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Canada's 150 - Canada's Emerging Co-operators Campaign

In the Spirit of Canada's 150th, tell us your co-op story in 150 words!

  • How did you get into co-ops? 
  • What do co-ops mean to you? 
  • What is innovative about your co-op?

150 co-op STORIES and PHOTOS will be featured in a commemorative journal…. A social media time capsule for future generations of co-operators.

Ways to submit a story:

Share your 150-word co-op post with On Co-op at @Ontariocoops #coops. 

You can also share your 150-word co-op post over Instagram @Coop150 or with an image of your choosing using the hashtag #coop150. They will share your post with all of Canada.

You can also send your story and a photo to [requires javascript] for them  to post on your behalf.

Happy #Canada150!


STORY SUBMISSIONS

Matt Thompson, Communications Manager, The Canadian CED Network

My first real introduction to co-operatives was in 2007/2008 through an internship program managed by the Ontario Co-operative Association where I was placed with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet). To me co-ops are part of the original ‘sharing economy’. Through co-ops workers can share ownership, producers can share the means of production, and consumers can share the risk and responsibility of supply chain management. Democracy is a fundamental Canadian value and yet we don’t hardly apply our democratic principles to our economy. Co-ops are a shining example of what our economy could look like if we did. While CCEDNet is not a co-op many of our members are and many of our values align with the 7 co-op principles. What is innovative about CCEDNet is that we are actively connecting co-ops with others that are creating economic alternatives rooted in local knowledge and led by community members. Our national conference, EconoUs2017, is an excellent forum for achieving this.

Kelly Bowman

I discovered co-ops when the Ontario Co-operative Association hired me, saving me from a string of unpaid internships and seven-day work weeks. Their dedication to ethical business was clear to me from the beginning, not just from their co-op principles, but because of the clear dedication they had to offering a high-quality, paid (above minimum-wage) internship program.

When I was nearing the end of my contract, they continued to support me by directing me to the Canadian Co-operative Association to participate in their internship program (furthering my career, but also giving me the opportunity to see what co-ops can accomplish internationally). When I returned, I used the co-op model to develop a seasonal, youth-led, farming co-op to provide unemployed youth with summer jobs - and my brother started a worker co-op (a board game cafe) that employs more than five people year-round, some of which are full-time.

While it might seem like it, I'm not telling this story to self-promote. The point of this story is that for me, my fellow interns, the youth employed by the farm, my brother, and his employees, co-ops contributed to our income during economic hardship and high rates of youth unemployment - and I think the world could use a little more of that.

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