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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Canada's Top Co-op Issues of 2021

For the fourth year running, a survey of Canadian co- operatives leaders found that the most pressing challenge facing the sector is a general lack of awareness about the co- operative model. As one of the 311 respondents to the 2021 Canadian Centre for the Study of Co-operatives (CCSC) annual survey noted, “we can’t tackle any of the other issues on the list if policy makers and citizens don’t understand the value of co-operation in our society.”

Respondents tended to link the awareness issue to a concern about the dilution of the meaning of ‘co-operative’ due to increasing use of related terms like ‘membership’ in customer loyalty programs, the misuse of the term ‘co-operative’ by companies trying to bolster their environmental, social and governance (ESG) bona fides, and even confusion with college and university student internship programs. By contrast, some respondents to the 2020 survey linked this awareness issue to the delayed roll out of COVID-19 programs for credit unions.

Read the full report from the Canadian Centre for the Study of Co-operatives


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