OTTAWA, March 1, 2018 – Budget 2018 contains many measures that will provide strong economic growth and greater equality for Canadians. While there are initiatives in the budget that will be positively received by some of our members, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) recommendations submitted during the pre-budget consultations were not reflected in the budget. CMC’s requests for government investment in the recently launched Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund (CCIF) and for resources to support a Framework on Canadian
Co-operatives and a Canadian Co-operative Development Strategy was not mentioned.
Although the budget has positive measures targeting women’s economic security and entrepreneurship, it remains unclear if woman entrepreneurs with a co-operative business plan will have access to the new funding ($105M over 5 years) to the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). CMC will seek clarifications and identify any barriers to co-operative entrepreneurs seeking to participate in this or other initiatives.
Although community economic development, co-operatives, and social finance are not directly mentioned in the budget, some measures, such as support for seasonal workers may benefit co-operatives in seasonal industries, such as fishing and tourism. The additional support for RDAs, including funds directed toward “economic diversification activities to help workers and communities in the West and Atlantic region adapt to Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy” may be of interest to renewable energy co-operatives (p.105). Altogether, it is difficult to assess the potential outcomes from the information provided in the budget document.
Here are some notable CMC member responses to Budget 2018:
The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) welcomed the increased financial assistance for rental-housing construction. CHF Canada believes the announced assistance “has the potential to play a substantial role in alleviating the affordable housing deficit” said Acting Executive Director, Karla Skoutajan.
Skoutajan added: “CHF Canada is optimistic that community-oriented housing providers like co-ops will be prioritized in the roll-out of the program and that we will see the increased construction of co-op units over the next three years as a result of this program.”
The Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA) also expressed satisfaction with the Government’s decision to be flexible allowing the continued use of the terms ‘bank’ and ‘banking’ by credit unions. “We are obviously pleased with Minister Morneau’s announcement and we would like to thank him and his team at the Department of Finance,” said Martha Durdin, President, and CEO.
CMC will remain engaged in its efforts to promote the co-operative model and work with elected officials and key members of the bureaucracy to advocate for co-operative solutions in every sector.
About CMC: Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada is the national, bilingual association for co-operatives and mutuals in Canada. Through advocacy with the federal government, CMC provides a knowledgeable voice committed to improving the economic and regulatory environment for co-operatives and mutuals on behalf of our members. CMC’s members come from many sectors of the economy, including finance, insurance, agri-food and supply, wholesale and retail, housing, health, forestry, education, funeral services, public utilities and community development. CMC provides leadership to support, promote, and develop the co-operative economy in Canada. The co-operative and mutual movement in Canada counts more than 18 million memberships from approximately 8,000 co-operative and mutual enterprises.
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For further information:
Brendan Denovan, Manager of Communications
Tel: 613.238.6712 x206