May 2010

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Profile - Prairie Lily Funeral Co-operative

Canadian CED Network News

Saskatchewan CED News

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Profile - Prairie Lily Funeral Co-operative


Prairie Lily Funeral Co-operative

Regina, Saskatchewan
The Prairie Lily Funeral Co-operative is a not-for-profit community service co-operative that intends to provide funeral services at a much lower price than privately owned and corporate funeral homes.
Noting a growing trend of “no funeral by request” as a way to avoid bringing financial burden to loved ones, the co-op came together as a group of citizens concerned that families often face huge funeral expenses. With the belief that people should feel confident that loved ones can pass without the burden of expensive services, the group felt that the co-operative business model was a perfect answer.
What makes Prairie Lily different from non-co-operative funeral services? Jeannette Miller, founding president of Prairie Lily, answered like this. “That is a no brainer! We are not focused on our shareholders and their profits and dividend checks. We want to assist people dealing with a major life event and charge a fair price to provide that service. Prairie Lily is not trying to convince people that a $10,000 funeral somehow gives greater meaning to the life of an individual. Something has gone astray that funerals are amongst the top five of life’s major expenses: house, car, education, wedding and funeral. Prairie Lily is trying to educate people about the choices they can make for much less and still honour their loved one with dignity.”
In March 2006, just over a year after its first public interest meeting, Prairie Lily became incorporated as a not-for-profit community co-operative with 30 members. Members are anyone and everyone, though currently the majority are seniors and soon-to-be seniors. Members have the opportunity to be elected to join the board each year, and can also participate by voicing their opinion at the monthly Board Meetings and AGM. The goal is to have a founding member base of 1000 people.
Thanks to the Saskatchewan Co-op Association for this profile. Read the full text, and other co-op profiles, on the SCA website 
Contact Prairie Lily Funeral Co-op
Phone: (306) 779-4007

Canadian CED Network News

Social Enterprise Summit - San Francisco

A few weeks ago Assiniboine Credit Union sponsored a delegation of CCEDNet staff and members to attend the 2010 Social Enterprise Summit in San Francisco. More than 730 social entrepreneurs and social enterprise enthusiasts from over 30 countries attended over 40 sessions and tours, shared ideas and made connections. Most importantly, they were inspired to become part of an expanding movement to address some of the world toughest challenges. Download the Summit Program Book or visit the Social Enterprise Alliance.

Make Poverty History and Dignity for All

In an effort to contribute to national and international efforts to eliminate poverty, the Canadian CED Network continues to participate in monthly meetings with Make Poverty History and Dignity For All.

Make Poverty History is preparing to launch At the Table - a global campaign engaging citizen voices calling for bold action on poverty, climate change and the global economy in major 2010 summits. Individuals and organizations are being invited through this campaign to “take their place” alongside world leaders when they meet in Ontario this June at the G8 and G20 summits. Individuals can “take their place” through five core campaign actions. For more information about At the Table policy goals, campaign actions and for a toolkit to help you and your organization participate in the campaign, go to

The Dignity For All campaign is calling on the federal government for 1. A comprehensive, integrated federal plan for poverty elimination. 2. A federal Act to eliminate poverty, promote social inclusion and strengthen social security. 3. Sufficient federal revenue to invest in social security. The campaign held an event in Ottawa on February 1st called Dish on Dignity: A Discussion about Eradicating Poverty in Canada. The event brought low-income citizens, politicians and social justice representatives together around a table to engage in dialogue on the topic of poverty elimination in Canada. Dignity for All continues to seek new individuals and organizations to join the nearly 5000 individuals, 300 groups, 45 MPs, and 6 Senators that support the campaign to date.

CCEDNet in the Sault

On April 27, 28, and 29 the Canadian CED Network presented at and participated in a policy forum hosted by the Community Economic and Social Development Program at Algoma  University as part of the LLL Social Economy Research Program led by the University of Saskatchewan.  The forum allowed participants to explore and develop policy recommendations for government on how to strengthen, expand and support the social economy in rural, remote, First Nations and urban centres of Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  Participants also explored how they have influenced policy change as well as how they could collaborate to further influence policy change.  Points that were consistently raised included the need to strengthen partnerships between governments, universities, and communities and the importance of engaging community in research and policy development.

Saskatchewan CED News

Member Meeting in Saskatoon

On May 20 members met at Quint Development Corporation to discuss local priorities regarding a policy agenda for “Building a People Centred Economy.” This was an opportunity for members to connect locally, but also to input a Saskatchewan flavor into the national dialogue that will be occurring next week in Ottawa. Follow these links to read the Summary of Recommendations and the discussion papers prepared for the Summit. To comment on any of these recommendations and discussion papers, please contact Brendan Reimer at

CCEDNet urges SK gov to reverse NDO cut

Saskatchewan’s March 24 budget eliminated funding for neighbourhood development organizations. CCEDNet has written to the Premier and Minister of Social Services urging the government to reverse this decision. Read the full text of our letter here.

FCL Finalist for Sustainability Award

Saskatoon-based Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) is one of four finalists for the 2010 Saskatoon Achievement in Business Excellence (SABEX) Award in the environmental sustainability category.
The awards are presented by the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce to recognize business success in a variety of areas.  The sustainability award will be made to a business that has demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental sustainability by:
  • taking action to reduce its environmental footprint, which results in a measurable environmental improvement in its own business;
  • providing innovative products or services, which has resulted in a footprint reduction and environmental improvement elsewhere and/or;
  • actively promoting and engaging in environmental sustainability with its stakeholders. 

The winners will be announced at the SABEX Awards Gala on May 18.

Centre for the Study of Co-operatives to Launch 25th Anniversary Exhibition

The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan is about to launch an exhibition of research results from the project titled “Linking, Learning, Leveraging: Social Enterprises, Knowledgeable Economies, and Sustainable Communities”. An important feature of the exhibit is a travelling component that will be sent out to regional museums, schools, and local co-ops and credit unions after its initial run in Saskatoon.

The exhibit will be launched at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre on May 18th and run for six months. It will be the centerpiece of the 25th anniversary celebrations for the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives.

CED Tool

Creating a Non-Profit Organization

Interested in starting a non-profit organization? Don’t know how?

Don’t fret! Volunteer Manitoba has created a detailed report on the terminology, necessary start-up information, structural elements of a non-profit and other important issues to consider. This tool is a valuable resource to draw from that will introduce you to the wide range of programs, services and regulations involved when creating and operating a non-profit organization.

National CED News

Raj Patel, David Berge to Speak at National Summit

Raj Patel, world-renowned economist and author of the best-selling book The Value of Nothing and David Berge, Vancity's senior vice-president for social finance will be two of the speakers at the National Summit on a People-Centred Economy - May 30-June 1 in Ottawa.
Mr. Patel is best known for his work on the global food crisis and environmental and economic sustainability.  Mr. Berge was appointed in 2009 as Vancity's first senior vice-president for social finance.

The Summit will also feature a presentation by Michael Peck, North American representative of Mondragon International and Ken Delaney of the United Steelworkers, who will speak about their joint initiative to develop manufacturing co-ops in the United States and Canada.

For more information on the Summit, go to

Blackburn, Ignatieff to Speak at National Summit

The upcoming National Summit on a People-Centred Economy has been getting the attention of Canadian political leaders.

The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) and the Honourable Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Opposition, will both speak at the Summit. Mr. Blackburn is also the federal cabinet minister responsible for co-operatives.
More than 300 people are expected to attend the Summit, which is organized by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet), the Canadian Co-operative Association, the Chantier de l'économie sociale and other organizations. for more information on the Summit.

If you can' t attend the Summit, follow the action on CCA's Summit blog, written by Donna Balkan, CCA communications manager and editor of Co-operative News Briefs. The blog can be accessed from starting on May 30.

UVic Masters in Community Development

The University of Victoria has welcomed the first cohort of students to its new Master of Arts in Community Development (MACD) program.
Developed in collaboration with practitioners from the non-profit, co-operative and community economic development sectors, the part-time program is aimed at community leaders and practitioners in these sectors.
The MACD is primarily delivered online with three 10-day residential periods at the University of Victoria.  Students focus on one of three streams: co-operatives, non-profits or community economic development.

Students join the program in May and courses are offered all year round.  For more information on the program, go to

Carrot Cache Launches Innovation Prize in Organic Farming

Carrot Cache launches its first ever Innovation Prize for organic farmers. The $500 Innovation Prize will be awarded for best, innovative, low cost solution to planting, managing, harvesting, post harvest handling, or processing of food grown on your small Canadian organic urban or rural farm.

The first year’s prize will encourage organic farmers to share creative ways to build their farms’ balance sheet as well as the soil. Click here for more information.

Canada Revenue Agency Fact Sheet for Small and Rural Charities

An important new fact sheet is now available that outlines the differences between Related and Unrelated Businesses (only Related Businesses can be operated within a charity), how to treat an Unrelated Business, the pros and cons of each, and the nuances of Social Businesses and Training Businesses.

The Cleveland Model: A Large-scale Worker Cooperative

A new model for large-scale worker and community-benefiting enterprise is building momentum in Cleveland, one of America’s most impacted cities by the 2008 recession. The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry opened its doors last fall, the first of ten major cooperative enterprises to be part an integrated network of large-scale industries geared at environmental and cooperative leadership in the U.S. economy.

CCA Announces Aboriginal Co-operative Development Program

The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) has announced a development program aimed at assisting Aboriginal groups who are interested in exploring the co-op model. Once launched, the program will offer Aboriginal groups the ability to apply for small grants for pre-feasibility studies, visits to established co-ops, hiring of consultants and similar activities.

Social Entrepreneurship: Social Impact Metrics

MaRS Discovery District released a new report on the success of social entrepreneurs in mobilizing both the human and financial capital required to start and expand social ventures. However, unless there is a clear understanding by funders and investors around the importance of establishing and reporting on appropriate social and financial metrics, the amount of capital available to this emerging sector will be limited.

For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Hostels-to-Homes Project: Closing Homeless Shelters for all the Right Reasons

The Hostels-to-Homes pilot project is underway as a means of relieving the pressure being put on emergency shelters in Hamilton through funding redirection to support a Housing First-type approach for chronic shelter users. As an end to this, there is hope emergency hostel residents will have access and attachment to affordable, stable, transitional or permanent housing.

Spanish Government Announces a New Law on Social Economy to Stimulate Labour Markets

The Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, announced that the government is preparing a new Law on Social Economy, consisting mainly of cooperatives, and a business model "that are crucial" to create employment. The new law is intended to reduce bureaucratic hurdles for social enterprises and define channels of communication with the public.

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