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Food insecurity is getting worse. Before COVID, one in eight Canadians struggled to put good food on the table. During the pandemic, it’s become one in seven—a 39 per cent increase. Food insecurity goes much deeper than hunger. It impacts our physical and mental health, social connection and community, employment and aspirations, family life and more.

Ian Marcuse is the Grandview Woodland Food Connections (GWFC) Coordinator and a long-time CCEC member. He works out of Britannia Community Centre.  He is a member of the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network (VNFN), a network of community organizations committed to promoting food security in neighbourhoods across the City of Vancouver.  This holiday season we are encouraging our members to support the work of the VNFN and the GWFC as they are providing emergency food for those who need extra support at this time. 

 

Read how Ian Marcuse and the GWFC has responded to the rising food insecurity in our neighbourhood: 

At the time of the initial COVID lockdown in mid-March, we deemed food access an essential service and within days mobilized the necessary resources needed for an effective response to COVID food insecurity in East Vancouver. This COVID Emergency Food Home Delivery Program ensures that food is provided in a dignified way including completely barrier free access, home delivery to ensure safety and health are a priority, and an emphasis on quality and highly nutritious foods. Our hampers are especially curated to support healthy outcomes for receiving households.

Since our programs started, we've delivered 6,250 food hampers. But we have also been able to increase our existing capacity in building a more resilient and responsive community food security program by establishing new relations with food suppliers, farmers, referring agencies, funders, volunteers, and new community members who we might never have connected with in the past.  More importantly, we have gained new insights and engaged in many conversations with peers, funders, policy makers and others about the systems that cause food insecurity and advocate for a more equitable food system in the long term. Interestingly, COVID has opened an important policy window to push for the change needed and the GWFC is lending a strong and informed voice to the change needed.

  • 520 Households in East Vancouver supported

  • 1,500 Individuals

  • 218,750 lbs of food distributed (average 30lb/box)

  • 120+ volunteers mobilized 

  • 3,600 volunteer hrs logged

While a temporary program for us, this response to COVID has been meaningful and important and continues to meet immediate food security needs at the community level by ensuring that the most vulnerable in our community have access to good food. However, as COVID numbers increase, demand for the program continues to grow especially for households with compromised health and facing financial hardship. We now have a waitlist.

Click here to donate to the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network. 
Contact Ian to get involved and to make a donation to the Emergency Food Program  gwfcnetwork@gmail.com or phone  604-718-5895
If you are experiencing food insecurity or know of someone who needs extra food support at this time, please contact your local Food Bank Community Partner.

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Managing your money, debt and investments, planning for retirement and protecting yourself from consumer fraud -  November is the 10th Anniversary of Financial Literacy Month  and a good time to review how you are doing. 


It is important that we all know how to protect ourselves, our identity and our money from frauds and scams.  Did you know that each year Canadians lose an estimated $100 million dollars to a variety of scams? In the past six months, loss to Covid-19 fraud was $6.2million. Lean more in the webinar hosted by the Vancouver Public Library taking place on November 24. 


The Canadian Government has many online tips and tools to help you better manage your finances in challenging times.  These include making a budget to keep track of your money, minimizing debt, and understanding financial products and services.  You can also learn how your credit score is calculated and how to make it better.  


If you have any questions about your financial well-being, we ask you to give us a call. We can provide complimentary advice. 


Financial Literacy Month is online in November. Follow them at @FCACan  and #FLM220


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November is Financial Literacy Month and the theme is “Understanding Your Finances”. Check the Government of Canada website for practical tips and tools on budgeting, savings, investing, fraud prevention, avoiding debt and building a strong credit history. Learn the 10 things you should know during times of financial uncertainty. 

They are also offering webinars: 

Financial Literacy Month is online in November. Follow them at @FCACan  and #FLM220.

If you have questions or concerns about your financial wellbeing, please give us a call. 

 

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We are now accepting applications for the 2021 recognition and award. 


This award is given annually to member groups that are active in social justice and co-operative development activity.  The award consists of three elements:  recognition from our community, our commitment to promote the project further through CCEC, and a financial contribution from the Roger Inman Trust.  The project itself contributes to the economic development of the community.

If you are a CCEC Member Group, business or individual you may apply for this special recognition and cash award. The award honours the memory of Roger Inman who contributed lots of time and effort to the early years of CCEC. His contributions to the wellbeing of the credit union and community economic development are numerous.  

Roger Inman became a member when CCEC first opened in 1976 and shortly after began serving as a volunteer teller. He was also a member of the credit committee, and later joined the Board of Directors where he served as co-chair and spearheaded the newsletter. A warm lovable man, Roger always contributed his time, insights, and humour to the many community initiatives with which he was involved. He was also active in local politics where his keen mind and natural optimism were always appreciated. Through this award, we acknowledge his devotion to community economic development, his commitment to his ideals and his generosity in spirit.

CCEC is committed to keeping our money and resources working in our community by actively supporting and promoting the development of strong, successful community businesses, projects and organizations

Applications are available on our website. Learn more about the award and our 2020 Award Recipient, The People's Prom 

If you have any questions, please contact Joanne.


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It’s International Credit Union Day on Thursday, October 15.  It has been held on the 3rd Thursday in October for the past 72 years. Did you know there are  291 million credit union members worldwide?  As we reflect on the role CCEC has played in our community and in our members’ lives, let’s share our experiences and invite our friends and family to join CCEC. 


CCEC received its charter in 1976, 2 years after a group of people involved in daycare, consumer and housing co-operatives raised capital to support community economic development. They called their group the Community Congress for Economic Change Society.  Our mandate was to serve groups that have been excluded from the economic mainstream - because they don't fit a banker's idea of a good credit risk - for example, the arts groups, immigrant organizations, housing co-operatives, and similar organizations that continue to be core of our membership. Loans were available to meet our members needs, and for community enterprises and community action. The founding members of CCEC described the loan process as "group solutions to individual problems."  The local focus of the credit union saw the money reinvested within our community. 

Some things haven't changed at CCEC over the past 44 years.  We continue to be guided by the principles that are the foundation of CCEC. We also continue to ensure community input into the lending process by maintaining a credit committee elected from the membership. Also, many directors, credit committee members, and staff are active in community groups that make up our membership.

CCEC is a member-owned, community development organization that is powered by people, like you;  in service of people like you.   Let’s celebrate International Credit Union Day! 


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A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) provides a source of retirement income. It can be set up anytime and withdrawals must start one year after it is opened. CCEC is now offering this service to our members and we want you to better understand them. 


There are various retirement investment options and we can provide you with complimentary financial advice and guidance.  While you must convert your RRSPs to a RRIF by the end of the year you turn 71, you can transfer your existing RRSP into an RRIF at any time.  To open an account, we can help you transfer your RRIF from another financial institution. 


A RRIF, like an RRSP, is tax-sheltered for deposits. As you need to withdraw a minimum amount in the calendar year after it was first funded, those members who are thinking of taking an early retirement may want to talk with us about opening an account.


Investing at CCEC means that you keep money working in the community to benefit you, your neighbours and local businesses.  CCEC has always been highly localized in how we invest your money since we opened in 1976. Our values have not changed. 


We are pleased to offer our members the option to invest in an RRIF. 


Call us to learn more. 


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In this upcoming provincial election, for the first time, all voters can vote by mail.  We feel this is a good option for many reasons and encourage our members to Request a Mail-In Ballot.  A reason is not needed to make this request as it aims to make voting more accessible and inclusive. At CCEC, we will be following issues of interest for our members, and for now want you to have the information you need to vote and to feel safe doing so.    


The Elections BC’s website has detailed information and instructions on how to request a mail-in ballot and how to vote.  Click here for the PDF of How to Vote by Mail


The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is October 17. Completed packages must be received by Elections BC before 8 pm PST on voting day Saturday, October 24. 


You can Request a Mail-In Ballot online, by phoning 1-800-661-8683 or at your closest district electoral office

Returning your package is by the postage paid return envelope provided; in-person at your electoral office or your voting place. 


For further information call Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683.


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The federal government committed to support businesses and individuals through this pandemic. We will see investment in a child-care program, standards for seniors care, a disability benefit modelled after the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors, and initiatives in the areas of homelessness; and support for working women, migrant workers, Indigenous people, and racial minorities. COVID-19 has exposed a lot of problems that are not new. We need to ask ourselves, “Did this Speech from the Throne address the problems while embracing a Green New Deal and Just Recovery?”


Sadly, not.  There was little new commitment to take action on climate change and the environment.   CCPA quoted from Seth Klein’s new book, A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the climate emergency, that we must adopt an emergency mindset. 

 They also say that the speech “fell far short of expectations for a bold, just and green recovery - and is silent on the billions of dollars this government is spending on fossil fuel subsidies and the Trans Mountain pipeline.”  The bottom line is that we hoped to see more green initiatives at the federal level. 


The speech also failed to address a guaranteed base income. And its proposed measures are largely downstream measures, rather than investing in the root causes of, for example, incarceration for racialized and Indigenous peoples. The vulnerability of migrant workers is another issue and you can learn more on the  Together For Full & Permanent Immigration Status For All campaign. We are also falling short to support a resilient public health care system that includes funding to address the opioid crisis, a mental health crisis, and ongoing climate emergencies. The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities, worsened poverty, and we are more vulnerable by the economic shocks of COVID-19.  


We need a stronger commitment towards a Just Recovery at all levels of government.  We are now entering the provincial election campaign and have an opportunity to ask our candidates some hard questions and vote for representatives that commit to helping us weather the pandemic and ensure a just recovery. 


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Indigenous fisher peoples in Canada are busy mobilizing knowledge and networks to celebrate the spirit of wild salmon and revitalize the inter-tribal networks where the strength of Indigenous fisheries governance can be realized more fully. The Wild Salmon Caravan is led by the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and is entering into its 5th year of public arts-based engagement through a series of events that calls on the Rainbow Coalitions “People of all Colors”, to come together to address the systemic injustices that are killing wild salmon, our most important Indigenous food and cultural and ecological keystone species.  

Following the theme of Rainbow Warriors, this year’s caravan will feature over 20 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artists. Each artist will be featured on the Wild Salmon Caravan website and facebook page from September 15 to October 4th. 

WSC Sept 19 Event

 On September 19th, the caravan will lead a ceremonial procession with Indigenous fisher peoples and knowledge holders, as well as artists who are calling for a just transition out of an unjust system of fisheries research, policy, planning and governance that has led to the decline of the wild salmon and their habitat since the time of colonization. The procession and program will begin at False Creek near Science World. Following strict COVID-19 safe protocols the caravan will proceed to Tent City at Strathcona Park where the WGIFS holds an artist’s residency. On Sunday September 20, the WSC will host a panel discussion with 4 well known Indigenous thought leaders, Marilyn Baptiste (Tsilhqot’in), Darrell Bob (St’at’imc), Eli Enns (Nuu chah nulth), and Peter Oewies from an Indigenous fishing village in Doringbai South Africa. 

 As we enter 2020, wild salmon and Indigenous Peoples who rely upon them for sustenance are facing a complex, tangled web of existential crises defined by the climate crisis, capitalism and colonial rule. The Indigenous lens is ever more critical to understanding the interwoven strategies needed to dismantle the destructive paradigms, structures and processes of colonial policy, planning and governance that have led to the demise of wild salmon, and look to Indigenous fisher peoples for leadership to reconceptualize a framework for coastal and inland fisheries and regenerative life-giving economy.  

As Stó:lõ Elder and President of the Wild Salmon Defender’s Alliance, Eddie Gardner says “if wild salmon goes, we go. Both Eddie and Dawn Morrison, Founder/Curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, have been quoted as saying: “It is our sacred responsibility to return to our original instructions as Indigenous Peoples to uphold our responsibility to our sacred trusts of land, water, plants and animals that have provided us with our food for thousands of years”. 

“In a similar spirit as Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela who organized for a post-apartheid South Africa; and the African American Black - led Rainbow Coalitions of the 1960’s, we call on all people to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples on the front lines of stopping widespread destruction to wild salmon and their habitat in our forests, fields and waterways. We urge you to ‘swim with us’ and join the diverse and powerful alliances forming to save wild salmon - aligned with the principles of Indigenous Food Sovereignty and social justice” stated Morrison”.

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“How can we create wealth, ensure social equity, and protect the environment?”  This question was posed in 2013, as CCEC hosted a Community Conversation on the BC Economy.  We were one of the 100 Community Conversations associated with the SFU Public Square project. Our blog  captured the feedback of ten CCEC members who participated in the conversation.  This blog highlights what we heard from our members as  seven years later, we are asking ourselves the same questions. 


The group first challenged the idea of a ‘BC Economy’, expressing the view that it was really an aggregation of several local and regional economies that were very distinct.  The consensus view was that the framing of the question was biased to mega-projects, large scale interventions and comparisons to global ‘norms’; a view that discounts small business and local exchange.   One voice noted that this abstraction was much removed from people’s everyday life.


Secondly, the conversation explored the term ‘create wealth’.  Harvesting natural ‘wealth’ is not creating wealth.  And GDP growth is a narrow indicator that certainly does not measure community well being.  Much discussion evolved around other more meaningful measures of community health in political-economic terms; suggestions included child poverty rates, street homelessness counts, and a happiness index.  It was observed that the ‘wealth created’ by the Exxon Valdez disaster, as an example, was not to be pursued as a ‘good thing’.

The group also wondered aloud about the waste created by industrial activity and a culture of consumption.  Why does conventional economics ignore, or downplay, the despoiled air, water and earth passed to future generations?  Why are there such inequalities with so many left in the margins?  Why do those in power deny and discount climate change?  

At CCEC, we want to encourage and foster conversations with members about our political-economy;  to foster individual agency and to explore the role of group action and projects.  

You may not know that "CCEC" was originally adopted by the credit union because the precursor organization that collected pledges to found the credit union was the Community Congress for Economic Change. 


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