Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 03, 2005 10:42 ET

AAFC: Co-operative Development in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 3, 2005) - The Government of Canada sees great potential for making a difference in communities of all sizes through the use of the co-operative model. In April 2003, the Government of Canada implemented the Co-operative Development Initiative (CDI), a five-year, $15-million national partnership between the Government of Canada and Canadian co-operatives.

The program has two main objectives: to provide advice and support to new and existing co-operatives (Advisory Services), and to research and test new ideas for the co-operative model to respond to today's economic and social challenges (Innovation and Research). Advisory services are provided through a network of co-op sector partners across the country. The program is managed by the Government of Canada's Co-operatives Secretariat.

Wayne Easter, Parliamentary Secretary with special emphasis on Rural Development, announced funding of 87 co-operative Innovation and Research projects totaling some $4.4 million since CDI was founded.

"Co-operatives are an important part of Canada's economy; they are jointly owned enterprises formed by people who are given the opportunity to pool their resources in order to meet the needs of their local communities. They provide vital services, including affordable housing, child care and financial services, while creating jobs that stimulate the economy and help build stronger, healthier communities," said Mr. Easter.

Co-op projects have been implemented across Canada over the last 2 1/2 years through CDI funding, focusing on a range of sectors such as the environment, fishing, immigrant co-ops, rural development, development of aboriginal communities, housing, and agriculture and agri-food. Whether it is providing health and home-care services or promoting youth employment, tourism and environmentally friendly farming or fighting poverty, these co-operatives all work towards a common goal-to improve the economic and social well-being of individuals and communities.

"I'm pleased to provide support for Canada's co-operatives, whose contributions strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life across Canada," said Mr. Easter.

For more information about CDI, and a complete list of CDI Innovation and Research projects that have received funding to date, please refer to the Co-operatives Secretariat Web site at:

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Rural Communications
    Rural Secretariat
    (613) 759-7559