EDMONTON, June 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Delegates from Canada's two national co-operative associations have
voted strongly in favour of creating a single bilingual organization to
represent co-ops, credit unions and mutual insurance companies in every
region of Canada . The decision is considered historic because it
brings together English- and French-speaking co-operators, who have
been largely divided along linguistic lines since the birth of the
Canadian co-operative movement in the 19th century.
When the new organization, tentatively named Co-operatives and Mutuals
Canada, is launched in early 2014, it will take over the domestic
mandates of both the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and the
Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité (CCCM). CCA will
continue to exist, but it will be only be responsible for international
co-operative development activities.
"This is not a merger, it is the creation of an entirely new
organization to represent all co-operative enterprises across Canada,"
said Bill Dobson, the newly-elected president of CCA. "This will
significantly strengthen the Canadian co-operative movement; it will
allow co-operatives, credit unions and mutuals to speak with one voice,
in both of Canada's official languages."
"I am so proud to see all Canadian co-operators unite to finally create
a single organization," said Denis Richard, the newly-elected president
of CCCM. "From now on, all co-operators - anglophone, francophone and
from other cultures - will work together to build on our collective
heritage and create a stronger co-operative movement in Canada for the
A well-attended Congress
The vote on the new organization took place during the joint Congress of
CCA and CCCM, which took place in Edmonton from June 26-28. Using the
theme Sharing our successes; building the future, the Congress gave more than 200 co-operators from across Canada an
opportunity to share their knowledge and experience and reflect on how
to implement a plan for a "co-operative decade" in Canada. They also
had an opportunity to hear from such speakers as MP Mauril Bélanger,
the Liberal Party's advocate for co-operatives in the House of Commons,
and Iain Stewart, an assistant deputy minister at Industry Canada.
The two associations also honoured eight individuals and co-operatives
for outstanding contributions to the Canadian co-operative movement.
Melanie Conn, a consultant, educator and director of Common Thread , a
Vancouver-based co-operative which creates tote bags and other items
out of recycled street banners, received CCA`s Canadian Co-operative
Achievement Award, while Saskatchewan-based credit union consultant Bev
Maxim, who has been actively involved in CCA's international
development program, received the Global Co-operator Award.
The late Bill Halpenny, who worked for many years in the Manitoba credit
union movement, was inducted into the Canadian Co-operative Hall of
Fame as a Pioneer Inductee. CCA awards for excellence in co-operative
governance were presented to Mountain Equipment Co-op, Coastal
Community Credit Union and UFA Co-operative Limited.
CCCM presented its highest honour, the Ordre du mérite coopérative et
mutualiste, to Quebec social economy leader Léopold Beaulieu, president
and CEO of Fondaction and president of CIRIEC, an international social
economy research organization; and Claudie Deveau of Cheticamp, NS, who
has been a leader in the co-operative movement in Cape Breton Island
for the past 40 years.
Co-operatives in Canada
Canada's 9,000 co-operatives have more than 18 million members and
150,000 employees. They generate annual revenues of more than $50
billion and have assets of more than $370 billion. Canadian
co-operatives are represented by two national associations, the Canadian
Co-operative Association (CCA) and the Conseil canadien de la
coopération et de la mutualité. (CCCM).
SOURCE: Canadian Co-operative Association
For further information:
For more information, contact:
Canadian Co-operative Association
613-238-6711, ext. 206
Visit our website at www.coopscanada.coop.
Director of communications and programs
Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité
613-789-5492, ext. 24
Visit our website at www.cccm.coop