Week of June 27 – July 3, 2010, Vol. 5, No. 15

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

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “So much has been given to me; I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied.” - Helen Keller www.helenkellerfoundation.org 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

·        The former manager of Cheticamp Co-operative, Cyril Aucoin, 53, passed away peacefully on June 20, 2010 at the Sacred Heart Community Health Centre surrounded by his family. Born in Cheticamp, he was the son of the late Edouard (Eddie à Méderick) and Henriette (LeBlanc). Cyril worked for Robin Jones and Whitman for 30 years before assuming the managerial role at the Cheticamp Co-op in 2004. He was known as a hard worker who inspired many with his positive attitude, keen sense of humour, and kindness and generosity. In his spare time, he enjoyed hiking and spending time in the woods. Cyril was an avid golfer and loved to play cards with his many friends 'à la campe.' He was a member of the Cheticamp Legion, Branch 32, and served with the Cheticamp Search and Rescue and the North Inverness Recreation Community Association (NIRCA) for many years. Cyril was devoted to his family, community and customers. He helped those in need from all walks of life and knew everyone from Bay St. Lawrence to Port Hawkesbury. He knew their names, the names of their children, but mostly the year, make and colour of their car or truck. Cyril’s female cousins and nieces formed a choir for the funeral under the direction of one of his brothers who used to be the music teacher in Cheticamp. Shean Co-op store manager, Glenn MacEachern, sang solo during the funeral Mass. The church was packed. To his family, the Praskey family, and many others, he was the gifted seventh son, the light that showed the way. He will be sadly missed by his mother Henriette (Foyer Père Fiset), Cheticamp; his partner Sally Praskey; his brothers Michel (France), Grand Etang; Réné (Shelly), Cheticamp; Robert (Mary), Cheticamp; Réjean (Yolande), Cheticamp; Gérard (Joan), Mt. Pearl, NL; Claude (Diane), Halifax; and sister Nicole (Shawn) MacKenzie, Heatherton; and his very special friend Gordon Praskey. He was a devoted uncle to Brigitte, Jacynthe, Jean-Michel, Nicolas, Antoine, Arielle, Karina, Hayley, André, Karolyn, Rachelle and Marcelle, and godfather to Arielle Aucoin and Claire (Larade) Cann. He was predeceased by his brothers Marcel and Léonce and his nephew Jean-Phillipe. Funeral Mass was held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 25, St. Peter’s Church, Cheticamp. Interment to be held at a later date. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Sacred Heart Community Health Foundation or the Canadian Cancer Society. Online condolences may be sent to cyrilaucoin@hotmail.com  

·        Dr. Sonja Novkovic, an economics professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, has won the 2010 CASC Award of Merit from the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation. Dr. Novkovic teaches in Saint Mary’s Masters of Management Co-operatives and Credit Unions program as well as in the university’s economics department.  She is the academic lead researcher for the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network, http://www.coopscanada.coop/en/info_resources/CURA  a five-year, $1 million project aimed at studying the economic, social and environmental impact of co-operatives and credit unions in Canada. Dr. Novkovic was presented with her award at the CASC conference in Montreal on June 3.

·        The Canadian Co-operative Association (www.coopscanada.coop) is looking for someone to help with Agricultural and Financial Co-operative Development in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and surrounding rural areas. The length of the assignment is eight weeks, beginning in September. If you are interested, please send letter of intent and resumé to sarah.feldberg@coopscanada.coop by July 5, 2010.  This is a voluntary assignment. Domestic and international airfare, ground transport, visa, travel insurance, out of country accommodation, and a monthly meal/incidental allowance will be covered by CCA as per CCA guidelines.  

·        The inaugural Worker Co-op ‘Best Practices Award’ will be given out at this year’s 2010 CWCF Annual Conference in Vancouver (October 28-30). The Best Practices Award will enable sharing of innovative practices with other worker co-operatives in Canada to help strengthen the movement. It will also recognize worker co-operative excellence. The Worker Co-op Merit Award will be given to an individual to recognize outstanding contributions to the worker co-op movement. The Merit Award winner and one member of the co-op from the winner of the Best Practices Award will have their registration and travel expenses covered to attend the CWCF Conference. Deadline for nominations is August 27th. www.canadianworker.coop

·        The Canadian Co-operative Association’s Governance Award for small organizations went to the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation for its review and subsequent changes to its membership and governance systems and structures. The CCA panel also recognized CWCF’s success in bridging the gap between anglophone and francophone members, and its ability to carry out its work with limited resources. The changes have resulted in a more diverse board, a more engaged membership and they have enabled two Quebec federations to join CWCF for the first time. The CWCF’s Peter Hough accepted the award from CCA Board member Mary Nirlungayuk at the recently held CCA Congress in Vancouver. www.canadianworker.coop

·        Charlottetown Queen St. Farmers Market will open on Friday, July 2nd, 3PM The opening day features flour making demonstrations, music by children and traditional folk music entertainer Michael Pendergast, face painting for the kids and a variety of delicious foods. Located at 420 Upper Queen Street (south side of the Queen Street Co-op Food Market), the weekly market will operate from 3 to 8 PM every Friday throughout the summer and fall and will offer an array of fresh organic and conventional farm fresh produce, berries, fresh cut flowers, spices and herbs, organic fair trade coffee and a variety of ready to eat ethnic foods. For more information on the market call 626-4364 or email queenstfarmersmarket@gmail.com

·        The venue for the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation’s AGM/ Conference has been moved to downtown Vancouver, October 28-30. The keynote speaker will be Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation and former CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op. The theme is Worker Co-operatives and Sustainable Development. The CoopZone Developers’ Network will be hosting workshops in conjunction with the CWCF Conference. The location will be the YWCA Hotel, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. www.canadianworker.coop

·        Advance Savings Credit Union offers ways to cool down without breaking the bank this summer in Moncton, NB. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Advance-Savings-Credit-Union/35023037427?ref=ts#!/pages/Advance-Savings-Credit-Union/35023037427?v=app_2347471856&ref=ts to get Advance’s cool and refreshing tips.

·        Four credit unions placed this year in Progress Magazine’s annual list of Atlantic Canada’s Best Places to Work, an achievement indicating high levels of employee satisfaction. Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union placed 4th, Omista Credit Union in Moncton was 12th, Bayview Credit Union in New Brunswick was 20th and Heritage Credit Union was 24th.  Ambir, an IT consulting firm with offices in Halifax, Saint John, and Fredericton, placed first. One common factor for this roster of progressive employers is that many excel at recruiting and retaining employees. Overall engagement score for the organizations ranked on this year’s Best Places to Work list was 86% on average. Three-quarters of workplaces offer telecommuting options, 60% offer compressed workweeks, 17% offer eldercare assistance, and 30% provide adoption assistance. On average, organizations provide 39 hours of annual training per employee, 90% offer bonus or incentive opportunities, and 87% offer wellness or fitness programs. To determine the region’s Best Places to Work, Progress Magazine partners with Pennsylvania-based Best Companies Group (BCG), a research firm that manages best company programs in North America and one in Western Australia. BCG conducts an extensive two-part survey, including an organizational overview of each company’s policies and procedures and an in-depth employee questionnaire. “Making the list has become more competitive, and employee satisfaction levels required to make the list are climbing each year,” says BCG president Peter Burke. “Meeting these standards is no easy accomplishment.” The ranked companies and related stories appear in the July/August issue of Progress Magazine, and will be available online at www.progressmedia.ca.

·        Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union recognizes the contribution of graduating high school students to their community. The growth of Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union exemplifies the achievements of people working together in their own communities. The credit union encourages those qualities of good citizenship and co-operation through scholarship programs. Completed applications are required on or before September 15, 2010, in order for the application to be accepted. Go to: https://www.nlcu.com/Home/ProductsAndServices/YourMoney/Students/Scholarships/index.jsp for further details.


Co-op Ed 101 – This week with fresh strawberries arriving at Co-op stores, I decide to see if there was a strawberry co-op on the Web.  The Watsonville Berry Co-op http://www.berrycoop.com/  has been giving local growers a fair chance at making a profit in the competitive berry market for over 50 years. Started in 1954 when local growers, weary of dealing with produce brokers, decided to avoid the middleman and band together to market their own berries, the co-operative is now composed of 27 ranches whose strawberry and raspberry crops are marketed under the Berry Bowl label.

The Watsonville Berry Co-op is a Northern California organization with most of the growers in and around Watsonville. The Watsonville Berry Co-op is headquartered in the small town of Pajaro, just outside and to the south of Watsonville. - Maureen MacLean


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - CCA's International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) offers young graduates the work experience they need to secure good jobs - in Canada or abroad. It also provides them with an opportunity to discover the world and themselves. Applicants are asked to submit an application form, CV and cover letter as well as two reference forms by July 19, 2010. For more information on this year's internship program please email interns@coopscanada.coop - Erin Hancock


Contest of the Week – Last week’s winner: Marsha Long, Bayview CU and Joyce Humble, Progressive CU Answer: Cathy, the Credit Union CFO, sits directly across from Carl, the Co-op Store Manager. Congratulations! This week’s contest: Martin answered his mobile phone. “Martin here.” “It’s Holly. Do you have the package?” “Yes. I have it, in its box.” “Very good,” said Holly. “So send the box to me using the lock I gave you last time we met.” “I’m afraid I can’t,” said Martin. “Why not? The locking ring on the box is more than large enough to fit a padlock.” “I seem to have um, misplaced the lock.” “You what!” said Holly her voice whispering. “Do you have any other locks?” “Yes, but you don’t have the keys to them. We can’t risk sending an unsecured box, nor an unsecured key. Sending an unlocked lock is out of the question, because they re-lock themselves automatically after a 2 minute timeout.” “Okay.  I have a spare lock here... How much time do we have?” “Plenty,” replied Martin “Good. I have a solution,” said Holly. How can they get the box and the object from Martin to Holly without any security risk? 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


Today’s Smile - Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?


Co-op Cooking - When you want to serve a pasta that is a cut above the rest, try this seafood combination. Delicious!

Seafood Angel Hair

12 oz uncooked angel hair pasta

1/2 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 1/2 lbs fresh tomatoes (about 8 medium), chopped

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp chicken bouillon granules

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

8 oz imitation crab meat, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, sauté shrimp and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Remove from pan and keep warm. In same skillet, combine tomatoes, broth, sugar, bouillon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir in crab and shrimp. Heat through. Drain pasta and serve with seafood mixture – Glenna Weagle


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

·        August 6-8, 2010: The Work We Do is the Solution, 2010 National Worker Cooperative Conference, Clark Kerr Conference Center at UC Berkeley, Co-hosted by the USFWC and Bay Area worker cooperatives. http://www.usworker.coop/events/conference2010

·        Sept. 10-12, 2010, 750+ people will be in Boston for the largest Fair Trade conference in North American history. http://fairtradeconference.ning.com/ *Learn how to bring more Fair Trade into your Life, Town, and Business*Meet face-to-face with the Fair Trade Artisans and Farmers behind cool Products*Build Relationships with the larger Fair Trade Community*Pick up practical advice that's tailored to your needs as an Activist, Entrepreneur, Student, etc*Be a part of history! Futures Conferences only happen every five years - don't wait to be a part of this growing movement for change!


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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 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, July 7, 2010

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