February 2009

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In This Issue

CED Profile: The Winnipeg River Learning Centre

Canadian CED Network Publication: Time to Choose

Manitoba CED News

CED Tools

National News and Events


CED Profile: The Winnipeg River Learning Centre

Sustainable Community Economic Development

The Town of Powerview-Pine Falls, located just 132 km northeast of Winnipeg, has come up with an innovative way to address concerns involving youth retention, out-migration and a shortage of skilled labour in the community - problems faced by many rural towns across Canada. The Winnipeg River Learning Centre was established in 2007 to combat these issues and further develop the region and surrounding communities.

Efforts were made to look outside the box for a creative solution. Community consultations and a feasibility study determined that the needs and interests of members of the community and potential employers included providing training and post-secondary educational opportunities locally. With support from Community Futures Winnipeg River, the Whiteshell Community Adjustment Fund, Sunrise School Division, Manitoba Model Forest, Manitoba Hydro, North Eastman Health Authority, the Town of Powerview-Pine Falls, the RM of Alexander, and Black River First Nation, the Winnipeg River Learning Centre became a reality. Current and upcoming curriculum includes college and university Certificate and Diploma programs; electrical, carpentry, welding, and mechanical trades; entrepreneurial and business management programs; environmental sciences and watershed management programs, and a variety of short courses and workshops.

The Winnipeg River Learning Centre is committed to life-long learning and developing individual and community capacities by:

• contributing to the growth and sustainability of Powerview-Pine Falls, and surrounding rural communities;
• supporting economic and social development by developing entrepreneurial activities that contribute to community livelihoods; and
• contributing to the sustainability and health of communities in rural Manitoba by building on existing community capacity.

Powerview-Pine Falls and surrounding areas have major growth potential in the resource industries of forestry, hydro and mining as well as the growth of their business sectors. The investment in a well-educated and trained employment force will allow the community to respond to these opportunities.

Canadian CED Network Publications

Time to Choose: Community Economic Development or More ‘Have' and ‘Have Not' Neighbourhoods?
by Nicole Chaland - CCEDNET's B.C. / Yukon Coordinator

Within a community economic development (CED) approach, housing initiatives can strengthen neighbourhoods by rehabilitating or adding to housing stock, while also contributing to relationship building and social cohesion, employment opportunities, access to services and an improved quality of life for all residents... read on

Manitoba CED News

IRCOM: Something Special Sprouts in the Garden

Putting community urban gardens into practice is an effective means to socioeconomic development and community solidarity. This past summer, a balcony garden project was set up at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) under the guidance of Jim Beckta, a volunteer at IRCOM. The successful gardens provided an opportunity for approximately 10 tenants of IRCOM to come together in a way that forged a sense of community, and gave them space to use their farming backgrounds for the benefit of the community. Most successfully, the gardens provided the tenants and their neighbours with a supply of fresh fruit and vegetables and aided in their transition to inner-city Winnipeg.

Shaking the Tree: Grassroots Activism in Winnipeg
A Video Celebration of Local Social and Environmental Change

On March 5th, 2009 a collection of community groups will come together to celebrate the debut of five videos featuring the important work of five grassroots organizations. The videos will be screened at the Mondragon bookstore and coffeehouse in the Exchange district starting at 6:00 p.m. The event will be free and all are welcome to attend.  Free food and fun.

Video shorts include several excellent examples of Manitoba CED: Community Gardens, Good Food Club, Bike Dump, Sustainable Greenhouses, Local Food, and Restorative Justice

Contact shakingthetreemovies@gmail.com for more information.

Addressing Race and Power in Worker Cooperatives

"Co-ops will not be effective if they do not deal with racism, culture, history, leadership, networking and accountability" says Ronal Chisom. For worker cooperatives to be effective, member-owners should look at power relationships within and perform a "critical self-examination" of themselves and their co-op. That was one of the suggestions of the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond to worker-owners at the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives at the third biennial conference in New Orleans.

From Rangi Changi to Wabi Sabi: A Community-Based Organization Developing Immigrant-Led Worker Cooperatives

Can community based service agencies (NGOs) play a meaningful role in supporting marginalized workers to achieve economic stability? The Center for Family Life believes that the answer is "yes" and is working on innovative models of worker co-op development with immigrant communities in New York.

Program Reaches Milestone of 200 Retrofitted Houses

At an event held at the new office of Winnipeg's Building Urban Industries for Local Development (BUILD), the organization announced it will provide home retrofitting services to 16 of Winnipeg's inner-city neighbourhoods in 2009 and that the retrofitting program has a new name. Through BUILD, "Warm Up Winnipeg" insulates houses and replaces toilets and showerheads. In the pilot phase of its program, BUILD has lowered utility bills in more than 200 inner city residences. Investments on behalf of the Manitoba Government and Manitoba Hydro have allowed this program to see the light of day.

BUILD doubles as a training program for people with little or no experience in the formal labour market. It has had solid success in moving its employees from welfare to work and then into family supporting jobs.

Gimli Aims to go Fair Trade

The Lake Winnipeg-area community has come together under the agreement to purchase socially and environmentally sustainable products. Gimli plans to go Fair Trade as the first municipality in Manitoba to gain official recognition. Six Fair Trade criteria have been put forward by Transfair Canada, a Fair Trade Labeling Organization (FLO), which must be met before Gimli is conceded as a Fair Trade Town.

For more information - www.fairtrademanitoba.ca.
To find out how to become a fair trade town - www.transfair.ca

Winnipeg Car-Share Community Meeting

An extended invitation is being made to all Winnipeg citizens who are interested in a car sharing program to come out and address and issues of concern. Issues to be discussed include the cost of this program, the services that will be included, the type of vehicle and much more. Those interested are encouraged to RSVP to one of the two community meetings taking place at the end of February:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
7:00-9:00 p.m., River Osborne Community Centre (101 Pembina Hwy)

Thursday, February 26, 2009
7:00-9:00 p.m., Millennium Library, Buchwald Room

Please RSVP your attendance (and choice of evening) by Feb. 24 to wpgcarshare@mts.net.

Food is Good to Think With

Food activist and author Sally Miller will be in Winnipeg on Thursday Feb 26, speaking at the University of Winnipeg and Mondragon Bookstore & Coffeehouse. For the past 20 years, Sally has been active in a variety of food production and distribution alternatives. Most recently, she helped to initiate the Fourth Pig Worker Co-op, a co-op dedicated to natural and sustainable building and energy use.

Those who are interested are encouraged to hear Sally speak about food alternatives and the current economic crisis at one of the following times:

2:00 p.m. at the University of Winnipeg, Room 3M63
7:00 p.m. at the Mondragon Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 91 Albert Street

CED Tools

Community Supported Agriculture Project: Putting Culture Back into Agriculture

A Community Supported Agriculture project is an alternative food supply system that gives local people the power to help protect the environment, connects local growers to local consumers in cooperation and a model to develop a healthy regional food supply system. The model of food distribution is open and flexible, depending on the members' and farmers' needs. Groups exist with varying levels of member participation payment arrangements. 

National News and Events

Sustainable Financing for the Social Economy: A Two Phase Look at Financing Social Enterprise

Phase I - A Scan of Financing Providers

This Scan of Financing Providers is the first phase of a two phase study. The aim is to enhance capacity of social economy organizations, specifically social enterprises, through access to a greater range of appropriate financing options. The scan identifies and describes the providers and types of financing instruments available to social enterprises in the study region: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and northwestern Ontario.

Phase II - An Enterprise Perspective

Phase II focuses on financing from the social enterprise perspective, including a brief discussion of the financing strategies as they change throughout the life of the enterprise. Strategies of development are highlighted with four Winnipeg social enterprise case studies. The profiled enterprises - including Inner City Renovation, Natural Cycleworks, Neechi Foods Co-op Ltd., and Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company - have developed as independent, market driven entities with blended financial and social objectives. 

Adapting the Housing First Model in Canada

Increasingly in North America, policy-makers and decision-makers are using the Housing First model - an approach that focuses on new means of rapid and sustained re-housing of the homeless in order to combat homelessness. In spite of its development, which began in 1992 in New York City, little has been written on its adaptation and transferability to Canadian municipalities. CPRN Housing Intern Nick Falvo, of Carleton University, looks at Housing First in his paper Homelessness, Program Responses, and an Assessment of Toronto's Streets to Homes Program and its potential value to Canadian communities.

Click here to access the full paper. 

CCPA Responds to the 2009 Federal Budget: Federal Budget Leaves Unemployed in the Cold

The 2009 federal budget leaves hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Canadians hanging on a very short rope and won't provide the immediate stimulus our economy needs, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The budget fails to expand Employment Insurance (EI) to ensure laid-off Canadians are eligible for benefits and its infrastructure promises require the provinces and municipalities to match funding -- a condition that will stall many projects. The omission of major EI reforms in the face of massive unemployment stands as its biggest weakness. Broad-based tax cuts are also a problem; the average Canadian will only get a $300 tax break with low-income Canadians receiving a maximum of only $33. 

Local Food Initiatives in Canada

Local Food Initiatives in Canada - An Overview and Policy Recommendations, written by the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) to educate officials who were developing the new Agricultural Policy Framework, Growing Forward, has now been released publicly so others may use it for education and advocacy.

CCA representatives attending the various consultations observed that there was no mention of domestic food sustainability or the role of local food systems that are being organized to meet the needs of local people in communities and regions across Canada.

This brief examines the local food initiatives or components that comprise new "local food systems", some of the research results, the social and economic benefits, and the role that the co-operative movement and governments can play to facilitate the development of local food. 

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 organizations 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.

The conference is being held September 24-27th, 2009 at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. All conference related expenses will be covered for selected participants. To learn more visit www.impactyouthsustainability.ca or contact impact@cooperators.ca.

2009 National CED Conference



June 3-5, 2009
University of Winnipeg
Winnipeg, Mantioba

*Registration opens early-March!*


Join us - at the centre of North America,
in the heart of the continent - for three days of learning, networking and celebration at the premier community economic development (CED) event in Canada!

The theme of this year's conference is Full Circle: Sharing a Vision for the 7th Generation. Our inspiriation 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 2009 National CED Conference is hosted by the Canadian CED Network in partnership with SEED Winnipeg and Ka Ni Kanichihk.

Visit the Canadian CED Network's website for updates, information and registration.

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