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It’s Mental Health Week and this year’s theme is understanding our emotions. 2021 is the 70th annual Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) campaign rallying to celebrate, protect and promote mental health.  Since the onset of the pandemic, 40% of Canadians say their mental health has deteriorated.  As many people are experiencing a time of unprecedented stress and anxiety, it is even more important that we support good mental health for everyone. 


There are many resources available online to help us address mild to moderate mental health challenges due to work related issues, family worries, sleep difficulties or physical health problems. There are two programs our members may find helpful: the CMHA program called BounceBack® and the Federal Government’s Wellness Together portal. Both these sites aim to be a practical way of learning key life skills that can boost your mood and help you turn the corner. 


They say that good mental health isn’t about being happy all the time. In fact, a mentally healthy life includes emotions like sadness, fear and anger. It is important that we know how to recognize, label and accept our feelings. Naming our emotions, understanding how we are feeling, and taking corrective actions when our response isn’t helpful are all strategies for good mental health.  


We are all in this together and we need to look out for and support each other. The world has changed and we can let people know we are here for them and that they’re not alone. The pandemic has made it more difficult to be together with each other and this lack of social contact has adversely impacted our mental and physical well-being. With this in mind, if you do know someone who is living alone or in a stressful or unsupportive environment, reach out to them. A check-in call goes a long way to keep vulnerable members of our community connected.  


In closing, be sure to take care of yourself so that you can support your family, friends and neighbours. Follow the recommendation on the Wellness Together site and Take 5 to do the mindfulness and breathing exercises. 


This is Mental Health Week. Get Real with your emotions. Visit BounceBack® and the Wellness Together sites to learn more.  


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Improvements are coming soon to CCEC’s online banking. We are adding mobile features and increasing login security. With the enhanced security measures being introduced, we feel that members will be more comfortable switching to online banking or using more online banking services.  

 

A few of the new features include: 

  • Mobile Banking App. 

  • Mobile cheque deposit - take a picture to deposit a cheque to your account. 

  • Get customized Alerts about your account activity sent to your phone or email. 


You will notice improvements on the login screen. It has a new look and you will be asked to set up User Authentication. Here are the three steps to follow: 


  1. On the login screen, you enter your Login Name which is your current Account Number; and your Password where you enter your Personal Access Code (PAC) from the current banking system. 

  2. Set up your User Authentication. Select three questions and enter your answers. 

  3. Pick an image to use as your Personalized Security Image. 


Each time you login, you will be prompted for this User Authentication confirmation. It is random if you answer the questions you set up but the image will be displayed every time you login. The User Authentication takes a few minutes to set up and we feel the increased security will help our members feel more secure and comfortable banking online.


We will be providing our members with more information on the enhancements and improvements to online banking. This is a great time to sign up for Online Banking and switch to e-Statements. Visit our website www.ccec.bc.ca for updates.


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We are inviting our members to donate to the scholarship fund and for our youth to apply for the scholarship to support the registration fee. 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. We have Sponsorships to support the Registration Fee.


Last summer, due to Covid, there could be no overnight camps. At that time, the Camp YES staff asked themselves, "What should we do during this time?  As co-operators, the question inevitably became, “How can we best serve our members, or our community?"  They’ve been busy this past year supporting our youth and here is an update on their initiatives: 


  • Created the YES This Journal Activity Book Download a copy

  • YES Camp merch is for sale!

  • The podcast, Care Package, is in its second season

  • Continue to connect alumni with each other for support. If you are a YES Camp or Camp Rainbow Alumni, stay in touch with Camp YES here

  • Produce a regular newsletter - subscribe to their Mailing List


Their 2021 programming for the start of summer includes virtual camps, and weeklong day camps. With ongoing health and safety guidelines, The YES will not be able to facilitate traditional week-long overnight camps. However, they recognize that this may change, and, if so, they will be sure to update you and their programs. Be sure to subscribe to their mailing list and check their website for updates.  At this time, their program is: 

  • Roots Hybrid (Mainland)  July 5-9

  • Roots Hybrid (Island) – July 12 - 16

  • Roots Virtual – July 19 - 23

  • Pathways Virtual – July 26 - 30

  • Leadership Cohort Virtual - TBC


Members may donate to the Camp YES Scholarship Fund by email to info@ccec.bc.ca or by phone to 604.254.4100. Youth ages 14-18 are asked to email Joanne with your application


At CCEC, we are proud of our members who contribute to the Camp YES Scholarship Fund allowing us to supoort the Registration Fee for our Youth.  We also believe that the Camp YES programming is a transformative experience for both campers and parents;  and provides our youth with the tools and skills to create positive change in their family, school, and community.


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As we turn to online services and rely on the digital marketplace more than ever, it’s important we have the tools and information we need to protect ourselves from online fraud. March is Fraud Prevention Month and we want to share a few tips from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC).

Everyone is a potential target of fraud. Recent statistics from the CAFC show that in 2020 Canadians lost over $106.4 million to fraud, $62.6 million of which was related to online fraud. The actual impact of fraud is likely much larger as the CAFC estimates that Canadians report only 5% of actual fraud cases.

Anyone who believes they have been contacted by a scammer, is aware of a scam, or has become a victim is strongly encouraged to report it to the authorities. By reporting a scam, authorities will be able to warn Canadians, which may limit it from spreading.

This March, help us fight online scams. Knowledge is power! Join us in the conversation using #FPM2021 and find information to recognize, reject and report online fraud.

From: Competition Bureau Canada

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March is Fraud Prevention Month: Recognize, Report and Reject. 

If it seems too good to be true, it is. We are all targets for scammers. As we are spending more time and shopping online, our susceptibility and exposure to scams has also increased. The 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report helps to shed some light on how scams are being perpetrated, who is being targeted, and which scams have the greatest impact,  They also provide timely tips on how we can all better protect ourselves from fraud.  Here are a few highlights from the report. 

The riskiest scam reported by Canadians in 2020 was advance fee loan scams. The second riskiest scam was online purchases with the highest type of purchase being for pets and pet supplies. 

Impersonation is one of the most common tactics fraudsters use to perpetrate scams. By pretending to be well-known and trusted companies, government agencies, and organizations, scammers can better manipulate their targets. Scams impersonating Canada Revenue Agency is one of the most common types of impersonation scams.

Who is most at risk to scams?  Younger people lost money to scammers at higher rates than older people. Online purchase scams were the riskiest for ages 18 through 54 and the second riskiest for ages 55+. Romance are riskiest for ages 55 through 64. Fake cheque/ money order scams ranked #2 for the 18-24 ages and #3 for the ages 25-34.

How do you reduce your risk of losing money to online scams? 

  • Asking questions when unfamiliar with something

  • Tending to be skeptical when dealing with new situations

Also, by following these  Ten Tips to Avoid a Scam, you increase your likelihood to avoid most scams and protect you and your family. 

1. Never send money via gift card or wire transfer to someone you have never met face-to-face. 

2. Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails. 

3. Don’t believe everything you see..

4. Double check your online purchase is secure before checking out. 

5. Use extreme caution when dealing with anyone you’ve met online. 

6. Never share personally identifiable information

7. Resist the pressure to act immediately

8. Use secure and traceable transactions

9. Whenever possible, work with local businesses

10. Be cautious about what you share on social media.   

March is fraud prevention month. Report any suspicious activities to BBB Scam Tracker, and learn more about the different types of common scams on BBB.org/scamtips       

For more information and helpful tips visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud page.


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At CCEC, RSP loans are available until February 23, 2021!  The deadline to contribute to an RRSP for the 2020 tax year is March 1, 2021. 

We know that we are in unprecedented times and finances may be tight this year. Saving for your future may not be top of mind. However, even contributing a small amount to your RRSP today will go a long way in the future.  It’s not just about long-term growth but also benefits, like lowering this year’s taxes.  More important, your funds at CCEC are invested in your community, your neighbours and local businesses.

Are RRSPs worth it in the long run? Even though you have to pay the tax back when you withdraw the funds, yes, they are worth it. They are a valuable tool to reduce your tax burden and save for the future. We encourage our members to include an RRSP as an investment option in your financial plan. And, be sure to review your plan each year.  


If you would like to contribute, ask us about an RRSP loan so that you can maximize or top-up your RRSP contribution. Consider starting a monthly contribution plan, you can earn compound interest making more than if you contribute a lump sum. 

Call us today and ask how you can contribute to, top up or start an RRSP. Be sure to also ask about our other investment options including TFSA’s.


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Pride in Art Society and DOXA Documentary Film Festival were each awarded the Roger Inman Memorial Award for 2021.  The Trustees felt that both member organizations were most deserving of the recognition and awarded $1,000 to each of them.  The announcement of the 2021 award recipients was at the Virtual AGM by Trustee and new Board Member, Gerry Dragomir.  

On learning of the award, DOXA said,  "We are honoured to accept the Roger Inman Memorial Award, alongside the Pride in Art Society (who do outstanding, necessary work). We feel very proud to join the ranks of amazing organizations from award years past, and look forward to continually supporting the values of cooperation, curiosity, and critical media engagement." 

The Pride in Art Society said, “We are honoured to be awarded the Roger Inman Memorial Award. Our wholehearted thanks to the trustees for this recognition in Roger Inman’s memory, and to CCEC for its dedication to keeping money and resources working in our community by supporting and promoting the development of organizations like ours.” 

The annual award honours the memory of Roger Inman who became a member when CCEC first opened in 1976.  Shortly after joining, he began serving as a volunteer teller, a member of the credit committee, and later joined the Board of Directors. He contributed to many community initiatives and was active in politics. Through this award we acknowledge his devotion to community economic development, his commitment to his ideals and his generosity in spirit. Congratulations to both CCEC Member organizations selected to co-share the award recognition.  Click here to learn more. 

About the 2021 Award Recipients

DOXA is presented by the Documentary Media Society, a Vancouver-based non-profit charitable society (incorporated in 1998). They are devoted to presenting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences (and, as of recently, beyond). The Society exists to educate the public about documentary film as an art form. The 20th annual festival is May 6-12, 2021.

The Pride in Art Society (PiA) produces, presents and exhibits art with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking contemporary art work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue. Our annual Queer Arts Festival (QAF) is a professional, artist-run, multidisciplinary festival and our year-round SUM gallery is Canada’s only queer-mandated art gallery.


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“Pandemic restrictions have accelerated the shift from paper to digital payments”, reports Central1 who process our Interac e-Transfers®. There are many benefits to transferring funds electronically, but are they safe and is your money secure? Yes! 

When you send money using Interac e-Transfer®, your money doesn’t actually travel by email or text message – just the notifications and deposit instructions. The receiving and sending bank or credit union transfer the funds to each other using established and secure banking procedures. At CCEC, our security measures include:

  • Encryption technology
  • Confidential user IDs and passwords
  • Secure login process
  • Security question and answer

While these security measures are in place, when you use the service please follow these safety tips:

  • Sign up for Auto Deposit. Also, encourage your recipient to sign up for Auto Deposit.
  • Action the e-Transfer the moment you receive it. Also, encourage your recipient to action the e-Transfer as soon as it is received.
  • If you created a security question, do not email the answer or put it in the message of the e-Transfer. 
  • Do not open any e-Transfer Requests that you do not recognize. 
  • Be very aware of online scams and requests for money. Refer to these security tips 

Click here to learn more and visit the Interac website. 

If you have any questions, refer to the FAQ on our website

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A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is designed to help you save for your short and long-term goals. This is different from an  RRSP that is considered a longer-term strategy to save for retirement.  A TFSA may be a good option for you to consider if you have shorter-term goals where you want to access and more easily withdraw funds.

TFSA contributions are not tax deductible as they are with an RRSP.  However, the contributions and the gains made can be withdrawn tax-free at any time.  They are flexible in that you are allowed to ‘refill’ your account with no penalty.  For example, If you do make a withdrawal, that amount of room is added back the following year.  As the amount you can contribute is adjusted annually, you can top up from unused room you have carried forward and the value of the withdrawals.

At CCEC, we are pleased to offer this new savings option to our members. It is considered a retirement savings option by  CRA and has terms and conditions.  We ask our members to contact or look at your MY CRA account to find out how much room you have available. In addition to the rules governed by CRA, at CCEC we’ve also set a minimum contribution at $500. 

Contact us to learn more and to open a TFSA account.  We can review your needs and suggest what might work best for you from the range of investment strategies we are now able to offer. 

For more information visit the CRA website 

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We recognize times may be uncertain and finances may be tight this year. Saving for your future may not be top of mind. However, even contributing a small amount to your RRSP today will go a long way in the future.  It’s not just about long-term growth but also benefits, like lowering this year’s taxes.  More important, your funds at CCEC are invested in your community, neighbours and local businesses.  

Our members tell us that they are with CCEC because we are aligned with their values.  As we are hosting the second Virtual Town Hall on Saturday, January 16th at 10:30am, a member wrote to us saying, “CCEC fills a niche that no other credit union does: a people-centred perspective that sees everyone as an equal no matter their heritage, income, or orientation.” We continue to  be an independent single branch credit union in a financial industry that has been undergoing consolidation for many years. The member reminds us of our history and says, “Where else can BIPOC and employment-challenged communities go for vehicle loans? Where else can social enterprises go that aligns with their values-based mission statements? Where else could a WomenFutures Loan Guarantee Fund exist?” 

The member adds, “There is part of CCEC's original mission that is based on E. F. Schumacher's "Small Is Beautiful" (1973). There is something to staying small on purpose! CCEC has always been about ensuring its acronym stays true: Community, Congress and Economic Change. This is why CCEC exists. “

So, as we are encouraging our members to invest in an RRSP, remember that the funds in your RRSP at CCEC stays in your community and support what is important to you. 

Call us today and ask how you can contribute to, top up or start an RRSP. 

Email Joanne to RSVP for the Virtual Town Hall on Saturday and add your voice to the conversation on the future of CCEC. 


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