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Vancouver co-operatives receive $51,000 in grants from The Co-operators

Jul 6, 2012

GUELPH, ON, July 6, 2012 /CNW/ - On the eve of the International Day of Co-operatives, five emerging Vancouver co-ops learned they will be receiving a combined $51,100 to support their development. They are part of 16 grants announced, including seven in BC, provided through The Co-operators Foundation Co-operative Development Program (CDP) that supports emerging and expanding Canadian co-operatives.

"Our worker co-operative is promoting teamwork, integrity and trust with all members working together towards a mutual goal," explained Boris Schaffer, President of the Board, Canadian Ethical Restoration and Construction Cooperative, one of the co-ops receiving funding. "This grant will allow us to further develop our business as the funds will be used for training and development of operation systems and manuals."

The following grants were announced today:

British Columbia Co-operative Association (BCCA) is the umbrella organization that works on behalf of co-ops and credit unions in British Columbia. The grant of $12,500 will help BCCA to fulfill its mandate to develop co-operatives by providing technical support and advisory services for organizations in the pre-start-up phase.

Canadian Ethical Restoration and Construction Cooperative (CERCC) is a worker co-operative providing full service restoration and construction services for damaged property. It aims to provide jobs to disadvantaged inner city residents in partnership with community agencies and organizations, and is committed to sustainability and environmental deconstruction (selective dismantlement of building components for re-use and recycle). The grant of $15,000 will support the development of operational plans and systems of this new co-operative that officially launched in March 2012.

East End Food Cooperative (EEFC) is a member-owned, unionized grocery store featuring organic, fair trade and locally grown food, and Vancouver's only retail food co-operative. The grant of $14,000 will allow EEFC to carry out an expansion feasibility study.

Shift Delivery Co-op was incorporated in May 2011 by five students with a shared vision of creating empowering green jobs and reducing the impact of goods movement in Vancouver. It provides a cycle-based distribution service that aims to replace conventional delivery trucks in the downtown core by transporting loads of up to 600 lbs using heavy-duty cargo trikes. The grant of $ 3,600 will support the promotion of the co-operative's services.

The Vancouver Tool Library Cooperative (VTL) is a community service cooperative that provides its members access to a wide variety of power and hand tools for home repair, gardening, and bicycle maintenance. The core purpose of the VTL is to create a long-lasting collective resource that Vancouver residents can use to improve and green the places in which they live, work and play. The grant of $ 6,000 will support the co-operative in dedicating part of its website to community-driven workshops and projects.

"The United Nations declared 2012 The International Year of Co-operatives with the theme 'Co-operative enterprises build a better world' and our continued support of co-ops helps make this theme a reality in communities across Canada," explained Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "Each of these organizations has demonstrated a keen ability to make a positive impact on its members and its community. These co-ops can make a relatively small amount of money go a long way, so we know our support will make a real difference."

Tomorrow marks the International Day of Co-operatives where co-operatives across the country will be raising awareness and celebrating the impact co-operatives make in Canada and around the world.

Over the past 20 years, The Co-operators has provided $1,720,397 in grants and investments to developing Canadian co-operatives through The Co-operators Foundation Co-operative Development Program.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $38 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of Co-operatives. For more information visit

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators

Boris Schaffer
Canadian Ethical Restoration and Construction Cooperative

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