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Liberal Live: Let’s talk about co-ops in Canada

Posted by Mauril Bélanger on October 15, 2012 | No Comments

Over the past week, chances are you’ve purchased a product or service sold by a co-operative business. There are over 9,000 co-ops in Canada, with an overall total of 17 million members, involved in activities such as retail, finance, agriculture and insurance.

Today, October 15, from 8pm to 9pm ET, you’re invited to join me online for our latest live interactive Critics’ Corner webcast to talk about the role this business model can play in the Canadian economy. As Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives, this is your chance to ask me anything about co-ops and the co-op movement in Canada.

There’s no RSVP required, just click this link a little before 8pm ET and join us on – then follow the link to submit your question.

This week is Co-op Week in Canada and this year is the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives. Worldwide there are 1 million co-ops and over 1 billion members. It might be surprising for some to learn that co-ops create more jobs than multinationals.

Co-operative enterprises fill a valuable role by providing goods and services to communities where traditional businesses don’t see a likely return on investment. Their key feature is that their ultimate goal is to meet their members’ needs. In other words, profit is the means, not the end.

Democracy also happens to be a core value of co-ops.  Their one member, one vote structure gives every person an equal voice in the affairs of their co-operative. These purpose and value driven enterprises have also proven to be more resilient and sustainable during economic crunches.

While the Conservative government has declared its support for the UN International Year of Co-operatives, they recently cut all funding for the Co-operative Development Initiative.

Why would our government cut support to a model that creates jobs, is proven to be resilient and sustainable, is active in almost every activity sector, contributes to strengthening our communities, and is present in small rural areas just as much as in large urban centers?

Liberals recognize that co-operatives do build a better world. Join me for a discussion on what we can do to help make sure this important sector of industry continues to thrive in Canada and around the World.

Please click here to be a part of this important discussion. Join us later today for our Critics’ Corner at 8pm ET.

Thank you.

Mauril Bélanger

Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives

PS. You can submit your questions to us in advance here.

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