occasionally. Add sausage, tomatoes, brown rice, saffron and chicken broth to pan. Bring to boil; cover and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook for another 15 minutes. Add shrimp, fish and parsley. Return to boil, then simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes (until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender). - 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, Mar 4, 2009