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October 19th is International Credit Union Day, a day to celebrate the positive 'self-help' story of citizen based financial institutions. In many ways the story in BC is a very good one, but the consolidation trend of the last 25 years has a less optimistic face.

Ross Gentleman's OpEd piece in today's Vancouver Sun sets that out for all BC credit union members to consider. http://vancouversun.com/opinion/opinion-small-credit-unions-threatened-by-consolidation

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Babes in the Woods Eatery Receives Support from the Galiano Community Loan Fund

Meet CCEC member, Galiano’s Chef Lisa who opened her Babes in the Woods Eatery in 2014.  She secured a $10,000 guaranteed loan from CCEC member, Galiano Community Loan Fund (GCLF), which allowed her to open the restaurant and buy the equipment. 

Lisa heard about the Galiano Community Loan Fund a few years ago when “They helped Ginga buy DJ equipment so he could pursue his career professionally and I thought that was really cool.”  When she was opening her restaurant, with very little money, her plan was to get a case of tomatoes, turn it into something and sell it, then buy two cases of tomatoes, and so on….she remembered the story of Ginga.  She visited the Fund’s website, found the loan application online, applied and was approved for a guaranteed loan of $10,000.  With this support, she was able to open the restaurant and buy the equipment she needed to grow her business into what it is today.

Lisa has always wanted to open her own restaurant.  After years of working for others, she really wanted to create a place that cares about its’ employees as they are the foundation for any business.  Before she opened Babes in the Woods Eatery, she was working as the lead cook at the Woodstone Residence, a treatment center for young people with eating disorders.  When the center and her job was moving to Vancouver, she decided to stay on Galiano.  She says, “I decided I am going to do what I really want to do.  After 3 years of watching these brave young women battle this life threatening illness and winning, I took a page from their book and stepped into my future world.”

Living and working on Galiano has its’ challenges and that is one of the reasons the Galiano Community Loan Fund was started by a group of local residents.  Lisa says that she is most grateful to receive the loan as, “The fund has provided me with more than just financial assistance.  They did their due diligence in regards to my business plan, acting as mentors to me.  Their sound advice and feedback are tools that are crucial to me.”   She does face challenges that are common on the Island with the main concern being staffing.  She is asking, “How do I keep them year round?  How do they make a living?  How do I make a living?  Do they have the skill set to do the job?”  She says flexibility is very important and some decisions may not make the best business sense.  But, on Galiano where human resources are scarce, you need to adapt to the available resources.

Lisa is working hard to make Babes in the Woods a thriving little business.  She says there is a plan to move the restaurant to a property owned by the business!  While knowing that it is not going to be a straightforward or an easy process, she feels this move is working to ensure the future of her little business.  She looks forward to the next phase of her business as she says that she’s learned that challenges can often make us stronger. 

Contact:  lisagauvreau@gmail.com

http://galianoisland.com/babes-woods-restaurant

 

What is the Galiano Community Loan Fund?

(information from their website)

The Fund was created by Galiano Islanders who have come together as lenders to the Fund to support borrowers in the community who:

  •  • want to start or expand a business on the island
  •  • need access to affordable housing on the island
  •  • want to develop marketable skills to use on Galiano
  •  • have a worthwhile project that will benefit the community

 How does the Galiano Community Loan Fund work?

The Galiano Community Loan Fund operates in partnership with CCEC Credit Union.

The Fund receives loan proceeds from supporters who have lent money to the Fund and these loan proceeds are deposited at CCEC.  In turn, CCEC administers loans made to borrowers that are guaranteed by the Fund.

The pooled loan proceeds at CCEC earn interest and the earned interest is distributed to the supporters who have lent money to the Fund as a return on their loans.  Some supporters choose to forego receiving a return on their loans to the Fund.

Visit their website for more information if you want to be a Lender or a Borrower.  

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A research project is underway to consult Canadians about how human rights are to be incorporated into trade agreements.  Towards a Socially Responsible Trade Policy is organized by a team from the University of Montreal and the project is seeking input from all Canadians on how we see NAFTA and other trade deals.  There is an online survey, and a day of hearings on Sept 22nd in Vancouver.  

This is an independent, non-government project.  It uses a social justice framework, in a way similar to the approach of all community developers, and the Solidarity Economy activists in Montreal. Community level organizing always features human rights, this research pushes us to apply the same principles more effectively in the realm of international trade. 

Take part!

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Come see new paintings from member, Suzo Hickey.

Two new paintings arrived and are displayed in our lobby.  

 

Thank you, Suzo, for allowing us to show your work in Vancouver. 

For more information and to purchase her paintings visit her website. 

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  Recently, Matt Hern has had a book published, it is called What a City Is For; the Politics of Displacement. The author is attached to SFU and well-known in East Vancouver as an activist. The book is excellent exposé on how our property ownership system works to the advantage of some while squeezing out many.

This week there is a great overview of the book published in the Georgia Straight, Charlie Smith provides a good description of the essential arguments put forward in the book. Those of us who live in East Vancouver should pay attention. The current approach to real estate has divorced our city from our residents. Increasingly real estate is seen as an investment, it is not seen primarily as a residential resource.The home ownership markets tend to chase lower income people out, enabling gentrification.

Those interested affordable housing should review the both the case studies from other cities and the proposals that Matt Horne brings forward. They will appear radical. They challenge the status quo. But our fascination with home ownership, in particular, is at the heart of the problem.  We need to reconsider both our cultural assumptions relative to home ownership and our way of taxing real estate holdings.  A good case is made for non-market housing, and removing the incentives to speculate on this resource.

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"There is no Secwepemc consent for Kinder Morgan" say the Secwepemcul'ecw Assembly.

Secwepemc elders, youth, children and families are calling for an immediate shutdown of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline in light of the forest fires raging through their territory. They fear the pipeline poses a serious safety hazard. They also say the unprecedented increase in fires is evidence of global warming created, in part, by Alberta tar sands oil transported by Kinder Morgan.

"We are in a critical state of emergency dealing with the impacts of climate change,” said Secwepemc teacher Dawn Morrison, adding “this includes catastrophic flooding and fires, as well as social issues such as poverty, increased violence against our women and high rates of death from substance abuse in our communities.”  

Morrison, founder of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, says “the health of our families and communities relies heavily on our ability to harvest wild salmon and access clean drinking water, both of which are at risk if the Kinder Morgan pipeline was ruptured or impacted by the fires.”

The Secwepemc’ulecw Assembly is demanding a moratorium on any pipeline proposing to transport crude or diluted bitumen through their vast traditional territory where they are stewards of the forests, fields and waterways that flow from the Rockies on their way to the ocean.

The Assembly met last month to reaffirm its territorial title and authority saying, “We have never provided and will never provide our collective free, prior and informed consent - the minimal international standard - to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project.

We explicitly and irrevocably refuse its passage through our territory. Investors take note, there is no Secwepemc consent for Kinder Morgan. Kinder Morgan will not pass through Secwepemc Territory.”

To view the Secwepemcul'ecw Assembly Declaration visit: secwepemculecw.org

For interviews contact:

Jeffrey McNeil – 416.720.4358

Kanahus Manuel – 250.852.9002 or 323.804.5106

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Wild salmon are our most important Indigenous food and cultural and ecological keystone species. Indigenous communities have celebrated the spirit of wild salmon for thousands of years, and we are deeply concerned about the health and survival of them. Wild salmon provide a powerful metaphor for unity, so come swim with us. Get involved in the WSC 2017 October 7-12.  Volunteer to plan the caravan.   Follow us on facebook for more detailed information coming soon.

 

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The Britannia Community Centre renewal project is underway. Funds have been earmarked to revitalize the 18-acre Britannia site that includes the High School, a swimming pool, ice rink, seniors centre, library, family centre and more.

Community consultation is the first step.  Get involved. Come to the meetings.  Make your voice heard.  Britannia Community Centre complex is the heart and soul of the Grandview Woodland neighbourhood, is close to CCEC Credit Union and a number of our members live in this area and use the facility.  

Planning and Development Committee meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7-9pm in the Britannia Info Centre and are open to the public. (Next meeting: Tuesday, August 15th, 7-9pm in the Info Centre)

The Housing Subcommittee is exploring possibilities for public housing on the Britannia site.  Email info@britanniarenewal.org for more information or to get involved. (Next meeting: Tuesday, July 18th, 5-7pm in the Info Centre- a light dinner will be provided)

Check out our website for past meeting minutes, upcoming agendas, news, updates, and more!

www.britanniarenewal.org  | info@britanniarenewal.org

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Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein's newest book is called NO IS NOT ENOUGH, and it is a call out to communities, thinking people, and progressive politicians. She sat down with Charlie Demers at a Writers Festival event on June 24th and laid out the essential arguments for constructive change - environmentally, socially, and economically. 

At the core, she emphasizes that resistance, saying no and protesting, is not going to be enough.  She contends that 'reacting' to a rapacious agenda the degrades the planet and consigns millions of people to poverty, or worse, is only a first step.  She sees the need for progressives to fashion a strong, fresh, and vital agenda that can contest the field in democracies, especially the USA. And also, she sees the need for communities, municipalities, and local governments to pick up the bigger challenges - and not wait for 'big government' to take action. 

The book largely pivots on the new directions, statements, and behavior of the new leader of the free world.  She entertainingly and succinctly lays out the 'brand management' tactics of the new president.  There are echoes of her previous books No Logo, and This Changes Everything. But she also includes observations on the recent BC election and the UK election.  In those cases she was heartened by the championing of truly progressive and exciting policies, broadening the discussion of what can be done by government. She noted that these visions were supported by voters.

The argument goes further than electoral politics, however. Ordinary people and community-based initiatives are also needed - both to effect action and to hold governments accountable.  Naomi Klein was referencing the Women's March and other events that are prompting people to get involved and take greater responsibility for a whole host of issues; immigration and refugees, housing, health services, education, transportation... In this context, CCEC and the many community groups we bring together are primary examples.

The challenge to the hundreds in the audience that evening was simple, 'It is up to you, us, to develop a vigorous, positive plan for the future; and put it in place.'

 

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CCEC is pleased to co-promote the Global Divestment Week, May 5-13,with the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, one of our member-owners.


Back in 2014, CCEC Credit Union was granted intervenor status in the National Energy Board hearings for the Kinder Morgan pipeline on behalf of our members, including Yarrow Ecovillage, whose homes and organic farm is on the pipeline route. The process was deeply flawed, and many intervenors pulled out of the hearings, citing them as ‘unfair’ and ‘biased’. Unfortunately, of course, the pipeline has been approved, without full consent of Indigenous Peoples and concerned community members.


Today we invite you to participate in the Global Divestment Week being led by 350.org, and encourage you to divest in Kinder Morgan, as well as other dirty fossil fuel companies. We have created a peer to peer podcast with Dawn Morrison, founder and chair of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, with Tammy Lea Meyer, co-chair of our board.

 

 This podcast explores some key points of entry into a journey of better understanding how Indigenous land and food systems intra-act in both complementary and contentious ways, and highlights some key issues, concerns and strategies that cross fertilize Indigenous food sovereignty, sustainable energy, and climate justice with the divestment campaigns and hopeful economics. The podcast is a beautiful expression of the ways in which we can work across cultures to prevent any further damage to the forests, fields and waterways that are the basis of the food system as a whole.

 

CCEC and the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty encourages divestment from fossil fuels, and supports investment in community economic development and sustainable energy plans. These are ways we can all personally take action and empower ourselves in creating a thriving future where the ancient ways of being in the world can inform how we can be in right relationship with the land, water and food that is the basis of the economic system that we all benefit from.


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