Alexandra Mendès tables a motion to further Strengthen Canada’s Co-operatives

Nov 29, 2016

OTTAWA, November 29th, 2016 – Yesterday, Alexandra Mendès, Member of Parliament for Brossard – Saint-Lambert, tabled Motion M-100 (see text below). The purpose of Motion M-100 is to provide for the development and implementation of a strategy in order to promote and support Canada’s co-operative sector.

“My motion calls on the Government of Canada to continue to recognise the important role that co-operatives play in the Canadian economy and to ensure that Canada’s co-operatives continue to thrive,” stated Mrs. Mendès.

Last June Ms. Mendès tabled Bill C-286 An act respecting the establishment of a framework to promote the development of co-operatives in Canada and amending the Department of Industry Act and other Acts. The purpose of Bill C-286 was to provide for the establishment and implementation of a framework to promote the development of co-operatives in Canada and to amend the Department of Industry Act and the Regional Development Agency Acts to specify that, within their mandates, federal ministers and agencies are to develop and promote the co-operative model in Canada.

“At the time of tabling C-286, I explained that it was the continuation of the work started by my then colleague, the late Honourable Mauril Bélanger, and implementation of the recommendations that came from the Special Committee on Co-operatives in 2012. After much thought and discussion, I have come to the conclusion that a motion is a better tool to continue the work that has been accomplished to date because the motion uses stronger language and, if successful, would firmly establish the support of the House of Commons for the development of a strategy to further Strengthen Canada’s Co-operatives,” explained the Member of Parliament for Brossard—Saint-Lambert. “Mauril often said that co-operatives, especially new ones, face significant challenges capitalising themselves and that there is clearly a role for the federal government to play,” said Mrs. Mendès.

Furthermore, Mrs. Mendès believes that a motion undergoes a quicker and less arduous process than a Private Member’s Bill since it does not need multiple readings in the House of Commons, does not need to be studied by a parliamentary committee and does not require to be debated or voted in the Senate. In fact, a motion simply requires two hours of debate before being voted on by the House. These factors have led to her decision of moving forward with this motion.

Alexandra Mendès strongly encourages all members to read her motion and to vote in favour of strengthening the co-operative sector.

- 30 -

For more information: 
Office of Alexandra Mendès, Member of Parliament
613-995-9301

****

Motion of Support for the Co-operative Sector

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognise the important role co-operatives play in the economy and ensure that they continue to thrive by taking concrete steps such as: (a) developing, in consultation with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities and the co-operative sector, a federal co-operative strategy to promote and support Canada’s co-operative sector; and (b) providing periodic progress reports on pre-established goals and targets.

Background:

The Canadian co-operative sector is a vibrant sector, with close to 8,000 non-financial incorporated co-operatives contributing over $38 billion annually to the economy and employing over 90,000 Canadians in urban, rural and remote communities across the country.

The Government of Canada, through Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and the Business Development Bank of Canada has provided over $120 million to more than 470 projects carried out by co-operatives over the past 10 years and we must continue our support of this sector.

The flexibility of the co-operative model and its proven track record of success in creating jobs, filling market gaps and meeting needs in Canadian communities make co-operatives an important player in the future sustainable economic growth.

Beyond being a model for economic growth, the co-operative sector has the potential to support a number of government priorities including supporting the Government’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda, support for social innovation and social finance, encouraging a transition to a low-carbon economy, and Indigenous economic development.