Ross Gentleman, CEO&GM for CCEC presented a cheque for $1,000 to Jason Eng, Principal of Grandview Elementary School, to be used toward the “adopt a classroom” project that provides a holiday gift for each child and other family supports. The funds were provided by Concentra Financial, a back-office partner of CCEC, who asked CCEC to choose a recipient in our neighbourhood. Happy Holidays!



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Joanne White

Joanne (Jo) Lori White, a long time member of CCEC, died on October 25th due to cancer.  Jo was an active community organizer in the area of food security and organic gardening.

As an herbalist, wild crafter, biodynamic farmer, dairy maid, nature walks leader and interpretative guide in aboriginal and other communities throughout B.C. , Jo supported and encouraged collective-action to create  community-based environmental solutions. 

Throughout her life she created many grass-roots initiatives:  recycling and composting programs – long before it was the norm, wool co-ops, community gardens and organic farming.  She was honoured by Air Canada by winning the Heart of Gold Award for outstanding contributions made to the community and interviewed on Peter Gzowski’s CBC radio show Morningside.

Jo helped spearhead the Lillooet Park Community Garden, located within Lillooet Park in the District of North Vancouver that opened in the summer of 2011.  She worked with the North Shore Neighbourhood House, who collaborates with a wide range of groups on the North Shore from local government and health authorities to non-profit community groups as well as local social service providers, community members and local businesses.  This community garden consists of 46 community plots, two of which assist mobility-impaired gardeners. There is one large plot also dedicated to growing produce for the Edible Garden Project, whose mission is to increase access to fruits and vegetables and garden spaces to those most in need on the North Shore.  She also helped create the community garden called Loutet Farm in North Vancouver. 

Jo was a strong advocate for complementary and alternative medicine.  Perhaps you met her in wellness departments at Capers/Whole Foods (4th Ave & Robson), Pharmasave (Caulfeild) and Good Nature Health Foods (North Vancouver).

Jo White's brother, Marc White, and family have created a living tribute, through Seeds For Change 

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BC Crest

CCEC and others welcomed the official 'Royal' proclamation of Co-op Week by the queen's representative in BC. Co-op Week is celebrated nationally and internationally, in recognition of the important role co-ops play in community development and enterprise development. 

The BC Proclamation explicitly recognizes co-ops a 'social enterprises', the term now widely used for business activity that also pursues social and environmental objectives. Co-ops inherently distribute ownership rights differently, to consumers, producers, or workers, as the case may be. The model emphasizes the commonality of interests among people, jointly taking steps to improve their own circumstances. 

CCEC is a financial co-operative, with over 3000 members.  CCEC is proud to be part of the co-operative and credit union movements. Profoundly, CCEC was actually created to foster and finance co-ops and other community based groups; CCEC is unique in having this community development purpose/mission.

This week CCEC celebrated with the BC Co-op Association, CHF BC, Vancouver Co-operative Radio (all CCEC members) and many others. People working together can do great things!   

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CCEC co-sponsored a great event, "Connected Local Economies", on September 30th, with @150 attending at the SFU Segal Centre. Author and economist Michael Shuman provided a short presentation recapping his research that refutes conventional thinking on 'economic development' and proves that nurturing local business generates much better results - particularly in terms of employment.  He also highlighted several novel projects in Cleveland, Portland and elsewhere. 

The event then challenged participants to confront various issues related to the mobilization of GO LOCAL efforts in Vancouver. Orchestrated by the Design Nerds, small groups generated great ideas and proposals - graphically documented.  The conversations also invited people to form working groups and project initiatives.   

This was a great collaboration with the SFU CED Program, SFU Public Square, CUPE BC, and a host of community organizations that CCEC recruited, including; Loco BC, Village Vancouver, BC Farmers Markets

The resulting challenge to CCEC was twofold; (1) effective collaboration with community groups as projects evolve, and (2) developing more effective ways to redirect retirement savings into local business, rather than mega-corporations.  


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A workshop at Living the New Economy

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20 10 am -12:00 pm 

Performance Works Theatre on Granville Island, Vancouver

With Suresh Fernando and Michelle Colussi (Canadian Centre for Community Renewal), Ross Gentleman (CCEC Credit Union) and Kevin Harding (BC Cooperatives Association)

How will we finance building a new economy focused on social and environmental justice?  What are the key features of the new economy and the finance tools that are needed to support it? 

This session will share examples of community based finance models and engage participants in a discussion of how we might scale up their use in the Lower Mainland, and across the province.  Examples will include co-operatives, co-op and community investment funds, community bonds, micro credit, crowdfunding and impact investing.

Click here for tickets and more information. 

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On September 11th, ten CCEC members got together for a “Community Conversation” on the BC Economy.  CCEC was hosting one of the planned 100 Community Conversations associated with the SFU Public Square project that culminates with a Community Summit later this month.

Simply put, the BC Economy question being considered was, “How can we create wealth, ensure social equity, and protect the environment?”  The response of our members was animated and insightful.

The group first challenged the idea of a ‘BC Economy’, expressing the view that it was really an aggregation of several local and regional economies that were very distinct.  The consensus view was that the framing of the question was biased to mega-projects, large scale interventions and comparisons to global ‘norms’; a view that discounts small business and local exchange.   One voice noted that this abstraction was much removed from people’s everyday life.

Secondly, the conversation explored the term ‘create wealth’.  Harvesting natural ‘wealth’ is not creating wealth.  And GDP growth is a narrow indicator that certainly does not measure community well being.  Much discussion evolved around other more meaningful measures of community health in political-economic terms; suggestions included child poverty rates, street homelessness counts, and a happiness index.  It was observed that the ‘wealth created’ by the Exxon Valdez disaster, as an example, was not to be pursued as a ‘good thing’.

The group also wondered aloud about the waste created by industrial activity and a culture of consumption.  Why does conventional economics ignore, or downplay, the despoiled air, water and earth passed to future generations?  Why are there such inequalities with so many left in the margins?  Why do those in power deny and discount climate change?  

The evening generated a set on observations which has been passed along to SFU Public Square, to be part of their process and report.  Beyond that, CCEC was encouraged to foster more conversations with members about our political-economy;  to foster individual agency and the explore the role of group action and projects as may be appropriate.  You may not know that "CCEC" was originally adopted by the credit union because the precursor organization that collected pledges to found the credit union was the Community Congress for Economic Change. 

You are encouraged to take part in other events associated with the upcoming  Community Summit

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There are many ways in which CCEC is unique as a financial institution,  One significant way is that our members contribute to a scholarship fund that subsidizes the registration cost for our youth to attend Camp YES.   In 2013, our members contributed over $2,000 which allowed us to sponsor four youth. 


The youth who attended CampYES are very grateful to our members for your support.  Here are their words of gratitude: 


Everyone was so nice, and didn't judge anyone! We could be ourselves, and that felt great. I loved the activities, and making friends, and doing tye die shirts. Thanks for having me, I really had a blast. - jayde becker  

I enjoyed doing reflections learning about other people's day and about their life story.  Something I would take home with me from camp is the passion and trust I had with everybody.  I was 'co-operating' with everything that was happening at camp.
- Jayne Peters 


  I met so many people who were there for to to talk to and meet. I became a better person in my own way. In the self-awareness session, I learned that people do care and not to be afraid.  I feel great.  Thank you for allowing me to experience the camp.   - Mabel James
Thank you for sponsoring me. I enjoyed every moment of it.  I learned how to work together, the three kinds of leadership, and workshops including thought of the day, self-awareness, communication and co-operation.  I am taking home with me friends, trust, confidence and many other things. 
I highly suggest other youth to come to CampYES! - Rosalie Peters 


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Connected Local Economics

Vancouver: Sept. 30 6pm  
Location:  Room 1200, Segal Building, SFU Vancouver

Register here.   
Read our blog, Does Local Ownership Matter? our notes from his recent webinar.

What makes a thriving economy that builds connections between people and the places they live?

Please join us for an engaging and interactive evening with economist, attorney, and award-winning author MICHAEL H. SHUMAN. Mr. Shuman will share his thoughts on economic development as practiced today, and will set out an alternative set of principles and practices involving a local living economies approach that focuses on local business and an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports them.

After the presentation, The Vancouver Design Nerds will lead the audience through a nerd jam! The audience will breaks into teams of 6 – 8 people and tackle ten different economic design challenges. A Design Nerd Jam is a tried tested and true method for collaborative brainstorming and innovation. The cornerstone of the process is Collaborative Rapid Idea Generation, Participant Empowerment and Fun!

“Many people have critically examined economics on the basis of social outcomes, inequality, climate change and so on. But only Michael Shuman has examined two different approaches: 'attract and retain' versus 'local living economy' on the basis of jobs, wealth and competitiveness. Better still, Michael Shuman has taken great care to present in a way that speaks to the concerns of real people. With his somewhat quirky sense of humour, Michael will present compelling data, great examples, & a crisp framework for building local living economies.” Nicole Chaland, Program Director, SFU’s Certificate Program for CED Professionals

Event entry is by donation, but registration is required. There will be tapas and a cash bar. All proceeds support the bursary program for SFU’s Certificate Program for Community Economic Development.

Space is limited- register today!

Sponsorship generously provided by:


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SFU Public Square - Summit

CCEC is collaborating with SFU Public Square and hosting one of 100 Community Conversations on the BC Economy, taking place over the coming few weeks. These conversations will feed into a Community Summit Sep 28-Oct 4 at the Centre for Dialog and subsequently the publication of a "Citizens' Agenda". 

The SFU Public Square is a unique community engagement project which tries to foster constructive open dialog on issues of substantial importance within the province. 

The challenging question is, "How can we create wealth, promote social equity, and protect our environment?"

Check out the other events and activities associated with this 2013 Community Summit. If you'd like to take part in our CCEC community conversation session, email Joanne. Last year's 'summit' considered the problem social isolation in urban environments and the report prompted policy re-considerations within governments and foundations.  

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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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