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powerful and democratic way

Ottawa, ON
The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) welcomes the federal government's new five-year $15 million partnership with the co-operative sector.

"The core values and structure of the co-operative model make it an ideal vehicle to strengthen communities and provide a better quality of life for Canadians," says Glen Tully, CCA President. "Co-operatives and credit unions recognize the importance of people and communities defining their own needs and working together to meet those needs. They are a powerful and democratic way to put decision-making into the hands of those who need and use the services."

In announcing the new Strategic Investment Fund, Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) Andy Mitchell said the fund will partner with the co-op sector and citizens. Priorities will include promoting opportunities in the emerging knowledge-based economy, positioning co-operatives as a tool for communities to pro-actively adjust to economic or social change, and to develop co-operatives as a tool for communities to address service needs not met by existing service providers.

The fund will support three key activity areas: advisory services to create and support new co-operatives, innovations to expand use of the co-operative model by mapping new opportunities, and building awareness of co-op potential through community outreach and promotion of the co-operative model.

"Co-ops work best when they are serving a real and identifiable need," says Lynne Toupin, CEO of the Canadian Co-operative Association. "CCA is currently involved in initiatives to support co-op development in such areas as health care, agriculture, and low income communities."

The Canadian Co-operative Association is a national association of co-operatives and credit unions. In Canada, one-in-three Canadians are members of a co-op or credit union.

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