OTTAWA, March 23, 2017 – Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) welcomes the targeted initiatives tabled in Budget 2017 by the Government of Canada.  CMC applauds the investments announced to grow the Canadian economy; and CMC is encouraged by the long-term funding for affordable housing and indigenous communities.

Although the budget has positive measures and investments to reduce poverty and inequality, we believe that co-operative solutions are not well represented.  Specifically, the proposed investment in the Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund (CCIF) was not included and the budget is silent on the role of co-operatives and mutuals in Community economic development. The Government has included investment tools that CMC is evaluating as prospective partners in co-operative ventures.

The objectives outlined in the budget are very much aligned with the values and goals of the co-operative movement in Canada, and our commitment to work with the government to solve our challenges together remains solid. The co-operative movement, and the development network and ecosystem in general, can contribute to the economic growth that the Government is targeting.

Specifically, the following elements from the budget may offer points of mutual interest and partnership moving forward.

Budget 2017 proposes to:

  • Invest up to $950 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to be provided on a competitive basis in support of a small number of business-led innovation “superclusters” that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth. CMC will work hard to ensure that the co-operative development ecosystem can deliver innovative solutions along side other business models driving growth in Canada through this program.
  • Create a new initiative, the Impact Canada with a clean technology stream ($75 million) and a “smart cities” stream ($300 million). CMC looks forward to details being announced on the fund to determine if it will be applicable to co-operative solutions.
  • Make available, through the Business Development Bank of Canada, $400 million in venture capital over three years, starting in 2017–18. To access these funds, private sector parties will submit proposals to the Government that would be evaluated on the amount of private sector capital already secured. For co-operative projects, this may be reflected by venture investments made through the CCIF or other venture co-op friendly funds. The proposed approach is intended to share risk between the Government and private sector, among other considerations. CMC looks forward to more details on the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative’s application and competitive selection process being announced.
  • Make historic investments in indigenous communities, which is promising for co‑operative solutions in clean energy, housing, tourism, and health. CMC will continue to work with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and our members to deliver community and member owned solutions in indigenous communities.
  • Invest an additional $7 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country. This should have a positive impact on the child care co-operative sector.
  • Charge GST/HST on ride sharing services as a positive step toward a level playing field for taxi co-operatives in Canada.

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. We will work steadfastly to promote solutions to burning issues and offer our members input on solving challenges together.


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 9,000 co-operative and mutual enterprises.


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For further information:

Brendan Denovan, Manager of Communications  613.238.6712 x206 bdenovan@canada.coop

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada 275 Bank Street, Suite 400 Ottawa ON K2P 2L6