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Read about the history of the co-op movement in the '70's including CCEC!  Jan DeGrass is one of the first 25 members of CCEC.

From Jan on her new book: 
I’m excited to tell you that The Co-op Revolution has just been published by Caitlin Press. My latest book gives an account of my time with CRS Workers’ Co-op in Vancouver during the heady, activist years of the 1970s. Hope you can make it to my book launch in Vancouver. 
Visit the publisher or Jan's website for more information. 
Vancouver Book Launch: VPL Main Branch Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m

Excerpt from the book: “We were undercapitalized, inexperienced, practiced democratic decision-making and some of us smoked dope occasionally. All elements that would make us grow as human beings and as business people. We ran a helluva show.”

In the spring of 1975, a free-spirited Jan DeGrass backpacked across Canada in search of adventure and greater meaning in life. When she arrived in Vancouver, she met a group of people committed to social change; together they reimagined the food industry in BC.

In The Co-op Revolution: Vancouver’s Search for Food Alternatives, author and journalist DeGrass writes about her journey as a founding member of the Collective Resource and Services Workers’ Co-op. Bounding to life during the heady, activist, grant-funded years of 1974–1980, the CRS Co-op became one of the most successful co-ops in BC and was committed to co-operation and worker ownership. While the decade of the seventies is remembered for its new wave of co-ops—usually organized by a “free-flowing” collection of women and men in their twenties—CRS was unique in its success. Among its many accolades, it created the Tunnel Canary cannery, the Queenright Co-operative Beekeepers, Vancouver’s popular Uprising Breads Bakery and a food wholesaler, which later became Horizon Distributors. The economic, political and social skyline of Vancouver was changing. For some, the co-op movement was about crushing capitalism; for others it was simply about buying cheap, wholesome food from people they trusted, and living in communal camaraderie. No matter the pursuit, co-operation was the answer.

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More than fifty members came out to the CCEC Annual General Meeting February 6th, to consider ordinary business and four special resolutions.  Special resolutions - which require 18 days notice and 2/3 majority support - are needed to alter the CCEC Rules (or 'bylaws').

The board proposed four Rule changes; texts and rationale had been circulated well in advance.  Director Shannon Daub presented these to the meeting, specifically saying that these changes were presented separately so that members would have the opportunity to consider each change on its own merits.  

In the end, three of the changes were carried by substantial majorities. These included (1) a prohibition of employees sitting as directors, (2) a charge to the nominating committee to inquire into candidates' potential conflicts of interest and report out on these to members, and (3) giving limited authority to the board to remove a director for misconduct, failure to attend to duties, or if they were obliged to resign by law and had not.  In the debate several particulars were highlighted, such as possible conflicts that may result in Rules texts, and the board will be looking into these more closely.   

Special resolution #4 failed. That change would have enabled the directors to introduce the use of electronic notices and voting, subject to statutory restrictions.  The principal concern expressed by those speaking against the motion related to electronic voting.  There was a view that CCEC should not proceed down such a path without much more careful planning and proposals. 

Within the context of these debates, but also receipt of other reports and elections, the meeting was lively and constructive.  All feedback on the meeting that has been offered subsequently has been positive and we thank all those attending for there contributions.

​The successful special resolutions have now been filed with the Superintendent, and the board will be reconsidering the various matters arising in the next few months. 

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Wild Salmon Caravan (WSC) is a project led by the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) in collaboration with the Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance. The project engages multiple Indigenous and non-Indigenous Elders, activists, researchers and lawyers.  2019 will be the 5th annual WSC.  Dawn Morrison, Co-Founder/Chair of the WGIFS says, “The strength of our work lies in our networks and our ability to link with over 100+ organizations to leverage support, access funding, and co-develop programs, promotion, and public education materials, as well as plan logistics, and host community arts build workshops, feasts, ceremonies and visual and performing arts events.”  

The WSC, with guidance and direction from the Salish Council of Matriarchs, raises awareness of the issues surrounding the declining health and abundance of our most important Indigenous food, wild salmon. They organize community arts and cultural engagement activities that brings together Rainbow Peoples (peoples of all creeds and cultures) in their public education campaign and celebrations of the spirit of wild salmon.

The WSC mobilizes traditional ecological knowledge, values, strategies, practices and protocols that have persisted throughout the process of colonization. The WSC media highlights  teachings on sustainability of wild salmon fisheries and how it can be applied in the present day reality.  Sustainability of our efforts ultimately lies in the extended networks where Indigenous food, social and ceremonial fisheries knowledge lives, and the large volunteer basis on which the WGIFS and WSC planning teams work. We activate sharing and trading of knowledge and food and revitalize inter-tribal networks, and we promote and generate awareness of how to increase the communities’ ability to respond to their own needs for food in a way that affirms the regenerative paradigm that underlies Indigenous cosmologies and worldviews. 

In 2018, the eight-day caravan started in Vancouver with a parade on September 22 and finished in Chase at Adams Lake on September 29.  For more information and to get involved in the 2019 WSC visit their website  Like and Follow them on Facebook 
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Did you know that:

·         In BC, 50% of all seniors live on an income of less than $26,000/year?

·         The 2018 Homeless Count found that 23% were over the age of 55?

·         It is estimated that by 2038, about one in four people living in B.C. will be a senior?

Seniors face many issues and challenges that include social isolation, loneliness and poverty.  The Seniors 411 Society offers programs that reduce social isolation, increase social inclusion, and are a critical component of any anti-poverty strategy.  The Society’s submission on a Poverty Reduction Strategy for Seniors (Feb. 2018) states that the BC plan must address both increasing income and helping reduce or manage costs.  They also provided recommendations in seven areas that include housing, transportation, food insecurity and community based programs.  BC is still the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction plan.

In the 411 Seniors Centre Society submission, they emphasize the importance of community and social connections for seniors.  Seniors have told staff at the Society that they feel a loss of community if they move to a different and unfamiliar neighbourhood.  However, aging in place and finding quality, affordable rental homes in Vancouver, is a challenge for seniors on low and fixed incomes.  The new 411 Seniors Centre (anticipate ground breaking in Spring 2019) is a step to providing more seniors social housing.  It will have approximately 50 units of social housing, a multi-purpose centre and be located close to other amenities and services they need.

Leslie Remund, Executive Director for the 411 Seniors Centre Society, says, “We are a peer led membership organization that aims to cushion the impact of poverty by providing information, referral and advocacy services, a drop in for socialization & connection& daily activities that promote aging with pride and curiosity.”   The Centre strives to enhance the quality of life of seniors by adding a collective voice on seniors’ issues such as affordable housing, income, and health services.   Join us!”

Find out more about the 411 Seniors Centre Society.  Support their capital campaign for their new building.

(This year, CCEC was pleased to support a fundraiser for the 411 Seniors Centre Society.)

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Interest rates in Canada are climbing so if you’re on the verge of going into debt over holiday spending this year, you might want to reconsider.

To get through the holiday season with as little financial pain as possible, here a few tips to keep from overspending (which can be hard!):

Make a budget: Figure out how much you can afford to spend over the season and then work from there. For example, if you can afford $200, then make a list of what you think you need to buy and work backwards. And don’t be afraid to cut – whether it’s trimming the decorations, making your own cookies, or opting for a thoughtful card instead of a gift for someone.

Do go out with your list: Shopping centres and malls are packed at this time of year and it’s easy to get distracted and over spend. The best way to avoid this is to have a clear list of who you need to shop for and what you plan to buy for them.

Use cash: Paying for everything with cash or using your Interac Debit card makes it much easier to track your spending. Carrying a few bills along with you can ensure you stick to the essentials and avoid impulse purchases.

Have honest conversations: Avoid awkward moments by setting a price limit ahead of time for gifts among friends and family. This way no one is caught off guard by pricey or less fancy gifts. You might also find that you’d prefer to skip the gift giving altogether and opt for a night out or another kind of treat you can share.

Try a Secret Santa with your family: This is a fun way to set gift giving limits among family. Give everyone a budget of no more than $30 and one person to buy for. That way everyone gets a gift and no one has to break the bank.

We wish all our members the best for the holiday season. 

(reprinted from the cutrust newsletter)

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"Gold Medal Winner for Recycling," says, Mike McCardell on The Last Word segment featuring CCEC Member Randi-Lee Taylor and her Simply Barefoot Garden business.  Watch the video: 

 

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Interested in increasing your awareness about the scams that target Canadians? The Competition Bureau Canada has put together information about some of the top scams in the country. Check out The Little Black Book of Scams (2nd edition) and learn tips, red flags, and detailed information about different scams.

Here are three of some of the general red flags to watch out for, according to the Competition Bureau.

  1. Spelling mistakes: Be skeptical of emails, messages or websites that contain misspelled common words; grammar errors that make it difficult to read or expressions that are used incorrectly. Email and web addresses should also be examined closely to see if there are subtle mistakes or differences.
  2. Personal information request: Fraudsters may ask potential victims to provide more personal or financial information than is required for the transaction or discussion. Be suspicious if someone asks for copies of your passport, driver’s licence and social insurance number, or birth date, especially if you don’t know the requestor.
  3. Unsolicited calls: You might get a call from someone claiming that you have a virus on your computer, you owe taxes or there has been fraudulent activity in your bank accounts. Know that legitimate organizations will not call you directly. Hang up and call the organization yourself using the number from a trustworthy source, such as the phone book, their website, or even invoices and account statements.

Every year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to scammers. To find out more about scams in Canada and how you can protect yourself, visit The Little Black Book of Scams. A PDF version is also available.

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Meet CCEC Member Tani Tupechka

Accessing good food during illness and the leg hold trap of poverty is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced.  In 2009, I was forced off work and onto disability because of a chronic muscle illness. Food took on a whole new meaning for me.

At the recent Vancouver Food Summit, a Coast Salish elder said, “food is life.” So true.  And food is also love and fueled by communities working together.

Each of us has an important role to play in food security - including community organizations like CCEC. I’ve done a good deal of food activism at the community level; in gardens, kitchens and educational initiatives.  I saw how access to good, affordable food is a huge barrier for many people – as it was for me.  NGOs and organizations need to receive the support to put even more energy and resources towards this key issue.

Accessing local food programs became key for my survival.  I had support from people in my community, but if it wasn’t for the financial help that CCEC provided, I would have gone hungry many times.  On top of that, in the spirit of community, the workers at CCEC always treated me with respect when I needed help, especially Atilio Alvarez.  He never once treated me like I was poor or untrustworthy, instead he was always kind, supportive and caring.  I am super grateful to him and the many people in our communities that helped me when I needed it most. 

Recently, I’ve been able to return to the community work I love and my own struggles have focused my energies on food justice.  Food security is at the heart of social and environmental justice. It ensures that people not only survive, but begin to thrive.  

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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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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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