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Medical cannabis dispensaries in Canada face a substantial hurdle doing business because the big banks have declined to provide services.  An excellent article in the Globe and Mail surveys the challenges, especially in light of the pending major changes to our federal laws.  

CCEC is highlighted in the article as an agent of change, because it has agreed to provide banking services. As noted in the Globe article, provincial governments, health authorities and even the Supreme Court of Canada have affirmed that access is essentially a health issue. CCEC has agreed.   

CCEC wants to build healthy and just communities, by empowering ordinary people. Political and social change is underway and there are roles for community groups and community-based financial institutions to play.  CCEC may be small, but we can have impact. 

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The Board at CCEC  Credit Union supports the $10 a Day Child Care Plan  proposed by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC.

We share the belief that all young children should have the right to participate in quality early care and learning programs that meet their needs.  With this plan, child care would cost families $10 a day for full-time enrollment & there would be a sliding scale based on income and terms of enrollment..  

If you are a BC parent in the labour force and have a young child — chances are it’s been hard for you to find affordable, quality child care. And, if you have found a child care arrangement that works for you — chances are you feel ‘lucky’ even though you are all too aware of the high cost of care.

It’s important to remember that most BC families with young children are also experiencing a child care crisis. It's most likely not surprising to you that:
Canada ranks last among developed countries in supporting quality early care and learning programs?
BC has licensed child care spaces for only about 20 per cent of children.
Fees are high because — unlike libraries, parks and schools that receive public funds to cover some operating costs — child care is primarily a user fee service.
Even high fees paid by parents aren’t enough to pay early childhood educators a living wage

BC has a child care crisis that isn't improving. Check their website to learn more.  

  

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Hands and Globe

The provincial government is about to launch a review of BC's credit union legislation, this review provides a moment to stop and reflect on current trends and desired outcomes. Late last year CCEC GM, Ross Gentleman, prepared a paper on BC Credit Union Futures - Trends and Choices as an attempt to stimulate some discussion and critical debate. The paper provides an overview of the history of the BC movement, the broader public benefits, and the potential consequences of consolidation (as mergers have become common).

One big issue relates to the future for smaller credit unions. Public policy appears to induce further amalgamations, and second tier credit union organizations are providing fewer supports, since the very large credit unions do not need them.  And then evolving technology and the preferences of a consumer society have introduced new competitive pressures. What is the future for these community-based institutions? 

Two credit unions now comprise more than 50% of total BC credit union assets.  The scale of these large organizations has diluted the role of members, as owners and citizen-participants. The co-operative governance model may no longer provide the accountability and direction needed. If, and that is a big if, public policy continues to implicitly promote consolidation, what provisions should be made to ensure that the interests of communities (and members) are well served? Another perspective, generally speaking to a notion of 'open co-operatives', is available on shareable.net.    

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The US 'Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA") is intruding into the lives of many Americans living outside the US and many people with US links. The organization Democrats Abroad has undertaken research and the report, recently published, details the problems being faced by people.  In Canada, there is a constitutional challenge being mounted, principally based on the state's subversion of personal privacy when banking information is shared with the US tax authorities. The FATCA is a dramatic alteration to tax treatment such that tax is collectible based upon citizenship rather than residency, and it casts a wide net trying to catch 'tax cheats', but intruding into many peoples' lives. Canada has signed an 'Inter-Governmental Agreement' to apply FATCA in Canada, and the CRA Guidance to the administration of the agreement exempts many small financial institutions.   

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Thank you to Councilor (and CCEC Member) Andrea Reimer who presented the Credit Union Day Proclamation signed by the City to Ross Gentleman, CEO and General Manager, CCEC.  In attendance at the event, which was part of our Annual Pancake Breakfast was BC Co-op  Association Executive Director, Carol Murray and Sherese Johnson, Engagement Coordinator; and CCEC Board Members Tammy Lea Meyer and Marty Frost. 

Ingredients for our pancake breakfast purchased from East End Food Co-op featuring  products produced by co-ops.  

 
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Join us as we celebrate Co-op Week, October 13-19. There are lots of activities planned to learn more about the co-operative movement and how co-ops contribute to our local economy and to the betterment of our community. Click here for more information on the BC Co-op Association Website.  

 

Thursday, October 16 - Credit Union Day!  CCEC's Annual Pancake Breakfast
Join us at the branch as we host our annual pancake breakfast from 10am-12nn.  Pancake flippers include your CCEC Board Members and BCCA staff.  I Choose Co-op T-Shirts will be on sale. 

Other events in the CCEC Neighbourhood on Wednesday October 15

BBQ in  Grandview Park hosted by the BCCA and the Co-operators
Location: Grandview Park, Commercial & Charles St. 
Time: 11 am to 2 pm

Co-ops & The Social Economy Workshop
Location: Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
220 - 1651 Commercial Drive
Time: 3 pm to 4:30 pm
As part of the BCCA’s Momentum Centre: The resource hub for new, emerging and established co-ops, this FREE workshop will explore co-operative solutions to social and environmental issues.

 


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Save the Dates:   International Credit Union Day is October 16 and Co-op Week is October 13-19.

 

 

The year’s message is,

“Local Jobs and Services. Global Good.”

Canadian credit unions have a long history of supporting their communities, which collectively contributes to greater global good. Credit unions have had great success in doing business this way and this is evidenced by our growing membership regionally, nationally and globally.

THINK Co-operative!  


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The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is being implemented in Canada under an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Canada and the US.  The particulars are in the Budget Implementation Act currently being debated in Parliament. The upshot is that Canadian financial institutions will be obligated to send personal information to the Canadian Revenue Agency that will be shared with the IRS in the USA. The government has released some basic information here

There are substantive arguments that the IGA violates Canadian constitutional and privacy laws, and American law. However, the US has been insistent in negotiations and the Canadian government has acquiesced.   

Those with American citizenship or residency may have their banking information relayed to the IRS.  Canadian Banks, with some exceptions, will begin collecting and reporting information as of July 1, 2014.  "US persons" affected should be assessing their positions. There is the prospect that US tax collectors will be harassing many people in Canada who have US links or citizenship.  Call if you would like more information. 

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Key players in the Occupy movement have announced innovative plans.  A small co-op is being formed to potentially offer low cost prepaid payment cards.  The potential credit union link is explored in this Credit Union Times article. The occupy movement still thinks in both national and local terms, and continues to encourage credit union membership and democratic control models. 

Notably, Canadian 'prepaid' payment cards are criticized in the Vancouver Sun today because of the excessive fees charged by many financial institutions. These kinds of cards are evolving into more than gift cards.  Social assistance payments and other transfers are being processed using these cards; particularly to those who do not have bank or credit union accounts.  As noted in the Vancouver Sun piece, the added costs are potentially borne by those who can least afford it.  CCEC is researching such a card offering but has no definite plans at this time.  

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July 31 the van with a fully operational ATM is scheduled to visit CCEC!

Beginning Monday, July 29 the ding free sea to sea road trip will kick off in Victoria, BC and make it's way across Canada throughout the month of August, wrapping up in Halifax in early September.

The road trip will follow two seasoned improv comedians on a quest to share surcharge-free ATM banking with the masses; revealing some of Canada’s strangest roadside attractions and a host of colourful characters along the way.  Spearheaded by an alliance of Canadian credit unions, the road trip is the latest stunt in our year-long campaign to raise awareness of the thousands of ding free ATMs available to credit union members across the country.  Our goal: to spare even more people from the millions of dollars lost to ATM surcharge fees each year.

Armed with their wits and a camera crew, our comedic duo will travel from Victoria to Halifax over the course of 32 days. They will be chronicling their exploits through a series of online videos and social media content. Canadians can follow the team at www.ding-free.ca, as well as via Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and at various locations along the way.

 

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