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We are in the same storm, not the same boat.

As we are in Phase 2 restarting, we ask ourselves: What do we want our community to look like? What did we learn from our time of self-isolation? What will be our economy?

At CCEC, we support a just recovery for all. We agree that now is the time to move forward with innovative, progressive recovery and rebuilding plans with a strong focus on social spending. Now is the time to invest in rebuilding our communities and cities based on care and compassion.

We cannot go back to the way things were. We are seeing the results of chronic underinvestment and inaction in the face of the ongoing, pre-existing crises of colonialism, human rights abuses, social inequity, ecological degradation, and climate change. We see that the people most impacted by the inequities are those living in poverty, women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), racialized, newcomer and LGBTQ2S+ communities, people with disabilities, and seniors. We are seeing that the situation is forcing governments and civil society to face the inadequacies and inequities of our systems. There is no going back as “normal” caused our current situation and problems.

The recently formed Just Recovery Canada, an informal alliance of more than 150 civil society groups, have released “Six Principles for a Just Recovery.” The principles ask that all recovery plans being created by governments and civil society:

  1. put people’s health and wellbeing first;
  2. strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people;
  3. prioritize the needs of workers and communities;
  4. build resilience to prevent future crises;
  5. build solidarity and equity across communities, generations and borders; and
  6. uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous people.

The principles aim to capture the immense amount of care work happening throughout Canadian civil society right now and present a vision of a Just Recovery that leaves no one behind.

 

Now is the time to get involved and fight for a Just Recovery. We need to be on the path toward an equitable and sustainable future. 

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What is a platform cooperative and how can this model help as we restart our economy?  


PCC & Mondragon are offering an online course to help businesses use a website, mobile app, or protocol to sell goods or services. As the Platform is based on cooperative values, it introduces economic fairness, training, and democratic participation for users and businesses.  


Over the past few months, as we ask ourselves, “What’s next?”  and, “What kind of new economy do we want to create?”, we have an opportunity to make things better. 


In moments of crisis as we have experienced, things that had been considered impossible can become common sense. For example, the Great Depression gave rise to the original New Deal.  Now, we need to show possibilities for how the world could be better by building an economic alternative. 


The cooperative movement has often been called The Third Way.  As the credit union is a cooperative, we support the start, growth and conversion of business to this model.


The Platform Cooperative is one option to consider at this time to support businesses. For more information on the online training email pcc@newschool.edu  and visit their website. Please note there is a cost to participate in the course. It is practical, hands-on and started as an emergency course in response to the crisis.


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The YES is running a limited number of smaller programs this summer.  Youth ages 14-18 who want to attend Camp YES this year, please email Joanne and ask about Sponsorship to cover the Registration Fee.


The province recognizes the importance of summer camp experiences for youth's emotional and social development. We know that Camp YES programs have a powerful positive impact on the youth they serve, and on their mandate to build inclusive communities where all youth thrive. 


Read the BC Co-op Association interview with Chelsea Lake, ED of The YES Camps.  Learn how they are dealing with COVID-19, keeping their members and community at the centre of all they do, and how they pivoted to continue serving their community during a global crisis.


As COVID was unfolding, they asked themselves, "What should we do during this time?  As co-operators, the question inevitably becomes, how can we best serve our members, or our community?"


At The YES, their community consists of 14-18 year-olds across the province, as well as the many alumni who have participated in our program over the years. As youth programmers they know that teens are an especially vulnerable population. 38% of the teens who come to The YES camps self-report as struggling with depression and anxiety, and 35% come from homes that struggle to make ends meet. We know that many teens rely on their schools or communities to meet their needs whether physiological, social, or emotional. So, at The YES they;ve been  asking themselves, how can we best serve teenagers right now? How can we reach youth who are lonely, isolated or in high-risk situations? How can we help prevent substance abuse, self-harm and mental illness during this global crisis?


Here are some ways, The YES is supporting our youth: 


1. CARE PACKAGE: THE PODCAST:  You can find their weekly podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, or on their website.

2. SOCIAL MEDIA CARE AND CONNECTION CHALLENGES: The YES is using its social media platforms to challenge teens to get creative about showing care and connection across distances, engaging youth in building connections across distance, focusing on activities that build participants’ self-worth, mental wellness, empathy for others, social-emotional learning, and grit.

 3. THE YES VOLUNTEER SUPPORT NETWORK:  The YES is  reaching out to participants from the last two summers (over 450 youth) to set up phone and virtual meetings.  They are focused on trying to reach the most isolated and vulnerable youth in their network.

4. VIRTUAL EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS: The YES teaches life-skills, and offer sessions like Relaxations: 30 minute mindfulness activities, Thought of the Day: insights and wisdom from staff, volunteers, and others. The YES is working to produce these sessions virtually to offer out to youth across their  networks.

At CCEC, we are proud of our members who have contributed to the Camp YES Scholarship Fund allowing us to cover the Registration Fee for our Youth. 


For more information on the Scholarship Fund, contact Joanne.  For information on Camp YES, visit their website.
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“We can focus on the “well-being” of citizens, rather than on traditional bottom-line measures like productivity and economic growth”, says, NZ President, Jacinda Arden. As we RestartBC and reopen the economy, will we go back to what was “normal” or will we use the opportunity to forge a New Way Forward? 

For example, New Zealand is proposing a budget where all new spending must advance one of five priorities: improving mental health, reducing child poverty, addressing the inequalities faced by indigenous Maori and Pacific islands people, thriving in a digital age, and transitioning to a low-emission, sustainable economy.

Naomi Klein with The Leap has started the project, BAILOUT FOR PEOPLE AND THE  PLANET:  A Crisis Response that Builds from Emergency to Transformation. They advocate for a recovery where  stimulus spending builds the scaffolding for a zero-carbon, full employment economy; and re-imagining where we  transform the economy to prioritize safety and stability for all, not just the 1%.  The Leap is working with partners to advance urgent demands around Housing, Health Care, Work and more.

Our response to this period of converging crises is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the federal government to initiate a reset of our economy and society, putting Canada on a path toward zero emissions, and bringing immediate material benefits and enhanced, 21st century universal public services to everyone – prioritizing Indigenous, racialized and working class communities – that is, the people who need them most.

In other words, this is the ideal moment for the Green New Deal. Essentially, it recommends an unprecedented public investment in a justice-based transition that creates well-paying jobs, solves our crises in housing, crumbling infrastructure, health and education, inadequate transit, and deep inequality. This kind of public investment would vastly expand the tax base and stabilize the economy at the same time.

Learn more. Get involved. Like, follow, sign up to support The Leap’s People’s Bailout, Progressive International, and a Green New Deal Canada.

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“This is not a return to normal … we’re going to a new normal," said Premier John Horgan.


But what does “a new normal”  look like for you? 


Dogwood BC says, “It marks the beginning of our next big test. Will we seize this opportunity to rebuild a more resilient province — or rush back to business as usual?” They ask you to help shape this essential public conversation by sending a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or through their webpage.


Dogwood BC also says that in BC, “normal” was failing to meet our climate targets. “Normal” was Indigenous and rural communities with no economic opportunities. “Normal” was housing, homelessness and addiction crises in our cities. “Normal” was a wildly inequitable distribution of wealth and power in our province. Let’s not go back to “normal”. 

The province has set aside $1.5 billion to get our economy back on its feet again as we transition out of the pandemic. ‘There’s a huge opportunity for very important economic growth and economic benefits to be invested in greening our economy, in energy efficiency,’ says interim Green Leader Adam Olsen.

But, the Premier’s task force in charge includes big business and unions, but not green groups.

Our members say:  

Advocating for a "hard hat" or "shovel ready" recovery is grabbing the wrong end of the stick. We  need to see retraining and placement programs at an unprecedented scale, with gender equity outcomes far beyond anything anyone's achieved in any economic recovery I've heard about.

The recovery plan MUST include:

  • clean energy development - lots of new jobs there!

  • fossil fuel use reduction

  • remove subsidies to fossil fuels - stop investment in dying industries

  • develop local power grids like solar roofs and wind power (there are bird friendly windmills already developed)

  • invest in green transportation like public transit and safe bikeways

BC Transit needs to establish a province-wide public bus company that uses as much electric power as possible.  Many communities in BC cannot be reached by bus…forcing people to drive their cars, if they have them, are agile enough and can afford to drive.

This is a once-in-a-generation chance to invest these precious public dollars into projects that build the kind of B.C. we all want to live in.  We need to be louder. Spark a conversation in your community about what our province should look like as the economy powers up again.  

Get involved. We need a Green New Deal, a CleanBC and a Way Forward. 

Like and follow groups including DogwoodBC, Wilderness Committee, and  STAND.earth


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Be on alert for government benefit scams, business rewards and other “too good to be true” offers.

 

There's been a significant  increase in false texts and emails that try to make you believe, for example,  you've received a CERB or other government benefit. These messages will usually ask you to click a link to claim your benefit.


Think twice before you click.  If you receive an unsolicited text or email from someone you don’t know asking you to click on a link, don’t do it. 


Do your homework. Even if a call or message seems to come from an official source, research it before handing over sensitive information, such as your name, address, or banking information. Scammers often try to earn consumers’ trust by impersonating reputable, official institutions.


Remember, the CRA will never send you text messages. If it sounds too easy or too good to be true, it probably is. Be skeptical and never respond to these messages or click on the link – even if it seems like it came from a credible source.


Arm yourself with the latest list of COVID-19 scams from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre


If you have any questions, call us Tuesday to Friday 9:30am - 5pm at 604.254.100. 


Stay home. Be safe. Be extra diligent for scams. 


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“Many of today's greatest challenges are global and they can only be solved when we work together. That is why Canada stands united with its German, French, and Japanese friends,” says Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.  She continues by saying, “We face the most turbulent moment in terms of the rules-based international order since WW2.”

#MultilateralismMatters   #AllianceOfMultilateralists 

COVID-19 was a wake-up call for multilateralism. The virus doesn’t recognize borders. We need strong global cooperation and solidarity to fight COVID-19. Containing and countering this pandemic calls for a co-operative, transparent, science-based and coordinated global response. Only by building a more sustainable and resilient world through enhanced international cooperation can we overcome this threat to humanity.

Multilateralism is founded on respect for international law as the only reliable guarantee for international stability and peace and that the challenges we are facing can only be solved through cooperation. It aims to bring together willing partners who can express themselves and take action.

The initiative is organized around three goals:

  • 1) compensating for the insufficient involvement of States and defending fundamental standards;
  • 2) reforming and modernizing the international institutions compared with the status quo;
  • 3) driving strong initiatives, particularly where governance is absent or insufficient.

Other initiatives will continue to develop that include human rights, international humanitarian law, cyberspace, future technologies, disarmament and arms control, global public goods and strengthening international institutions.

As we strive to “recover better”, the Alliance’s roadmap is the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

We encourage our members to support a  Green New Deal, say no to pipelines and fossil fuel, stand up for Indigenous sovereignty and rights.  This crisis has created opportunities
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The YES Camp created the Care Package Podcasts to provide care, support, and humour to youth around BC in response to the crisis of COVID-19.

Our CCEC members have supported our youth to attend the YES camp for many years. At this time, the YES is uncertain if they can hold the camps, so they’ve pivoted their focus to doing what it can for struggling youth.

The podcast – appropriately titled Care Package – aims to engage youth who are experiencing an unprecedented amount of uncertainty and anxiety in a time of already huge change in their lives.

The Podcasts go out every week, usually Wednesdays. You can get notifications from your podcast apps if you subscribe, or you can subscribe to The YES mailing list on the website to get an email notification and their blog. They also post on Instagram and Facebook for each new post. Amongst the segments – interviews with staff members, call-ins from campers, and “poopses and oopses” – a time for embarrassing stories.

For Canada’s young people, the last month has brought about more change and uncertainty in their lives than possibly ever before. Kids Help Phone has recorded a 350% increase in youth seeking help over text since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – leading to Kids Help Phone asking for more volunteers to meet the demand.

The YES and our team are concerned about what’s going on for teenagers out there right now – so we wanted to do something that would provide some care and connection out to all those teens who might just be at home with their family, or they might be in a vulnerable situation.” – Chelsea Lake, Director of the YES

At CCEC, we are accepting sponsorship applications for youth who want to attend camp. Camp registrations are open and payment is on hold until they can confirm the camps can safely run. Email Joanne if you have youth wanting to attend the camp. If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund, please email or phone the branch. 


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CCEC Member grunt gallery facilitates artistic creation, exhibition and community engagement. They are working to continue generating and sharing these things despite our physical separation from one another. This will be a process, developed between artists, arts workers, and our communities. Scroll down to see what the are doing now to provide Digital Community Engagement.  Visit their website. 


CCEC has various artists, art groups and musicians as members who are working to continue their programming through digital engagement. Tell us what you are doing so we can share this with our members.  Let us know what you are doing to stay connected. 

 

At Grunt Gallery: 

Be safe.  Let's stay connected just in different ways. ​

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Programs, details and logistics are updated daily.  Be sure to check the Federal Government website for more information. This is what we know:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit - available April 6

The CERB pays a monthly, tax-free $2,000 payment to workers who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible for employment insurance.  Any Canadian who has stopped working for a 14-day period due to COVID-19 can qualify for the new benefit, which covers a period of up to 16 weeks. Applications open online and by phone on Monday, April 6.

Employment insurance

If you have been approved for EI benefits on or after March 15, you will be moved over to the new emergency benefit when it becomes available. If you were already receiving EI, you can switch to CERB if your benefits end before October and are jobless due to COVID-19. EI-eligible workers should apply for EI now rather than wait for the CERB application to come online on April 6.

Wage Subsidies

Your employer may be eligible for Wage  Subsidies. This program is aimed to help businesses retain and return workers to their payroll.  Keep in touch with your employer to find out if you will receive this aid.

Canada Student Loans

Effective March 30, there is a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required, interest will not accrue during this time and students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

Mental health support

Kids Help Phone has received additional funding to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time.

Practical services for Seniors

Increased funding to the  United Way will provide services to seniors that include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.

Other aid for families and individuals:

  • Increasing the Canada Child Benefit. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.

  • Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment by early May as a one-time special payment. There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

  • Extra time to file income tax returns until June 1, 2020.


CCEC Is Here to Help

CCEC is your local credit union. We are here to help you. Call us Tuesday to Friday 9:30am-5:00pm. Please try not to visit the branch and use ATM’s, online and telephone banking.  We are offering flexibility on Loans and Mortgage Payments - call us or email so that we can review your options.  Be sure to call us and we can help you to securely and safely handle your banking needs.


 
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