Federal government committed to important role of co-operatives in Canada
Plan to support the sector unveiled on one-year anniversary of private member’s motion
April 5, 2018, Ottawa ON
Co-operatives are a valuable way for Canadians to share ownership in a business, while delivering goods and services to communities. They’re also important to growth and innovation within the Canadian economy. That’s why the Government of Canada has a plan to strengthen the role co-operatives play in Canada’s success.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of M-100 (Role of co-operatives), a private member’s motion that received unanimous support in the House of Commons on April 5, 2017. M-100 recognizes the important role that co-operatives play in communities across Canada.
The Government of Canada provides support to co-operatives through a range of programs and services. For example, in the last year, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and its portfolio partners have provided a total of $8.9 million in direct support to 46 Canadian co-operatives through the regional development agencies and the Canada Small Business Financing Program. Since this motion was tabled by Alexandra Mendès, the Government of Canada has been working hard to provide a response that is well informed and meets the needs of the co-operative sector.
The Government will focus on three key areas:
- accessing federal programs and services, including highlighting relevant ones for co-operatives and ensuring that they are accessible;
- raising awareness of the co-operative business model among Canadians and relevant federal departments to ensure that co-operatives are considered in relevant strategies and initiatives; and
- modernizing co-operative sector data to ensure that the co-operative sector and Canadians have access to the latest and most relevant data on the co-operative business model.
At the same time, the Government will continue to engage with the co-operative sector, federal, provincial and territorial colleagues, and Indigenous communities to identify additional steps it can take to support innovation within the sector.
In the coming months, the Government will publish a comprehensive policy paper, hold a policy forum and consult with relevant partners to explore how the co-operative business model can support government priorities, including Indigenous economic development, women and youth entrepreneurship, clean tech and renewable energy, and community-based innovation such as programs addressing youth unemployment and food accessibility. This will help guide the next steps in the Government’s continued support of the co-operative sector.
“Co-operatives play an important role in communities from coast to coast to coast and make vital contributions to the Government’s priorities, including building a stronger Canadian economy for the middle class. I would like to thank my colleague Alexandra Mendès, Member of Parliament for Brossard–Saint-Lambert, for moving this motion forward. I’m proud that our government is rolling out a sustainable plan that highlights the important role of co-operatives.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“With M-100, I asked that the Government take concrete steps to recognize the important role co-operatives play in the economy and ensure that they continue to thrive. Today, the Government has delivered a clear plan to further support and grow the co-operative sector and Canada’s economy. I congratulate the Government on the work that is being accomplished for co-ops.”
– Alexandra Mendès, Member of Parliament for Brossard–Saint-Lambert
Co-operatives in Canada generally fit into one of four types:
- consumer, which provide products or services such as financial services, housing or child care to members;
- producer, which process and market goods and services produced by members such as farmers or entrepreneurs;
- worker, which provide employment for members; and
- multi-stakeholder, which serve the needs of diverse stakeholders such as employees and clients.
In 2016, there were nearly 7,800 Canadian non-financial co-operatives.
In 2013, 5,276 co-operatives responded to the Annual Survey on Canadian Co-operatives, reporting a business volume of $43.2 billion. They held assets estimated at $26.0 billion and contributed 95,085 jobs to the Canadian economy.
Follow the department on Twitter: @ISED_CA
Karl W. Sasseville
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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