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Holidays are supposed to be a time of gathering together.  However, this year, we will be staying at home and limiting our social interactions. Some of us may find a socially distanced holiday to be stressful. It is important, especially during this unprecedented season, that we take care of ourselves and our mental health.


We know that social distancing can make us feel more lonely and isolated.  So, even if you can’t meet in person, it is important to connect with family and friends in any way you can. The following are also positive ways to manage your mental health and the holidays: 


  • Exercise - get outside, go for a walk; 

  • Have a hobby hour - reading, crafting, puzzles or drawing. Join a friend group online;

  • Practice relaxation - meditation, yoga, taking a hot bath or getting a massage;

  • Talk to someone -  talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust. Call a friend or family member who is in your regular social circle.

These are a few strategies that can help you take care of yourself during the holiday season and year round. 
On behalf of CCEC Credit Union, we wish all our members a safe holiday season. 

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Food insecurity is getting worse. Before COVID, one in eight Canadians struggled to put good food on the table. During the pandemic, it’s become one in seven—a 39 per cent increase. Food insecurity goes much deeper than hunger. It impacts our physical and mental health, social connection and community, employment and aspirations, family life and more.

Ian Marcuse is the Grandview Woodland Food Connections (GWFC) Coordinator and a long-time CCEC member. He works out of Britannia Community Centre.  He is a member of the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network (VNFN), a network of community organizations committed to promoting food security in neighbourhoods across the City of Vancouver.  This holiday season we are encouraging our members to support the work of the VNFN and the GWFC as they are providing emergency food for those who need extra support at this time. 

 

Read how Ian Marcuse and the GWFC has responded to the rising food insecurity in our neighbourhood: 

At the time of the initial COVID lockdown in mid-March, we deemed food access an essential service and within days mobilized the necessary resources needed for an effective response to COVID food insecurity in East Vancouver. This COVID Emergency Food Home Delivery Program ensures that food is provided in a dignified way including completely barrier free access, home delivery to ensure safety and health are a priority, and an emphasis on quality and highly nutritious foods. Our hampers are especially curated to support healthy outcomes for receiving households.

Since our programs started, we've delivered 6,250 food hampers. But we have also been able to increase our existing capacity in building a more resilient and responsive community food security program by establishing new relations with food suppliers, farmers, referring agencies, funders, volunteers, and new community members who we might never have connected with in the past.  More importantly, we have gained new insights and engaged in many conversations with peers, funders, policy makers and others about the systems that cause food insecurity and advocate for a more equitable food system in the long term. Interestingly, COVID has opened an important policy window to push for the change needed and the GWFC is lending a strong and informed voice to the change needed.

  • 520 Households in East Vancouver supported

  • 1,500 Individuals

  • 218,750 lbs of food distributed (average 30lb/box)

  • 120+ volunteers mobilized 

  • 3,600 volunteer hrs logged

While a temporary program for us, this response to COVID has been meaningful and important and continues to meet immediate food security needs at the community level by ensuring that the most vulnerable in our community have access to good food. However, as COVID numbers increase, demand for the program continues to grow especially for households with compromised health and facing financial hardship. We now have a waitlist.

Click here to donate to the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network. 
Contact Ian to get involved and to make a donation to the Emergency Food Program  gwfcnetwork@gmail.com or phone  604-718-5895
If you are experiencing food insecurity or know of someone who needs extra food support at this time, please contact your local Food Bank Community Partner.

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We are now accepting applications for the 2021 recognition and award. 


This award is given annually to member groups that are active in social justice and co-operative development activity.  The award consists of three elements:  recognition from our community, our commitment to promote the project further through CCEC, and a financial contribution from the Roger Inman Trust.  The project itself contributes to the economic development of the community.

If you are a CCEC Member Group, business or individual you may apply for this special recognition and cash award. The award honours the memory of Roger Inman who contributed lots of time and effort to the early years of CCEC. His contributions to the wellbeing of the credit union and community economic development are numerous.  

Roger Inman became a member when CCEC first opened in 1976 and shortly after began serving as a volunteer teller. He was also a member of the credit committee, and later joined the Board of Directors where he served as co-chair and spearheaded the newsletter. A warm lovable man, Roger always contributed his time, insights, and humour to the many community initiatives with which he was involved. He was also active in local politics where his keen mind and natural optimism were always appreciated. Through this award, we acknowledge his devotion to community economic development, his commitment to his ideals and his generosity in spirit.

CCEC is committed to keeping our money and resources working in our community by actively supporting and promoting the development of strong, successful community businesses, projects and organizations

Applications are available on our website. Learn more about the award and our 2020 Award Recipient, The People's Prom 

If you have any questions, please contact Joanne.


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It’s International Credit Union Day on Thursday, October 15.  It has been held on the 3rd Thursday in October for the past 72 years. Did you know there are  291 million credit union members worldwide?  As we reflect on the role CCEC has played in our community and in our members’ lives, let’s share our experiences and invite our friends and family to join CCEC. 


CCEC received its charter in 1976, 2 years after a group of people involved in daycare, consumer and housing co-operatives raised capital to support community economic development. They called their group the Community Congress for Economic Change Society.  Our mandate was to serve groups that have been excluded from the economic mainstream - because they don't fit a banker's idea of a good credit risk - for example, the arts groups, immigrant organizations, housing co-operatives, and similar organizations that continue to be core of our membership. Loans were available to meet our members needs, and for community enterprises and community action. The founding members of CCEC described the loan process as "group solutions to individual problems."  The local focus of the credit union saw the money reinvested within our community. 

Some things haven't changed at CCEC over the past 44 years.  We continue to be guided by the principles that are the foundation of CCEC. We also continue to ensure community input into the lending process by maintaining a credit committee elected from the membership. Also, many directors, credit committee members, and staff are active in community groups that make up our membership.

CCEC is a member-owned, community development organization that is powered by people, like you;  in service of people like you.   Let’s celebrate International Credit Union Day! 


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A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) provides a source of retirement income. It can be set up anytime and withdrawals must start one year after it is opened. CCEC is now offering this service to our members and we want you to better understand them. 


There are various retirement investment options and we can provide you with complimentary financial advice and guidance.  While you must convert your RRSPs to a RRIF by the end of the year you turn 71, you can transfer your existing RRSP into an RRIF at any time.  To open an account, we can help you transfer your RRIF from another financial institution. 


A RRIF, like an RRSP, is tax-sheltered for deposits. As you need to withdraw a minimum amount in the calendar year after it was first funded, those members who are thinking of taking an early retirement may want to talk with us about opening an account.


Investing at CCEC means that you keep money working in the community to benefit you, your neighbours and local businesses.  CCEC has always been highly localized in how we invest your money since we opened in 1976. Our values have not changed. 


We are pleased to offer our members the option to invest in an RRIF. 


Call us to learn more. 


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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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Camp registration is Open!  A CCEC tradition is to see the “Camp YES Thermometer” go up in the branch. The “Thermometer” tracks the funds donated by our member-owners to pay the camp registration fee for our youth. Each year, through the generosity of our members, we have sent up to 10 youth to the YES Camp and a few to the Reunion. 

Meet CCEC Members, Helen Spaxman and her teen, Claire. Claire has been to camp and to the Reunion. Helen’s family started donating to the Camp YES Fund for many years even before having kids. She says they donated because they hoped that their children and the youth of our community would be able to go to this camp.

Claire Says, “Thank You” 

“At the YES Camp, we do “reflections” at the end of the day, where we reflect on how our day went and then answer questions, which are sometimes light and funny, but sometimes very personal and heavy. 

When I truly opened up in reflections, I benefited by getting things out of my head that I wouldn’t normally talk about with people at home. Before camp, I felt like I couldn’t talk to my friends about certain things, maybe I didn’t want to burden my friends with my thoughts. I was also afraid it’d start rumours and more people would know about it than I originally intended. 

I have learned that YES Camp is a safe space, I can talk about anything there and get so much support from the staff and my fellow campers. Funnily enough, many of these “fellow campers” have become very close friends. Now that I’ve been to camp a few times, I’m not just a good communicator and listener at the camp, but I’m also applying these skills to my friend group at home. 

Since I’ve started opening up to friends at school, I’ve noticed so many more people sharing things with me that they never thought they’d share. My friends now feel the same comfort in talking about their feelings that I used to only feel at camp and they’re not afraid to ask me for help when they need it. I’m so so grateful to have been able to  attend YES summer camps and fall camp reunions. I’ve grown so much as a person and as a friend and I’m so ready to grow even more. Honestly, without the YES Camp, some of my closest friendships wouldn’t even exist.”

“Camp YES is a Game Changer!” says Helen Spaxman

For more information, visit the Camp YES website. To make a donation to our Camp YES Fund, call us or visit the branch. Youth interested in being sponsored to attend Camp are asked to complete an application form that will be available on our website.
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“Keystone pipeline shut after spilling 1.4 million litres of oil” reads a headline on October 31, 2019. Did you know that our pipeline, Coastal GasLink, is a project of the same corporation funding the Keystone XL and Energy East Pipeline projects?  All pipeline projects are wrong for many reasons and today, we are asking our members to support our members the Unist’ot’en Brigade Society, the Mountain Protectors, the Wilderness Committee and other groups saying, NO to all pipelines. 

How can you get involved?

The Unist’ot’en Brigade Society, wants your help to get the story out to the larger public.  They released, INVASION, an 18 minute powerful film that covers many of the events of the last year.  They want you to share with friends and host a screening in your community!  

Their press release says, “In this era of "reconciliation", Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. INVASION is a new film about the Unist'ot'en Camp, Gidimt'en checkpoint, and the larger Wet'suwet'en Nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against indigenous people.”

Join a conversation and tea to learn more. 

November 13th from  7pm - 8:30pm at Kafka's,  2525 Main Street,

you can meet a couple of  Unist’ot’en Brigade Society supporters. They can also let you know more about volunteering  at the Unist'ot'en Camp. 

INVASION the film

Simply download the film here, make a Facebook event using this graphic, and download and print the poster designed by Gord Hill. You can host anywhere from a living room to a local theater.

Email robertages@telus.net for any help you need organizing an event or if you have any questions.  Their website has resources to help as well.

Join the “We Support the Unist’ot’en and the Wet’suwet’en Grassroots Movement” facebook grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/SupportWetsuweten/about/ 

The  hereditary chiefs have spoken, “NO to all pipelines.”  At CCEC, we stand in support and are asking our members to also support the Indigenous movements for self-determination.

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Read about the history of the co-op movement in the '70's including CCEC!  Jan DeGrass is one of the first 25 members of CCEC.

From Jan on her new book: 
I’m excited to tell you that The Co-op Revolution has just been published by Caitlin Press. My latest book gives an account of my time with CRS Workers’ Co-op in Vancouver during the heady, activist years of the 1970s. Hope you can make it to my book launch in Vancouver. 
Visit the publisher or Jan's website for more information. 
Vancouver Book Launch: VPL Main Branch Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m

Excerpt from the book: “We were undercapitalized, inexperienced, practiced democratic decision-making and some of us smoked dope occasionally. All elements that would make us grow as human beings and as business people. We ran a helluva show.”

In the spring of 1975, a free-spirited Jan DeGrass backpacked across Canada in search of adventure and greater meaning in life. When she arrived in Vancouver, she met a group of people committed to social change; together they reimagined the food industry in BC.

In The Co-op Revolution: Vancouver’s Search for Food Alternatives, author and journalist DeGrass writes about her journey as a founding member of the Collective Resource and Services Workers’ Co-op. Bounding to life during the heady, activist, grant-funded years of 1974–1980, the CRS Co-op became one of the most successful co-ops in BC and was committed to co-operation and worker ownership. While the decade of the seventies is remembered for its new wave of co-ops—usually organized by a “free-flowing” collection of women and men in their twenties—CRS was unique in its success. Among its many accolades, it created the Tunnel Canary cannery, the Queenright Co-operative Beekeepers, Vancouver’s popular Uprising Breads Bakery and a food wholesaler, which later became Horizon Distributors. The economic, political and social skyline of Vancouver was changing. For some, the co-op movement was about crushing capitalism; for others it was simply about buying cheap, wholesome food from people they trusted, and living in communal camaraderie. No matter the pursuit, co-operation was the answer.

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More than fifty members came out to the CCEC Annual General Meeting February 6th, to consider ordinary business and four special resolutions.  Special resolutions - which require 18 days notice and 2/3 majority support - are needed to alter the CCEC Rules (or 'bylaws').

The board proposed four Rule changes; texts and rationale had been circulated well in advance.  Director Shannon Daub presented these to the meeting, specifically saying that these changes were presented separately so that members would have the opportunity to consider each change on its own merits.  

In the end, three of the changes were carried by substantial majorities. These included (1) a prohibition of employees sitting as directors, (2) a charge to the nominating committee to inquire into candidates' potential conflicts of interest and report out on these to members, and (3) giving limited authority to the board to remove a director for misconduct, failure to attend to duties, or if they were obliged to resign by law and had not.  In the debate several particulars were highlighted, such as possible conflicts that may result in Rules texts, and the board will be looking into these more closely.   

Special resolution #4 failed. That change would have enabled the directors to introduce the use of electronic notices and voting, subject to statutory restrictions.  The principal concern expressed by those speaking against the motion related to electronic voting.  There was a view that CCEC should not proceed down such a path without much more careful planning and proposals. 

Within the context of these debates, but also receipt of other reports and elections, the meeting was lively and constructive.  All feedback on the meeting that has been offered subsequently has been positive and we thank all those attending for there contributions.

​The successful special resolutions have now been filed with the Superintendent, and the board will be reconsidering the various matters arising in the next few months. 

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