Launch of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada creates a united voice across the country

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CNW Group/Canadian Co-operative Association)

OTTAWA, April 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, co-operative and mutual businesses across the country gain a stronger advocate. With the launch of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) they can now speak with a single voice. A national, bilingual association, CMC represents 9,000 co-operatives with a total membership of 18 million.

This new association brings together the wisdom, historical roots and experience of two large networks that developed largely in isolation from one another: the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and le Conseil canadien de la coopération et mutualité (CCCM).

"The creation of CMC is the result of years of discussions about the benefits of national solidarity of our two organizations. Imagine the potential of having all co-op leaders working together in unison to strengthen the co-operative economy," says Léo Leblanc, president of CMC.

Co-ops provide consumers with values-based, community-owned and controlled enterprises that touch every aspect of life, from finance and housing to consumer goods and child care.

"Co-operative and mutual businesses exist in every corner of the country and in every sector of the economy. Their well being is important to every Canadian," Mr. Leblanc adds.

CMC activities will be targeted at helping co-operatives form, develop and thrive. Through advocacy with the federal government, CMC will provide a knowledgeable voice to encourage national policies that strengthen the co-operative economy. CMC will also support wide-ranging research in partnership with leading research institutions and government to inform policy.

As a national voice, CMC will offer its services in both of Canada's official languages. Mr. Leblanc believes that bringing anglophone and francophone organizations together at a common table will help break down communication barriers and allow knowledge and resources to be shared. "Having all of our deeply skilled co-operative communities working together not only strengthens the co-operative movement, it strengthens Canada, too."

Co-operatives support sustainable social, economic and environmental goals through adherence to the International Co-operative Principles and Values. There are ambitious plans at the international level to make co-operatives the fastest growing form of business by 2020 and today's launch is Canada's first step in doing our part to achieve that vision.

Earlier, Mr. Leblanc announced the appointment of Denyse Guy to serve as CMC's Executive Director.

The Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) is a national, bilingual association for co-operatives and mutuals in Canada, representing more than ten million co-operative and credit union members from over 2,000 organizations. CMC's members come from many sectors of the economy, including finance, insurance, agri-food and supply, wholesale and retail, housing, health and the service sector. CMC provides leadership to support, promote, develop the co-operative economy for the benefit of Canadians.

SOURCE Canadian Co-operative Association

Image with caption: "Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CNW Group/Canadian Co-operative Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140401_C8045_PHOTO_EN_38677.jpg

For further information:

Brendan Denovan, manager of communications Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada | Coopératives et mutuelles Canada 613.238.6712 x206