Week of Feb 21– Feb 27, 2010, Vol. 5, No. 1

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

To subscribe or unsubscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca


Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” - E.B. White Charlotte’s Web en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._B._White Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to circles1@nbnet.nb.ca  


This Week in Co-op Circles

§      An East Coast Credit Union meeting is being seen as a positive step toward preventing branch closures. Richmond County Councillor Malcolm Beaton, who represents areas from D’Escousse to Rocky Bay, said an afternoon session in Port Hawkesbury on Sunday, Feb. 21 allowed both the company and its members to express concerns over the economic challenges facing three of the company’s 13 branches. Citing financial concerns, the banking co-operative announced in November it would close branches in North East Margaree in Margaree Centre, North Isle Madame in D’Escousse, and Mulgrave. The closures and the loss of seven full-time jobs was expected to take place at the end of February, however, the credit union’s board of directors delayed the decision following a public outcry from members and community representatives. The board has decided to put together a working committee of financial experts, credit union board members and customers. A study on the operation of East Coast Credit Union is expected to take place over the next 12-18 months.

§      The Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council will take part in a special announcement via live Webcast today, February 24, 2010.  Premier Darrell Dexter, Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse, and NS Cooperative Council CEO Dianne Kelderman will launch Target 100, a new employment program. To watch the live Webcast from your computer, go to http://gov.ns.ca/coms/target100  The broadcast will begin at 10a.m. from a downtown Halifax co-op location. 

§      The Coastal Financial Credit Union in Yarmouth is showing its support for Canadian Olympic athletes by making cash donations to the Yarmouth Food Bank every time Team Canada takes home a medal. Sonia Ryan, director of human resources, said the credit union will make the cash donation to the food bank, regardless of what colour the medal is. “We’re donating $100 for gold, $75 for silver and $50 for bronze.” Ryan said the idea for the credit union’s Olympic Fever, came about during a managers’ meeting. “We were all brain storming on ideas of how to help our community, when the general manager threw out the idea of Olympic Fever. From there we have all worked with it and have come up with what we have now.” She said, as part of the co-operative movement, the credit union is guided under the co-operative principles – one of which is serving the community. “That is more or less the spirit of where the discussion came from to enrich our community and what we can do, and we thought this would be a great idea to support the local community.”  This promotion will last throughout the Olympic Games.



The New TrendsReading and writing have always gone together. What we read or how we read, what we write or how we write, seem to be changing. For many, reading means emails, blogs or social networks rather than letters, books, newspapers or magazines. The Internet is not a trend anymore. It is the way we live, communicate and many like myself, even purchase items online. Businesses would be hard pressed to do away with it. Many of the new communication methods are being used very powerfully and profitably. Co-operative businesses need to take a serious approach to these new media communications. They can’t afford to let lack of insight or lack of understanding get in the way. Are you taking advantage of all the Internet has to offer or are you sitting back and watching? -  Steve MacDowall, Publisher of The Thursday File Subscribe. It’s FREE http://www.thursdayfile.ca   


Co-op Ed 101 This week Co-op Ed is thinking about co-ops that will keep you warm  in the middle of winter. Northern Star Worker Co-operative is owned and operated by a multicultural blend of artisans, including First Nations and Metis women, who sew traditional and contemporary Star Blankets of exceptional craftsmanship and remarkable beauty within the heart of Canada’s largest urban Aboriginal community.  See their star blankets http://www.northernstar.coop/ and click on “Products”. The history of Star Blankets dates back before European contact, with variations of the star design stretching across North and Central America. - Maureen MacLean


This Week’s Smile Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The Association for Non-Profit and Social Economy Research will be holding their 3rd Annual Conference as part of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences at Concordia University in Montreal from June 2-4, 2010. This conference showcases research related to non-profits, the voluntary sector, co-ops, charities, and other elements of the social economy. You can learn more about the conference and register at http://www.anser-ares.ca/files/en/Conference%20notice%202010%20Eng.pdf. Congratulations to the 2 graduate students who were recently awarded scholarships to attend the conference; Paulo Roberto Filho (Doctoral Candidate at UQAM) and Normand Landry (Doctoral Candidate at McGill University). -  Erin Hancock


Contest of the Week - Winner: Stephanie Christie, NB Answers: He waits until night time and goes through the first door. We had some interesting answers, including one which used a co-operatively made shoe. I think February is wearing people down! This week’s contest: How many Fs can you count? FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS. 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 - The hotness of curry powder varies dramatically depending on the blend of up to 20 different spices that can be used. Most commercially available curry powder is quite mild. If you would like a little more heat with your seafood, look for curry powder labeled “hot” or “Madras-style.”

Curried Seafood with Linguine

4 oz medium shrimp, peeled

4 oz sea scallops (halve large scallops)

6 oz dried linguine

1/3 cup apricot nectar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp cornstarch

¼ tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

½ cup thinly sliced carrots

3 cups coarsely chopped bok choy

2 green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 ½ to 2 tsp curry powder

 Rinse shrimp and scallops; pat dry with paper towels; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together apricot nectar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and ginger; set aside. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and carrots; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add bok choy and green onions; stir-fry for 2 minutes more. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon. In a medium bowl, toss shrimp and scallops with curry powder. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the seafood to skillet. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until seafood is opaque; push from center of skillet. Stir apricot nectar mixture; add to center of skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return vegetables to skillet. Stir all ingredients together to coat with sauce; heat through. To serve, spoon seafood mixture over hot cooked pasta. – Glenna Weagle


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to circles1@nbnet.nb.ca.

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

§      Apr 23-24, 2010 - Credit Union Central of New Brunswick holds its 2010 Tradeshow, being held in conjunction with it Annual General Meeting on April 23/24 in Saint John, NB

§      Mar 24-25, 2010 - Social Enterprise in Rural and Urban Development: A Learning Event Waterfront Campus – Nova Scotia Community College
Dartmouth, NS If you are involved in community development in Atlantic Canada or if your work involves non profit organizations or co-ops that serve marginalized communities, then these workshops and presentations will be informative and useful. Registration fee- $145 (includes ticket to Thursday evening’s gala event). Please note:  Financial assistance for travel and accommodations may be available to community groups who wish to send members.  Please apply soon as funds are limited. Write to patricia.beaton@cbdc.ca for more information.  Find out more information about the event at http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=343773985927&ref=mf

§      May 28, 2010 Co-operative Enterprise Council of NB’s AGM, Moncton, NB

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

§      June 9 – 12 – Co-op Housing Federation Annual General Meeting, London, ON

§      June 14-16, 2010 – Canadian Co-operative Association Congress 2010: Co-operation and sustainability: the way forward, The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC

§      June 23, 2010 – Nova Scotia Co-operative Council Annual General Meeting, Halifax, NS


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


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 circles1@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, Mar 3, 2010

Rising Tide Collective* - Erin Hancock, Brenda MacKinnon, Maureen MacLean, Glenna Weagle, Steve MacDowall