March 2009

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Lead Story

Small Cheques Add Up to Big Impact: Victoria Residents and Multicultural Environmental Education Program Help Newcomer Families Invest in Climate Action

Heidi and Jorge Contreras are parents of three children and last month their family received their very first organic local food delivery from Share Organics, a Victoria-owned organic food delivery service that is committed to supporting and promoting local growers in sustainable organic agriculture. Heidi and her family arrived in Victoria as refugees from Guatemala just three months ago. Every two weeks for the next six months, they will come home to a box of fresh organic produce from local farms - and it's free thanks to a unique partnership between the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society's Multicultural Environmental Education Program and The Great Rebate Eco-Challenge. Heidi and her family are one of the seven lucky recipients of Eco-Friendly Prizes, an initiative that gives newcomer families access to products and services that not only meet their basic settlement needs, but also allow them to experience the direct benefits of sustainable living.

The day before their first delivery, Heidi shares the whole family's excitement about receiving their food box. "In Guatemala, there are very little organic options in the grocery store. You have to go the farmers that sell their vegetables, and sometimes that is not always possible. In Canada, I noticed there are many options and you can see where the food is from. We're very happy and we feel very fortunate because we know that there were a lot of families that applied for this prize. We're really looking forward to trying the local food in Canada. It's like a surprise for us, especially for the boys when they come home from school."

The Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre (VIRCS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 by three former refugees. Each year the Centre serves over 2,500 clients like the Contreras family, supporting newcomers with their settlement needs as they adapt to their new lives in Victoria. The Centre is committed to helping newcomers overcome barriers to integration and participation in their communities.

As the newest initiative at VIRCS, the Multicultural Environmental Education Program (MEEP) brings together and supports the multicultural community in making sustainable choices for a healthy planet. The program offers workshops, outings, multilingual educational resources and one-on-one support for individuals and families interested in taking environmental action. Bringing the multicultural community together around an important global issue is a powerful strategy that has many overlapping benefits. The majority of existing environmental education resources are not created for a multicultural audience, leaving newcomers out of the picture, and consequently, out of community participation. As newcomers navigate a new culture, MEEP strives to meet their dual needs for belonging and community as well as an overall sense of health and well-being, including caring for the environment. As a community-based program, it makes environmental education accessible and relevant to the lives of the multicultural community, addressing the multiple barriers and misconceptions about green living, and offering newcomers an opportunity to connect with other individuals, families and organizations in the Greater Victoria region.

"The creation of strong partnerships with local environmental groups and climate change experts ensures that MEEP is not re-inventing the wheel in the delivery of programs, but rather, capitalizing on community assets by linking individuals and organizations already doing great work in environmental education with the multicultural community," says Program Coordinator Gagan Leekha.

Tapping into existing programming in environmental education creates opportunities for environmental groups to learn about the needs and perceptions of the multicultural community. At the same time, it provides newcomers an opportunity to participate in local environmental workshops, projects or outings that may not have otherwise been accessible. The Eco-Friendly Prizes is a tangible example of a great partnership between MEEP and The Great Rebate Eco-Challenge (GREC). GREC was formed by a group of citizens in Victoria in the spring of 2008 when they decided to pool their $100 Climate Action Dividends and donate it to MEEP to help newcomer families invest in climate action. In addition to organic food delivery, GREC raised nearly $2000 to fund the other eco-friendly prizes: a fully-equipped bicycle with helmet, lock and lights, a backyard composter, non-toxic cleaning products, energy-efficient light bulbs and baby products such as reusable diapers and organic baby clothing. Each prize comes with a free educational workshop from the program's community partners, including The Good Planet Company, The Mothering Touch and the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre.

"Our winners demonstrated a genuine need as well as a commitment to climate action," says MEEP Communications Coordinator Rosalyn Cua, who emphasized the importance of individual actions leading to significant change. "GREC was a small group of individuals who set an example and inspired seven families, and these seven families can inspire even more people. At this stage we can no longer simply rely on government or policies for change. Each individual action, however small, counts. We think it's important to recognize and remove barriers to action - and spread the message of hope and responsibility for our planet."

For more information about the Multicultural Environmental Education Program, please visit the VIRCS website or email


CCEDNET Annual conference ‘Registration Now Open'

Register Online Now!

2009 National CED Conference, Winnipeg, MB (June 3-5)

The theme of this year's conference is Full Circle: Sharing a Vision for the 7th Generation. Our inspiration is an original law kept and maintained by generations of Aboriginal people: just as our actions will affect generations to come, we are living in a world that was shaped by those before us. Aboriginal elders remind us to think and decide in a way that is conscious of the seven generations of people that will be born in the future - ensuring that we respect our Mother Earth and her spirited beings.

Hosted at the University of Winnipeg, this year's conference includes over 45 learning and information sharing sessions, as well as exciting site visits and networking opportunities. All plenary sessions and keynote addresses, as well as numerous workshops in each time slot, will have simultaneous translation into French and English.



The Canadian CED Network Publishes - The Social Economy Stories

The Social Economy stories are designed to provide practitioners' perspectives on what the Social Economy means to them and their communities. These stories capture the human face of the sector and demonstrate the Social Economy as a real movement that is addressing the social, economic and environmental challenges of today in integrative and innovative ways. Click here to download>>

Municipal Recreation Food Environment Action Toolkit

The toolkit is designed to enable a facility to become a "Healthy Choices Facility" by providing a step-by-step implementation guide. A print copy will be provided to all approved grant applicants. Click here to download>>

Point-of-Purchase marketing materials

Materials have been developed to ensure consumer awareness of the availability and health benefits of making a healthy choice when selecting a food or beverage product for sale. The marketing resources have been evaluated to ensure effectiveness in encouraging healthy active living and informed choices by patrons. These materials will be provided to all approved grant applications. Click here to download>>

Brand Name Food List website

The website provides easy access to information on the foods that fit within the Guidelines for Food & Beverage Sales in BC Schools and the Healthier Choices in Vending Machines in BC Public Buildings.  Click here to download>>



CCEDNET AGM Call for Nominations and Resolutions

2009 Call For CCEDNet Board Nominations
Nominations are currently being sought for three positions on CCEDNet's Board of Directors. Anyone with energy and a vision for the CED movement in Canada is encouraged to submit a candidacy. The deadline to receive nominations is April 22, 2009.

This year we are seeking nominations for three at-large directors who will be elected to a three-year term by the members.

For more information: 2009 Call for Nominations 

2009 Call for Resolutions
All resolutions must be submitted to Bianca Mathieu at no later than April 22, at 4:00 p.m. (PST). Late resolutions will be held over to the AGM in the following year.
All sponsors of resolutions will be contacted no later than May 13. At that time, sponsors will be notified that their resolution will be presented at the AGM or that the resolution has been rejected because it does not fulfill the requirements.

For more information: 2009 Call for Resolutions


The Government Non-Profit Initiative

The Government Non-Profit Initiative (GNPI) has approved a short-term Action Plan for the fiscal year 2009/10. This Plan has been posted in Power Point format to the GNPI website  for you to view at your leisure. We hope you will take the time to peruse it, share it with others in your organizations and pass it on through your networks.

This Action Plan has been developed over the past year in collaboration with hundreds of Government and Non-Profit participants like you, who have shared your time, talent, energy, intellect and ideas to identify strategies and define actions that will strengthen the partnership between the two sectors and improve the quality of life for British Columbians.

Teamwork between the sectors and amongst communities has given the Initiative credibility and respect, and is largely responsible for our success to date. As we move forward with the Action Plan, we anticipate further engagement opportunities for the GNPI, including involvement in Work and Advisory Groups, consultations, pilot projects, surveys, and workshops and conferences. If you would like to participate in future GNPI activities, please send a note that expresses your interest to the e-mail indicated on the website.

Faye Wightman David Morhart
President and CEO Deputy Solicitor General
Vancouver Foundation Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General


Labour Market Development Agreement

On February 2, 2009, a Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) update regarding the successful transfer of Employment Insurance (EI) Part II programs and services to the Province was posted.

In the coming weeks, the Ministry will make further updates and improvements to the website, adding more information and resources for stakeholders. You can find the new employment and labour market services website at this address:

Many of you may have questions regarding the recently announced federal budget and what the implications might be for employment and labour market services in the province, particularly as many of you are seeing an increased need. With diverse programming to address a wide array of these needs the Province wants to assure you that the ministry is working diligently to consider the fastest, most effective way to respond to clients and the public. As service providers, you are encouraged to connect with your Program Officers to explore ways to enhance services to meet the growing economic pressures.

Once the Province has more details on the impact of the recent budget announcement, we will share this information with you. The Province will also be working closely with our service providers to consider and implement responses and will continue to provide updates as we progress. In the meantime, however, should you have any questions or concerns, please continue to work through your Program Officer relationships.

Heather Dickson & Allison Bond
Assistant Deputy Minister
Employment and Labour Market Services Division
Ministry of Housing and Social Development


Council of the Federation Literacy Award - Call for Nominations

The Council of the Federation (COF) Literacy Award was established by Canada's Premiers to recognize outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy. People with high literacy skills enjoy increased employment opportunities, better health and greater engagement in the community. This, in turn, contributes to overall economic and social prosperity across Canada.
The call for nominations for the award in British Columbia is now open. To be eligible for the COF Literacy Award, nominees must have resided in British Columbia for at least two years and consent to their nomination. Each year, 13 COF Literacy medallions are awarded, one for each province and territory.

The award covers the entire spectrum of the field, including early childhood, family, Aboriginal, health, workplace and community literacy. Recipients of the award can be educators, volunteers, learners and community organizations (including non-governmental organizations), and businesses in each province and territory.

This is an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of people from all walks of life who are contributing to increased literacy across British Columbia. You are encouraged to consider nominating an individual, group or project that has made a significant contribution to the field of literacy in British Columbia, or who as a learner has achieved individual learning success. The deadline for nominations is May 29, 2009.

To access the nomination form and other information, please visit the Ministry of Education's Literacy website.


Co-operative News Briefs

Federal Government Invests in BC Food Processing Co-op

The Government of Canada is providing support to a food processing co-op in BC's Queen Charlotte Islands that will help it refine the technology to produce dried wild chanterelle mushrooms.

The Haida Gwaii Local Foods Processing Co-operative received $22,605 through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food  (ACAAF) program, and delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation (IAF) of B.C.

The Haida Gwaii Local Foods Processing Co-operative works to create local employment on the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) and ensure that wild food resources are harvested sustainably for local benefit. Changes to the existing technology will result in a more consistent end-product, and ensure that the co-op can produce sufficient volume and quality of product to support a commercial enterprise.

"These funds will contribute to growing a sustainable business," said Lynda Dixon, general manager and director of the Cooperative, adding that the funding will provide employment opportunities. "Our Co-op was created in order to bring economic benefits from Haida Gwaii's natural resources in a way that respects the cycles of nature."


Tully, Bauer re-elected as President and Vice-chair of FCL

Glen Tully and Beryl Bauer have been re-elected as president and vice-chair of the board of Federated Co-operatives Limited  (FCL) on March 3. The election took place at the board reorganization meeting following FCL's 80th annual meeting, held in Saskatoon.

The FCL board of directors consists of 19 members elected from 19 geographical regions in western Canada. The president is primarily responsible for the functioning of the democratic decision making structure that guides the operations of FCL. The FCL presidency is a full-time position, based at FCL's home office in Saskatoon.

Glen Tully was first elected president of FCL in 2005; Beryl Bauer was first elected vice-chair in 2008.

FCL provides central wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative services to approximately 265 autonomous member retail co-operatives located across western Canada. FCL achieved record sales of $8.4 billion and record earnings of $755.5 million in 2008.


Credit Unions on List of best diversity employers

Two credit unions have been recognized by Mediacorp Canada for their work in embracing the principles of diversity.

Assiniboine Credit Union and Vancity are on the list of Canada's 35 best diversity employers, compiled by the company which publishes Canada Employment Weekly and other employment-related publications.

Assiniboine Credit Union was cited for its representation of Aboriginal, minority and disabled workers within its workforce, while Vancity was cited for its sponsorship of Vancouver's Gay Pride parade and its efforts to recruit employees from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community.


Local Government Headlines

Kelowna Launches New Online Interactive Mapping

The City of Kelowna has launched an interactive feature on its website, giving residents a big-picture view of construction projects.

Vancouver to Create Community Garden on City Hall Lawn

City of Vancouver announced that a portion of the City Hall lawn will be converted into a community garden. The idea to grow local food on the grounds of City Hall is the first Quick Start recommendation to come from the Greenest City Action Team.

New Westminster Regains Significant Historic Waterfront

New Westminster City Council has approved the purchase of a 600 metre section of the City's waterfront for future public use.

Joint Infrastructure Funding Projects Announced in Eleven Communities

A joint federal-provincial investment of $110 million will allow a total of 41 projects to break ground, and the funds will allow faster money flow for targeted infrastructure projects in British Columbia communities.

Port Coquitlam Launches New Initiative to End Homelessness

Port Coquitlam has launched its new Mayors Action Team on Homelessness, a group with the sole mission of creating and implementing a strategy to end homelessness.


Funding Opportunities

Canada-BC Building Fund: Communities Compenent

Grant provider: Government of Canada, Province of BC, Union of BC Municipalities.
Application deadline: April 24, 2009.

Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage

Grant provider: Canadian Heritage.
Application deadline: April 30, 2009.

Stay Active Eat Healthy Initiative

BCRPA and UBCM are pleased to announce that the the Stay Active Eat Healthy Initiative is offering grants of up to $7,500 each to communities as part of Phase 3 of its funding program.

Thirty grants are being offered to local governments. Five grants are being offered to First Nations.
The deadline for applications for both sets of grants is May 1. For more information, visit the website at

Newly Elected Community to Community Forum Program

Grant provider: Union of BC Municipalities, First Nations Summit.
Application deadline: June 5, 2009.

Remote Community Clean Energy Program

Grant provider: Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
Application deadline: December 15, 2010.

SolarBC Program

Grant provider: Natural Resources Canada, Province of BC.
Application deadline: March 31, 2011.



SFU Certificate for Community Economic Development Professionals

Click here for more information>>

Spring 2009
CED Approaches to Affordable Housing, April 24-25

Spring 2009
Sustainable Development and CED, May 29-30

*New* Register online - click here 

What students have to say about the program...

Honestly, I think it is some of the most practical education I have ever received.
Patricia Morgan, Dawson Creek

The whole program has really been a huge benefit to me. It has helped develop my skills and increased my understanding of the issues relating to CED. I like the format, having two days and then an assignment; the assignments have been valuable and applicable.... Good good good.
Kevin Koopmans, Community Futures South Fraser



Enterprising Non-Profits orientation sessions

April 2, Revelstoke
April 21, Kitimaat Village
April 23, Burns Lake
April 24, Vanderhoof
April 29, Crankbrook


SWANA's 24th Annual Pacific Northwest Regional & Canadian Solid Waste Symposium

April 1 to 3, 2009 at the Richmond Hotel and Convention Centre in Richmond.


Summit of Provincial Social Service Organizations & Networks 

Friday, April 3, 2009. The summit is planned to bring together leaders from provincial social service organizations and networks to build a strong and cohesive community social services / non-profit sector in BC.
Click here to download the invitation.


GPIP Speaker Series Susan Davidson session

Should we be measuring how well we are doing by how much we shop?!

Currently, we measure economic progress with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is simply the total monetary value of all the goods and services that are exchanged within a country in a year.
But we know that economic growth is not always good; often an increased GDP means money has been spent to clean up an environmental catastrophe or to build more prisons or to process and consume depleted natural resources.

The GDP also does not count some of our greatest sources of wealth such as volunteering, community safety or clean air and water.

The Genuine Progress Index (GPI) is a more reliable measurement of whether a country or community's production of goods and services has contributed to the well-being of citizens and to the sustainability of the planet. That is because the GPI differentiates between positive and negative impacts; and looks at myriad factors such the amount of productive farmland, the value of unpaid work and even the level of personal happiness.

Genuine Progress Index Pacific is presenting a five-part Speaker Series, each highlighting a unique perspective about genuine progress.

The second speaker in the series is Susan Davidson, an owner-member of Glorious Organics Co-operative who will be presenting The Value of Farming on April 6 at 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Central Library, 300 West Georgia St.

Susan was an early Board Member of Your Local Farmers Market Society in Vancouver. She has been a regular vendor at the Trout Lake Farmers Market, first with the Langley Organic Growers collective and more recently with the Organic Farm Connection. Currently she is helping to establish the Langley Community Farmers Market at Kwantlen University campus closer to home.



Measuring Up the North Spring Conference 

April 6 to 8, 2009 at the Prince George Civic Centre in Prince George.


Reflection on Action: Influencing Purposeful Change in Ourselves & Communities

Date: April 15, 2009
Location: Civic Centre, Prince George BC
Cost: $55.95 + GST (early bird until March 16) $69.95 + GST (regular price)

Join us for a one day workshop on reflection-on-action, delivered by the Storytellers' Foundation. You will explore theories on reflection and change and identify the governing variables that influence your practice. This event is highly interactive! At the end of the day you will be familiar with the reflection-on-action tool kit and have the knowledge and information necessary to guide a small group of colleagues in weekly reflective practice.

Don't delay, book your tickets today to cash in on the early bird price!


Building a Business Case Workshop

May 12, 2009 in Victoria.


Canadian Social Forum

May 19-22, 2009
Calgary, AB


Northern Sustainability Summit: Our Commnuities, Our Future 

May 28 and 29, 2009 at the Hudson's Bay Lodge in Smithers.


Economic Development Association of Canada and Economic Development Association of BC 2009 Conference

Vancouver - September 18-23, 2009 - Click here


Impact! The Co-operators Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership

Achieving sustainability requires a multi-disciplinary approach and a broad social commitment. It also requires the energy and passion of youth.

That's why The Co-operators has launched an unprecedented partnership of business, academia and non-government organisations to bring together students from all fields of study from across Canada to develop and implement real sustainability solutions for their current lives and their future careers.
All conference related expenses will be covered for selected participants. Your contribution is time and commitment.

  • September 24-27th, 2009 at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario
  • 180 university & college students from across Canada
  • Explore tangible multi-industry and sector sustainability solutions with national business and academic leaders
  • Build networks and develop skills to lead sustainability initiatives long after the conference
  • Network and learn from students like you who are excited, empowered & equipped for change

Share this message or URL with your network, especially with students. To learn more visit or contact us at

Conference partners: The Co-operators, Research Network for Business Sustainability, David Suzuki Foundation, The Natural Step, the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University, AIESEC, Coopsco, the University of Saskatchewan's Centre for the Study of Co-operatives and the Richard Ivey School of Business.



Ecological Economics: Prosperity for a Sustainable Society
 - Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE) 8th Biennial Conference

Vancouver - October 15-17, 2009


The International Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference

November 1 - 3, 2009
Portland, Oregon



Museum Assistant, Curatorial - Township of Langley.
Posting expires: Friday, April 03, 2009.

Museum Assistant, Education - Township of Langley.
Posting expires: Friday, April 03, 2009.

Curator, Richmond Art Gallery - City of Richmond.
Posting expires: Friday, April 03, 2009.

Visual Art Programs Assistant - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Friday, April 03, 2009.

Secretary / Treasurer - Langley School District.
Posting expires: Monday, April 06, 2009.

Compensation and Benefits Manager - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Friday, April 10, 2009.

Hiking Instructors - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Saturday, April 11, 2009.

Kayak / Canoe Instructors - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Saturday, April 11, 2009.

Summer Students - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Saturday, April 11, 2009.

Communication Specialist, Mayor's Office - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Friday, April 17, 2009.

Application Analyst 3 - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Tuesday, April 21, 2009.

Database Analyst 3 - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Tuesday, April 21, 2009.

Accounts Payable Clerk - City of Port Coquitlam.
Posting expires: Thursday, April 23, 2009.

Community Services Assistant 5 - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Friday, April 24, 2009.

Director of Engineering - Town of Strathmore.
Posting expires: Friday, April 24, 2009.

Functional Application Specialist 1, Payroll - City of Surrey.
Posting expires: Sunday, April 26, 2009.

GIS Coordinator - City of Cranbrook.
Posting expires: Sunday, May 03, 2009.

ERP Functional Resource Manager - City of Burnaby.
Posting expires: Friday, June 05, 2009.




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