Dear Candidate,

I am making my decision about who to vote for on October 19 and wanted to inquire about your support of co-operative enterprises as a solution to our economic and social needs.

As a voter in your riding, I want to know if you will support co-operative development projects in partnership with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC). CMC is the national association representing co-operative and mutual businesses, sector federations and provincial associations. Through them, Canada’s co‑operative and mutual sector is asking the government to support the following proposals:

1. The Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund (CCIF)

This investment fund is being created by the sector to provide co-ops with the minimum financing required to leverage loans from other financial institutions and government programs. The Fund makes financing accessible to co-ops without compromising the defining principle of democratic member control. CMC is asking the federal government to provide concrete support in the continued growth of co‑operatives by investing in the CCIF. Co-operatives have already committed nearly $25 million to the Fund.

2. A National Co-operative Development Strategy

The proposed development strategy will build recognition of the co-operative business model within the federal government. The Strategy creates a level playing field to assure co-operatives and mutuals are better equipped to take advantage of development opportunities in partnership with the Federal Government. The goal of the Strategy is to create 30,000 new jobs in the sector by 2020 and to grow co-op memberships by one million in Canada during that time.

Over the last decade, co-operatives have created employment at a higher rate than the economy overall. CMC has stated that this trend continues and will accelerate if the opportunities described above are supported by the federal government. Yours and your parties support for a national co-operative development strategy and the Canadian Co‑operative Investment Fund will help me determine how I will vote on October 19.

Can you and your party let me know where you stand on these proposals?

A fact sheet on the Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund(CCIF)

A fact sheet on the National Co-op Development Strategy

More information of the economic impacts of co-operatives in Canada