Many CCEC members are supporting the the yes side.  The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has published an excellent primer on the Lower Mainland transportation Referendum.  The primer is a very complete discussion of the related policy issues: The use of direct votes on taxes.  The best ways to fund mass transit.  The need for responses to climate change. The narrow focus of the no campaign. The actual net burden of the tax, projected to be somewhat progressive. CRED BC has also offered a good view.  

CCEC supports constructive urban transit development. Many of our members rely on buses and Skytain service.  All of our members will benefit if emissions are reduced. We encourage all readers to get their ballots into Elections BC.  


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Local citizens are screening two films MARCH 31st at Britannia.  Cities on Speed” that includes screening two films with transportation themes and brief discussions.  These documentaries about Mumbai and Bogota are quite inspiring as well as entertaining.  So it’s a great way to engage people about the transformational potential of good transportation for cities. Particularly relevant in our community right now!
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Home, imagination, history 

“Economy is about how we take care of home.”

A blog by Nat Marshik.  Nat is a writer, sauerkraut maker, and visual artist currently working for CCEC as a community engagement organizer. Stay tuned for more blog posts over the coming weeks.

I begin this blog post with a small theft—a quotation taken with great appreciation from Decolonizing the Solidarity Economy, a webinar hosted by economic justice activists in the U.S. earlier this year.

As the newest (and youngest) organizer for the CCEC Development Society and credit union, I’ve been busy this spring hosting roundtable discussions with local activists, artists, thinkers, and economic experimenters. These have encouraged reflection and advisement on economic democracy in Vancouver, as CCEC’s Board seeks new visions for our role in an increasingly austere, neoliberal city.

Joanne, CCEC’s faithful communications co-ordinator, has asked me to write two hundred words summarizing these roundtable discussions. It turns out this is no easy feat. I have I decided, therefore, to do away with empiricism altogether. I’m going to get poetic on you. 

First, home. It’s been at the tip of our tongues in all these conversations, whether we’ve been talking about loan sharks and Money Trees, co-operative mortgages, crowdfunding and micro-lending, raising the rates, supporting migrants and non-status workers—home is there, endangered but also resilient.

Second, imagination, and third, history. These are key ingredients in our conversations, representing both liberation and constraint—a necessary tension.

In a review of Jessica Gordon Nembhard’s Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, straitjacket on our imaginationbetter ways to organize our economic lives.” As a child of the 80’s who never saw the heyday of the credit union movement, I too want to know: How might we expand our “horizons of expectations” and push against what’s been normalized?

At the same time, history must anchor us, often in uncomfortable realities. I wish to question, for instance, the sometimes self-congratulatory rhetoric of co-operatives and credit unions. I am interested in the ways we have fallen short, failed, or been instruments of domination.

In Decolonizing the Solidarity Economy, for example, Nembhard explains how farming co-operatives as an economic model were crucial to making pioneer settlement—and dispossession of Indigenous land—viable in Canada’s Midwest. This is only one of many contradictions and critiques raised by the speakers of the webinar, and at our roundtables, about the exclusions and limitations of co-operative economic movements.

Can progressive institutions like CCEC recognize such contradictions, even when they stretch us into discomfort, vulnerability, and uncertainty? And can we, as we step into uncertainty, open ourselves to the play of imagination?

For more resources, check out the solidarity economy facebook group or watch the video for Decolonizing the Solidarity Economy, featuring speakers from the Black Mesa Water Coalition, Center for Earth and Energy Democracy, Southwest Workers' Union, Hip Hop Congress, and the US Social Forum. Thanks to AORTA workers’ co-op for the tip.

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Red Fox Updates

Since being awarded by CCEC the 2012 Roger Inman Award for Community Economic Development, Red Fox has expanded to North Vancouver, Surrey and south  Vancouver. Red Fox youth leaders train youth and families how to geo-cache in parks and nature trails throughout Metro Vancouver. Our Drum Group has expanded to include PowWow Dancing, and both groups perform at special events. We launched a Youth Leadership training program with Big Brothers. We have a new practicum program with Sprott Shaw College. Youth who have participated in Red Fox have gone on to take post- secondary education in Early Childhood Education and Counseling, and they are working at Urban Native Youth Association, and childcare centres throughout Vancouver.

One of our biggest success stories is Joe. After many years as a youth leader, Joe developed his leadership skills to such a level that he was promoted to Youth Worker, and he now supervises programs on his own, including Weekend Warriors, a pre-teen leadership program at Strathcona Community Centre. Joe supervises the youth at recreation outings and provides life skills coaching while promoting healthy, active living.     

For more information contact: 

Emma Sutherland
Executive Director
Red Fox Healthy Living Society

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Amnesty International and the BC Civil Liberties Association are just two of many organizations protesting Bill C-51, currently before parliament. Critics are concerned about the expansion of police powers, the granting of new 'intervention powers' to the intelligence service, the expansion of surveillance by the state, the peculiar new roles given to the courts to 'okay' actions that break the law, and, additionally, the absence of transparency and oversight.  The legislation seriously undermines the constitutional rights and human rights that all Canadians treasure, and must vigilantly protect.  In a police state we may feel 'safe', but will we be free?  First Nations, environmentalists, and activists of all kinds fear the loose definition of 'threats to the nation'.  The Harper government appears determined to play to fear, and the potential short-term electoral gains, to build the surveillance state. LeadNow is also championing a campaign with a day of protest on March 14th.  Write your MP, speak up, to ensure our individual rights and freedoms are respected.    
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Public transit is a life and death issue, according to Stephen Hume (Vancouver Sun), who's opinion piece highlights the public health impact of nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants as we put more and more vehicles on the road. The proposed expansion of our public transportation system, and the referendum on taxation, put some some big issues before the public.  Images of the ordinary people in Beijing struggling with really poor air quality are scary.  Recent reports on the effects of vehicle exhausts on young brains, and urban dwellers' health are disturbing.  There is a real need to get the right decision on the upcoming referendum in Greater Vancouver.  You may want to attend the public meeting hosted by the Board of Change March 19th, 5:30-8PM.  
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by Pamela Ramrup, our  Manager Branch Operations and your mortgage specialist

Freedom  is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.  What does Financial Freedom mean to you?  For many, it’s about freedom of choice. 

CCEC works with Community Members from a variety of socio-economic levels, assisting them to meet their goal of home ownership through mortgage financing.  While this seems to be a basic fundamental right that many think about, many just think about it.

For many

·         it’s about buying that first car, being free to not have to ask mom and dad for the keys;

·         It’s about working hard, and graduating university or community college;

·         It’s about saving money, for a down payment on your first home.

Let’s start the discussion…what does Financial Freedom mean to you?


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