1. You’re the boss — if you don’t like the layout of your office or the structure of your working day, vote for change.
2. Co-operators are “in it together”. Academic research shows co-operatives would rather cut wages than make people redundant. And as workers shy away from corporate entities, the growth of co-operatives is gaining strength.
3. Job satisfaction is improved through collective decision-making, such as electing your management or creating favourable pay conditions.
4. Collective management. Alternatively, your co-operative can flatten its structure, which can be along the lines of Suma wholefoods co-operative — where everyone is truly the boss.
5. Independence. Your co-operative isn’t accountable to any shareholders, so any profits can be reinvested in training for staff, growing the business and even rewarding yourself with a well-deserved bonus. John Lewis recently gave its worker-owners a massive 17% bonus.
6. Co-operative behaviour is enshrined in the human genome. According to psychologist and author Oliver James, there is strong evidence that co-operation is good for us emotionally, where by contrast, excessive competitiveness causes stress and mental illness.
7. And ethics. Co-operatives are underpinned by seven basic principles of co-operation. These social economy goals give a ‘purpose’ that is much stronger than conventional corporate ethics.
The PEI Co-operative Council is honored to be among such great company in the area of historical and cultural preservation as one of the recipients of a 2013 Heritage Award presented by the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation in a ceremony in Charlottetown recently. The PEICC received the award for the production of its documentary film, “Building a Better World: A Co-operative History of PEI” which traces the history and impact that co-ops have had in Prince Edward Island over the past 150 years. A full list of winners can be found here.
Peter Rukavina on the Personal Value of Co-ops
Industry Canada to Assume Federal Responsibility for Co-ops
The federal government has transferred responsibility for co-operatives to Industry Canada. Canada’s two national co-operative associations, the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and the Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité (CCCM), had strongly urged the government to make this move. Legislative and regulatory responsibility for financial co-operatives, such as credit unions and mutual insurance companies, will remain with Finance Canada.
The government also responded positively to other recommendations of the Special Committee, including efforts to highlight the strategic role co-operatives play in the Canadian economy and collaborate with financial institutions, the provinces and territories and other key stakeholders to offer business financing and capitalization to co-operatives. Go to www.coopscanada.coop to read the government’s response to the Committee report.
Eco-Smoothies Return to Colonel Grey
The PEI Co-operative Council is pleased to announce is pleased to announce that the Eco-Smoothies Co-op successfully completed their first run during the 2012-2013 school year after a pilot version of the program was implemented during the spring of 2012. The students participating learned about co-operative business development and used that knowledge to run their own co-op in the school. Another class will be serving up smoothies in the spring of 2013 at the school and the PEICC hopes to expand the program to other high schools in PEI in the coming months. Thanks again to our partners, including Metro Credit Union, ADL, the Co-op stores in Charlottetown and especially the staff and students at Colonel Grey for their terrific job!
Building A Better World: A Co-operative History of PEI
A brief excerpt from the documentary “Building A Better World: A Co-operative History of PEI” about the beginnings of the co-operative movement in Prince Edward Island.
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE (OCTOBER 16TH, 2012) – To help commemorate the International Year of Co-operatives as well as National Co-op Week, the PEI Co-operative Council has enlisted award winning singer-songwriter and poet Tanya Davis to create an original song that celebrates co-operative ideas and values such as unity and togetherness. The song, entitled “So go these threads” is a new composition from Davis who had been working on the words and themes of the piece since becoming aware of the International Year campaign last year.
“The thinking was to have something very unique created that transcended a literal discussion of the value of co-operatives and move directly into the area of the themes and spirit of co-operation,” says Todd MacEwen, communications director for the PEI Co-operative Council. “What Tanya has crafted is incredibly beautiful, weaving together images of nature, history and community, which are all integral to the co-operative idea, and beyond that, I think anyone who listens to the song and reads the lyrics will find something very inspirational.”
The song is currently streaming on the PEI Co-op Council’s website (www.peicc.coop) and is being distributed to other provincial co-operative groups throughout the country. Downloads of the song will be available in the coming days and MacEwen says that there may be a limited number of physical copies available within the next month. “As we wind down our International Year campaign, we hope to be able to continue to get the word out and raise awareness of the value and values of co-operatives through any means possible and Tanya’s words and music will certainly help in that cause.”
“Building a Better World” Documentary Chronicling the History of Co-operatives in PEI Screenings Announced
With 2012 being the International Year of Co-operatives, the Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council decided that it would be the perfect time to celebrate the rich history that co-operatives have had in the province dating back to the foundation of the Farmer’s Bank in Rustico almost 150 years ago. One of the results of this initiative has been the production of a feature length documentary called “Building a Better World: A Co-operative History of PEI” which will be shown in five communities across the province during National Co-op Week in October.
The film was directed by Susan Rodgers of Blue Mountain Entertainment and shot in locations all over the Island during the past year and features interviews which give a rich and personal accounting of the impact that the co-operative movement has had in PEI. Dr. Ed MacDonald of UPEI and historian Georges Arsenault act as hosts and provide the context with interviews with Islanders of all walks of life providing the details of how co-ops of all shapes and sizes helped determine the future for so many communities and what the future holds for the co-operative movement.
Screenings will be held in Charlottetownat the Arts Guild on October 15, the EptekCenterin Summerside on October 16, at the Ecole Evangeline in Wellingtonon October 17, at the Farmer’s Bank in Rustico on October 18, and at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #6 in Tignish on October 19th. Screenings begin at 7 PM with receptions to follow at theCharlottetown, Summerside, Rustico and Tignish screenings. For more information please visit www.peicc.coop.
PEI Co-operative Council leads effort to acquire original bank notes for the Farmer’s Bank of Rustico
Thanks to the help of local co-operative organizations, the Farmers’ Bank of Rustico will be adding some important artifacts to its collection: two original bank notes that were used during the time of the Bank’s operation in the late 1800’s. These were accepted by the Island Government as legal tender and recognized by banks throughout the Maritimes. This is a very significant occasion as it marks the first original bank notes ever to be added to the Bank’s collection of artifacts. (Read more…)
When the lunch bell rang Monday at noon at Colonel Gray High School, students quickly filled the hallway to check out a smooth new business venture.
Eco-smoothie is part of a P.E.I. Co-op Council Youth Co-operative project for Grade 12 economic students.
The “eco” comes from being a part of the economics curriculum, but also because the smoothies are ecologically friendly and affordable.
Article from The Guardian Business April 3, 2012.
What is the Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council?
The Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council (PEICC) was formally established as a corporation on July 27, 2007. Ten nominees formed a steering committee to work on ways to channel the enthusiasm and commitment of the co-op sector on P.E.I. into an effective council. The organization is registered under the Co-operative Associations Act of Prince Edward Island. The first AGM was held in November 2007 and the board of directors was officially elected. On December 6 of the same year, the first official council meeting with the new board of directors was held. In April 2008, an executive director was hired to help the Council carry out its mandate and to promote the co-operative business model.
The PEICC’s mission statement was developed during a strategic planning session in November 2009.
The Prince Edward Co-operative Council will provide support to its members and improve the social and economic development of Prince Edward Island by employing the co-operative business model.