Co-Op Week - October 14 - 20

Co-Op Week - October 14 - 20

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Co-op Week - Solving Challenges Together

Annually, during this week we recognize the value and benefits of cooperatives across Canada. This year's theme, Solving Challenges Together, highlights the principle of collaboration and working together. Cooperatives are celebrated throughout the year because they offer a viable social alternative to the corporate for-profit business model.

Co-operatives in Canada

There are over 9,000 cooperatives, credit unions, and mutuals in Canada and over 750,000 across the world. They’re widely supported – 83% of Canadians say they would rather buy their products at a cooperative than a private business. Together, Canadian cooperatives have over 18 million members and employ more than 150,000 people. Cooperatives are major players in many sectors in Canada, including agriculture, education, financial institutions, and utilities, to name a few.

"Exemplifying collective rather than individual ownership, cooperatives are bottom-up organizations with the distinctive purpose of addressing member and community needs through mutual self-help." *

Rural Electrification Associations (REAs) are rural electric distribution cooperatives serving their communities with fair, efficient, and reliable power services since the late 1940s.

What makes your REA valuable?

  1. You own the assets of a multi-million dollar cooperative. Your REA is an asset that you own jointly with other members of the cooperative and it has appreciated in value over the years.
  2. You have democratic member control of your REA. Every member-owner in a cooperative has one vote, and his or her vote makes a difference when critical business decisions are made.
  3. You benefit from economic participation. Your REA cooperative is as a not-for-profit business that reinvests savings, maintains fair rates, and provides safe and efficient electricity service to its members.
  4. You provide a comparison for electricity costs for Albertans. Your REA is a benchmark. As a not-for-profit, the REA sets a level of measurement for the whole electricity industry.
  5. You contribute to rural economic sustainability. Your REA is a member of a greater cooperative movement that values ownership and keeps money in the rural community.

(*Source: CO-OPERATIVES FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES: Tools to Measure Cooperative Impact and Performance, Canada 2015)

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