Canada’s national co-op associations are asking co-ops and their members across the
country to join the campaign to renew the Co-operative Development Initiative (CDI), a federal program that helps promote and develop new and emerging co-ops.
CDI is a unique partnership program between the federal government, the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and the Conseil canadien de la co-opération et de la mutualité (CCCM). It provides technical assistance and project grants to help co-ops get off the ground; over the past five years, CDI helped create over 200 new co-ops and provided advisory services to nearly 1,500 new and existing co-ops.
This program is scheduled to expire in March 2009, and the CCA and the CCCM have
proposed a new and expanded CDI that would increase funding for advisory services, create a new co-operative loan fund where co-ops can access development capital, and continue providing project assistance. The new program would also continue Ag-CDI, which assists bio-energy and value-added agricultural co-ops.
In today’s difficult economic times, co-ops and their communities need CDI more than
ever.We encourage you to write to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz: Ritz.G@parl.gc.ca, Minister of Agriculture, whose department is responsible for administering the program, as
well as Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: Flaherty.J@parl.gc.ca and your Member of Parliament.
For more information on CDI and tools that will allow you to e-mail your MP, visit: http://www.coopscanada.coop/CDI