Federated Co-operative Limited will be providing an alternative for projects in rural and Aboriginal communities through a new initiative.
Co-operatives First will be promoting a number of areas that co-operatives can benefit communities.
However, Chair in Co-operative Governance Murray Fulton says the focus won’t be on credit unions and retail, but health care, housing, support services for seniors and youth, and business development.
Fulton says over 2 years, over 600 communities were contacted leading up to the non-profit initiative. He says there are a number of ways co-operatives can benefit communities compared to conventional options. For example, he says in the housing sector, every community has a different concern, so instead of a one size fits all approach that he says the government often does, they can tailor housing concerns to each community.
Fulton says these communities aren’t educated as well on what a co-operative could offer.
41 per cent of Aboriginal respondents to web-based surveys said they didn’t know what a co-operative is.
Federated Co-op is putting 5 million dollars over 5 years into the initiative that will focus on Western Canadian communities.