FEATURE - A school co-operative: Why just one?
ANNOUNCEMENT - Resignation of Rupert Downing, Executive Director of CCEDNet
2008 National CED Conference Early Bird Deadline is TODAY!
Poverty Hearings have Begun: HUMA Committee of Parliament
CCEDNet News Release: National Community Economic Development Organization Calls on Saskatchewan Government to Support Station 20 West
GOOD IDEAS - Living Wage, New Podcasts, Relocalization
NEW KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES - Social Housing Research Papers, Bioenergy Guide, Co-op Toolkit, New Website for Toronto Enterprise Fund, BCICS Book Release
A school co-operative in BC: Why just one?
CED Agent, Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique
As spring manifests its colors, 10 Francophone BC youth, aged 16 to 18, are about to celebrate their 4th month operating a school co-operative at Victor Brodeur School in Victoria. The school co-op is one outcome of a new program at Victor Brodeur called "Jeunes coopérateurs du monde" or young world cooperators. Since September 2007, the students' classes, 4 times each week, focus on learning about co-operatives, principles of business, fair trade, locally supported agriculture, genetically modified foods, communications, how to govern and manage their enterprise, and much more.
The student group has grown proud of and deeply involved with their venture. The beginning of the program involved training on the co-operative business model, as well as theories and principles of community economic development. The early months of the program also involved the planning of the co-operative enterprise, including financial planning, market research, marketing strategy development, and as part of the planning of operations, organizing human resources and the management of inventories. The planning phase was tedious, but as we got closer to opening day of the co-operative, the meaning of the process became clear and the group was hopeful, looking ahead towards the successful operation of the co-operative. Each bringing their unique personality, passions, ethical voices, hopes for the future and experiences, the students have acquired tools that will forever remain in their hands and hearts. Their ethics and global world vision has led them to decide to re-invest surplus generated by the co-operative in an all-girl school in Malawi, after hearing first hand from a Malawian woman about her community's project to build the school. At the end of the school year, the group will go through a thorough evaluation process and reflect on their overall experience of being co-operators.
The concept of the school co-operative, whichever flavour - summer student worker co-operatives or youth services co-operatives, student-led co-operatives that sell school supplies to their school, or in our case, a student-led worker co-operative "retail store" selling certified fair trade and organic products - is not new by any means. In Québec and Britain, many school co-operatives have been implemented and have been able to demonstrate success. We wondered if we could do it here and could not find reasonable explanations regarding why we, in BC, did not have school co-operatives.
Fortunately, within the Francophone community, most organizations maintain close ties, as the size of our community is small. This made it relatively easy for us to pitch the project to the principal of our local Francophone school, Victor Brodeur. Mr. Dupain received the idea with a dose of skepticism at first, but was open to the idea of convening a group of stakeholders to discuss the concept of school co-operatives, and more importantly, the idea of founding one on our school grounds. We convened parents, teachers, staff from the British Columbia Co-operative Association (BCCA), and school administrators.
The response was extremely favourable, enough so to go ahead and conceptualize on paper what was to become the first school co-operative project in BC. During those early months, focus was put on finding community and financial partners to ensure greater success and that all stakeholders were in agreement with the objectives and content of the program. With these supports in place - and community endorsement - we knew that the project would succeed as a sense of ownership was formed.
Financial partners that supported the project included Vancity Credit Union, the Francophone School District, Service Canada and its Habilitation fund, the British Columbia Co-operative Association as well as Coast Capital Savings Credit Union. The Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique (SDECB) developed the curriculum, which was specific to the objectives set by the stakeholders. The society was also responsible for organizing workshops throughout the school year by organizations that advocate for food security, fair trade, co-operative development, to name a few. Also, we took on the role of in-class facilitator for two periods of 50 minutes per week. The school took on the task of getting the program approved by the Ministry of Education using its leeway in developing in-house curriculum under optional courses. As well, Victor Brodeur committed itself to hire a teacher from the school for the duration of the year that would spend four periods a week, 50 minutes each, in class with the group.
From the onset, our strategy was to have the SDECB Victoria regional CED agent and the school teacher, co-teach the first year with the goal of having the school co-operative and the program being delivered entirely by the school from the start of the second year. So far, we are on track with this objective.
At this point, you might ask yourself why, if it is so easy, aren't there more student led co-operatives in BC? From our experience, successfully implementing a school co-operative can be relatively simple. The ingredients needed might make it appear a little difficult, but it is important to keep in mind that those ingredients exist in most, if not every, community: a dedicated school principal, involved and caring parents, a teacher interested and passionate about world affairs, and a non-profit organization with co-operative development skills and knowledge. Other challenges, such as getting a curriculum approved and getting funding are also important but not at all insurmountable.
John Restakis, Executive Director of BCCA, when asked what might explain the absence of school co-operatives in BC answers: "The fact that there are not more school-led co-operatives in BC is a broader reflection of an education system that, by and large, has ignored the reality and history of co-operatives in BC, but also the assumption that there is only one kind of enterprise today: the capitalistic enterprise." The challenge, according to Mr. Restakis, comes down to breaking established mindsets and attitudes. He concludes that the school co-operative model might be one of the best ways to increase awareness and promote the co-operative economic model as an alternative to the capitalistic economic model to young people.
We hope that our successful experience will stimulate debates about school co-operatives in BC within all circles concerned (School boards, schools, teachers' unions, parents, non-profits and co-operatives), and moreover inspire practitioners to take the risk and bring forward the model, whichever one they feel more comfortable with, to their local schools.
Contact Pascale to find out more at plavoie-scott (at) sdecb (dot) com
If you want to contribute a CED story in this space contact Nicole at nchaland (at) ccednet-rcdec (dot) ca
The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) Board of Directors regrets to announce the resignation of Rupert Downing, Executive Director. After more than six years in the position, Mr. Downing will be leaving us to move on to other areas of interest in the CED field while setting aside time to work on personal projects. Under Mr. Downing's leadership, the Network has grown to involve over 10,000 communities, organizations and institutions across Canada. Today the Network is the major national voice for community economic development. We would like to thank Mr. Downing for his vision, commitment and passion and wish him the very best on his plans for the future.
Upon receiving notice, the Board created a succession planning committee with staff to ensure a smooth transition. Thanks to the one-year notice period provided by Mr. Downing, the committee is now well-positioned to move forward with a search for candidates and will be posting shortly. It is our plan and intention that an appointment be made by July 2008. Please CLICK HERE for the detailed job description.
Given CCEDNet's growth and resulting complexity over the past decade, we are taking this opportunity to review the administration of the Network. It is our goal to ensure we are in the best possible position to maintain our commitment to enhancing member engagement and advancing policy priorities.
The committee would like to extend a special thank-you to Walter Hossli of Momentum and Cathy Harrington of Lutherwood, for their input and advice.
If you have any questions on the search process and succession plan please don't hesitate to contact us at president (at) ccednet-rcdec (dot) ca .
Catch the Waves of Change with 400 other community practitioners, civil society representatives, academics, government partners, and citizens for over 40 learning sessions, action-oriented plenaries, exciting site tours and networking opportunities.
Saskatoon Shines! That's the buzzword in this vibrant community. This is a university town with a laid-back charm that enhances its cosmopolitan hustle and bustle. Join us in building an inclusive movement dedicated to strengthening communities across Canada while enjoying the many scenic and cultural delights Saskatoon has to offer.
Over 40 workshop and action sessions will explore best practices in poverty reduction; social enterprise; sustainable solutions; youth CED; women & CED; immigrant CED; policy; research; and much more!
Conference Opening Plenary - The Need to Build People-Centred Economies
Thursday May 22nd, 8:30am - 10:00am
The opening plenary will explore our conference theme of Waves of Change: Building People-Centred Economies. Its aim is to inspire participants with a vision of the possibilities of a fairer society and economy through CED. Paul Wilkinson will speak to this from a provincial viewpoint, and will be joined by Priscilla Settee, director of the Indigenous Peoples Program at the U of S from the Cree First Nations. This session will set the tone for the conference and provide an opportunity to make connections between local, regional, national and international issues and approaches.
Policy Plenaries - Influencing Policy in Order to Build People-Centred Economies
Friday May 23rd, 8:30am - 10:00am & 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Friday morning's plenary session will focus on motivating participants to work together on a common policy agenda. It will set the tone for the day of action planning and policy discussion around building people-centred economies. Friday afternoon's plenary will wrap up a day of engagement and action planning around key policy issues in CED. It will bring together the main issues and participant reflections on the day and look at moving forward with a policy agenda for building fairer and stronger people-centred economies.
Exciting Social Events
"Saskatchewan-ite Roots Roundup"
Thursday May 22nd, evening ($40 - includes snacks)
Come and celebrate the power and richness of local Aboriginal cultures through theatre, dance, music, storytelling, and poetry. Then kick up your heels and boogie down with the dynamic blues and folk performer, Wilma and her band.
"A Vibrant Prairie Night"
Friday May 23rd, evening (dinner provided - included in full conference fee)
Indulge in a delicious banquet and enjoy a diverse cultural array of dance performances. Taking place at the Western Development Museum, you will have the chance to walk the streets of Boomtown, the Western Development Museum's representation of a typical Saskatchewan town at the turn of the 20th century.
*Sponsored by Affinity Credit Union
A reminder to book your accommodation quickly to take advantage of the conference rate being offered by the Parktown Hotel and University of Saskatchewan dorms. We encourage you to stay at the university for the full conference community experience - dorm rooms are available at very reasonable rates (click here for more information). The Parktown Hotel, located on the South Saskatchewan riverbank, is just across the river from the University. Find out more about their services at: www.parktownhotel.com or contact them at 1-800-667-3999. Make sure to mention you're with the "Canadian CED Conference" to get the reduced rate, and book early as there are a limited number of rooms being held!
Not Registered Yet?
Register by April 18th to take advantage of the early bird discount! Registration is easy; simply visit the conference website to register online! If you wish to register by fax, please download the registration form and fax the completed document to (250) 386-9984.
POVERTY HEARINGS HAVE BEGUN: HUMA Committee of Parliament
(Thanks to Tony Martin, MP Sault Ste. Marie)
Some of the 500 poverty activists attending the Ontario "25 and 5 Campaign" meeting this Monday were surprised to learn the national poverty plan hearings have begun in Parliament.
The hearings are good news that - with parallel work in regions and communities - will build the irreversible momentum for Canada finally adopting a national plan. It's time to:
• Share this news with your organization's members and networks
• Urge the Committee to agree to cross-country hearings
• Ask to appear as a witness and/or submit a written brief.
The HUMA (Human Resources and Social Development) Committee's first two meetings have been held with significant testimony from the National Council of Welfare, Statistics Canada, Canadian Council on Social Development, Canadian Association of Social Workers and income security expert Richard Shillington.
To read full the testimony, usually up on the Committee HUMA web site 24 hours later, click here.
For information on appearing as a witness, and to ask for cross-country hearings click here
News Release: National Community Economic Development Organization Calls on Saskatchewan Government to Support Station 20 West
Victoria, BRITISH COLUMBIA - The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) is calling on the government of Saskatchewan to re-instate their $8-million investment in Station 20 West. The $11.5-million dollar multi-use facility, located in the low-income inner-city core of Saskatoon, is being developed to revitalize local communities. Providing essential community-led services like outreach medical treatment, a co-operative grocery store and affordable housing, the facility is being hailed as a national demonstration project for what is effective in reducing poverty. CCEDNet - representing the interests of thousands of community economic development organizations - believes that government investment in projects like Station 20 West are integral in helping to transform inner-city neighbourhoods into attractive places to live and work.
Rupert Downing, Executive Director of CCEDNet, added that "our national work across Canada points to a history of success in revitalizing communities by creating community-owned and driven strategies to tackle poverty, homelessness and neighbourhood decline. Saskatoon's Station 20 West is a national model which demonstrates all the right approaches to creating social and economic opportunities. It is very disappointing that the Government of Saskatchewan has cancelled its investment without doing due diligence on the cost-benefit of this kind of community partnership."
Community economic development has a long history of success in revitalizing communities across Canada through locally-led action. The combined values of inclusiveness, sustainability and reciprocity ensure that economic change is long-lasting for struggling communities.
Saskatchewan board member, Victoria Morris, states that "Station 20 West represents a much needed and very positive direction for Saskatoon's core neighbourhoods. There is a vast amount of community support." In response to the provincial government's reallocation of the funding, the community has shown support for Station 20 West by organizing the largest rally in recent Saskatoon history, starting a capital campaign, begun government letter writing campaigns, community art projects and a Facebook group with almost 5,000 members. "As a resident of the core neighbourhoods, I greatly anticipate being able to access the much needed services that Station 20 West will provide."
The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) is a national non-governmental charitable organization established to support the work of community organizations that are creating economic opportunities and enhancing social conditions in Canada. CCEDNet, in partnership with Quint Development Corporation, is hosting the 2008 National CED Conference in Saskatoon, May 21-24.
Community Economic Development (CED) is action by people locally to create economic opportunities and better social conditions, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged. CCEDNet's national office is located in Victoria, BC.
A Living Wage City
The City of Calgary may soon require employers who deal with the City to pay a wage that meets its booming living costs. In April, the City of Calgary votes whether to include a living wage policy in its procurement policy and code of conduct for suppliers. Vibrant Communities Calgary calculates that would be a minimum of $12 an hour for workers.
"We‟re thrilled by the amount of attention this initiative is getting. So many groups have come out in support of it," says Jordan Hamilton of Vibrant Communities Calgary. "The Calgary Foundation‟s Vital Signs report highlighted a living wage as the area most in need of attention. The most persuasive argument, says Jordan, is that tax dollars should not subsidize employers. When employers pay wages that leave workers and their families in poverty, government and community agencies end up paying for resulting costs, such as subsidies, income support, and increased health and crime prevention. Source www.tamarackcommunity.ca/g2.php
A growing number of places in the world are creating a strategy to build societies based on the local production of food, energy and goods, and the local development of currency, governance and culture. www.relocalize.net
Prospects and Challenges of the U.K Community Sustainability Act: Pat Conaty from the New Economics Foundation - Proponents believe that the Act holds tremendous promise for enabling local and regional action to reduce carbon emissions and advance community development and the social economy. Click here to listen.
Financing, the Social Economy and Emerging Challenges: Pat Conaty from the New Economics Foundation: With the fall-out from sub-prime mortgages whirling around the globe and the ensuing credit crunch rippling through society, the importance of alternative financing mechanisms focused on a triple bottom line is increasing. Click here to listen
Research Papers Explore Challenges for Social Housing
Two new Canadian Policy Research Networks research papers on social housing explore the health outcomes of low-income seniors and the importance of energy-efficient housing stock. Produced by CPRN social housing interns, the research uses case studies drawn from Ontario's experience, and has lessons for social housing policy and its management in other Canadian jurisdictions.
BIOCAP Releases Bioenergy Guide for BC
The guide will assist small communities, aboriginal groups, municipalities and industry in developing biomass energy opportunities and technologies. The Guide provides a step-by-step plan for developing a biomass energy project. Click here to read it.
Co-op Toolkit Launched:
A comprehensive set of resources to aid in the development, growth and creation of co-ops has just been released by On Co-op. The Co-op Toolkit is available for purchase in print or electronic formats. Click here for more information.
New Web Site for the Toronto Enterprise Fund
More user-friendly and packed full of news, tools and information about social enterprise including tools and resources for non-profit organizations thinking about, launching, or running a social purpose enterprise. Click here to visit the site.
Book Release! Effective Practices in Starting Co-operatives
The Voice of Canadian Co-op Developers from the BC Institute for Co-operative Studies.
What factors contribute to the success of new co-ops? What factors hinder their growth? What effective solutions can help address these challenges and lead to positive outcomes? Effective Practices in Starting Co-operatives - The Voice of Canadian Co-op Developers provides insights and practical suggestions on these critical questions, as well as many other aspects of co-op development. Canada has a rich treasury of experienced cooperative developers whose insights and advice have helped many people start co-operatives in order to meet their economic and social needs. This volume contains a collection of essays written by co-op developers/facilitators and passages from interviews with developers across Canada and co-op development experts from Québec. Effective Practices is an effort to document helpful practices for developing new co-operatives under diverse conditions in Canada. For more informatio, click here
1. Register Now! SFU Certificate for CED Professionals
May 30 - 31, 2008: Vancouver
June 20 - 21, 2008: Victoria
CED Approaches to Affordable Housing
This course examines housing stock from the point of view of how it influences a community's environmental, social and economic health as well as pragmatic tools to develop affordable housing. More details at http://www.sfu.ca/cscd/ced
To register contact Nicole Chaland at nchaland (at) ccednet-rcdec (dot) ca or 250.386.9980 ex 103
"The CED courses at SFU have proven to be an invaluable asset for my staff who have participated. They not only get instruction from highly qualified instructors but, in most cases, from instructors who are still working at the grass roots level in CED."-Ray Gerow, Manager, Prince George Aboriginal Business Development Centre
2. Economic Development Association of BC AGM: Prince George, May 4 - 6,, 2008
3. VANOC and Social Enterprise Opportunities: Vancouver, May 15 (6-8pm)
In helping to ensure that a positive social, economic, and environmental impact is generated by the 2010 Olympics, VANOC (Vancouver Olympic Committee) has committed to involving social enterprise in order to produce lasting benefits to the local community. Find out how social enterprise is already being used, and further opportunities for social enterprises to get involved with the lead-up to, and the Olympic Games. Click here for more info
4. Space to Place: The Next Rural Economies Workshop: Prince George, May 15-16, 2008
5. Traction for Community Action: The Second Conference on Community Social Planning in BC - May 23 - 24, 2008 www.sparc.bc.ca
6. The Competitive Advantage of a Learning Culture: Leveraging learning to meet your organization's goals symposium: May 28 - 30, 2008, Vancouver. Register online
7. Social Change Institute 2008: Building Power for Change: Cortez Island, May 28 - June 1, 2008 Click here for more information.
8. World Social Finance Summit 2008: Making Sense with Money: June 5-6, 2008, Quebec. Event is organized by the International Association of Social finance organizations (INAISE) www.inaise.org
9. BC Healthy Communities 2008 Conference: June 12 - 13, 2008, UBC. To register visit www.bchealthycommunities.ca or call 1-888-356-0892 x1.
10. Helping the Helper Series: The Helping the Helper series, presented by Coast Capital Savings and the Centre for Non-Profit Management, provides top notch affordable training to non-profit managers and board members. *Next Workshop* Governance - The Right People Following the Right Processes.
Victoria- April 29 & Burnaby - May 1 : More info here www.cnpm.ca
11. BC Social Enterprise Summit: November 18 & 19: Vancouver
Farm to School Salad Bar: A Request for Proposals, Public Health Association of BC (Thanks to Rose Soneff, BC Healthy Living Alliances) School Salad Bar initiative within 12 schools in the Northern and Interior Health Regions. This is your opportunity to participate! Download the Farm to School Salad Bar RFP for details. Find out if your school is eligible for a one time grant to establish the program. Find out about the process to make that happen. For further information, contact Joanne Bays, Project Coordinator, Farm to School Salad Bar via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Request for Proposals can be found here: http://www.phabc.org. Deadline April 30
Call for Proposals: Co-operative Development Initiative - Innovation and Research. (Thanks to Hazel Corcoran, Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation) Click here for more information.
Community to Community Forum Funding Available Now
Deadline is May 2, 2008. Any municipal, regional district or First Nation government (e.g. Band or Tribal Council) may apply for funding for a Regional C2C Forum. Click here for more information.
CCEDNet recruiting three (3) interns for CIDA Youth International Program -
CCEDNet has received tentative confirmation from CIDA's Youth International Program for a project to send three (3) interns to Peru to work with COPEME, a CCEDNet partner organization there. Though final confirmation for the program is still pending, CCEDNet will immediately begin the recruitment process.
Partner Organization: COPEME, which is the Spanish acronym for the Consortium of Micro and Small enterprises, is a national second-tier network of organizations which work to support micro and small enterprises in the country including technical assistance and micro finance providers. Interns would be placed in the regional COPEME offices in the municipalities of Chiclayo and Cusco in addition to the national office in Lima.
Smart Planning for Communities Sustainability Facilitators, Fraser Basin Council - (three positions: Northern Interior, Southeastern BC and Vancouver Island)
(Thanks to Brandon Hughes, Canadian Rural Partnership/Service Canada). Smart Planning for Communities is a new BC-wide collaborative initiative that provides support to local and First Nations governments in developing integrated community sustainability plans or planning processes. The Sustainability Facilitators will support interested communities by providing assistance in planning, implementing and integrating strategies and actions for creating more sustainable, healthy and vibrant places to live. Facilitators will also help facilitate collaboration and partnerships across rural-urban boundaries and across aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities. Candidates require post secondary education and 5 years of work experience related to sustainable planning or community development, with a minimum of three years in a leadership and management role. They must also demonstrate excellence in working and communicating with diverse constituencies and a thorough understanding of sustainability principles and frameworks as well as issues, policies and practices relating to community and urban planning. Details of the initiative and full job description are available at www.fraserbasin.bc.ca. The job locations will be determined with the successful candidates. Applications may be submitted electronically or by mail by April 25, 2008 to: Diana Dilworth, Fraser Basin Council, email@example.com fax: (604) 488-5351 1st Fl - 470 Granville St Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5
Program Directors for Conservation and Economic Development
Coast Opportunity Funds (the "Coast Funds") are two newly established non-profit entities set up to invest $120 million contributed by government and private funders to support sustainable economic development, self-sufficiency and conservation management in coastal British Columbia. The Funds will invest in viable businesses and conservation initiatives developed by coastal First Nations. The Funds have evolved out of groundbreaking land use decisions made by First Nations and British Columbia and represent an innovative and globally significant model of conservation financing. Click here for more info.
Executive Director, CCEDNet
The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) is
Canada's leading national association and charity uniting community organizations and practitioners in strengthening Canada's communities. With several hundred members across the country and resources being used by over 10,000 groups in every province and territory, CCEDNet provides support and leadership to efforts by CED organizations to create economic opportunities and enhance the social and environmental conditions of Canada's communities. As a member-led Network, CCEDNet engages a broad and inclusive range of community interests in common efforts to influence policy, create stronger and fairer local economies, tackle poverty and homelessness, and invest in sustainable communities. The Executive Director will support and lead this effort, alongside a committed national Board of Directors and dedicated staff.
For a full job description, please click here.
Planner I, Long Range Planning - Township of Langley.
Deadline: April 30, 2008. Website
Planning Technician - City of Parksville.
Deadline: April 30, 2008. Website
Director of Planning - City of Revelstoke.
Deadline: May 02, 2008. Website
Economic Development Officer - City of Surrey.
Deadline: May 17, 2008. Website