In The News
Credit unions of Atlantic Canada make news every day, by helping members realize their financial goals, and supporting communities in becoming better places to live!
January 30, 2012
SouthShoreNow.ca, Bridgewater NS: Retailers and bankers are getting ready to phase out the penny. Starting February 4, pennies will no longer be part of the coins Canadians use in purchasing goods and services.
The retailers and banks that agreed to answer questions regarding the changes are going to go with the rounding up and rounding down suggested by the federal government. Meaning, any cost that ends in 1, 2, 6 or 7 will be rounded down to the nearest 0 or 5, whereas any total that ends in 3, 4, 8 or 9 will be rounded up to the nearest 5 or 10. Cash customers will be the only consumers affected by changes. Those paying by debit, credit or cheque will be unaffected. [...]
Larger retailers have computer systems that will help cash customers and staff through the change. However, smaller retailers will be handling the changes on their own. [...]
LaHave River Credit Union is doing the same as retailers. (Atlantic Centra) Vice-President of Business Solutions Paul Paruch said the financial impact will be minimal.
“Rounding will have some financial impact,” said Mr. Paruch. “I think when we look at it as a whole it should have a non-material net effect.”
However, he said the banking industry will save in the long run on the transportation cost of pennies.
“Moving coin is very expensive … particularly pennies because they take up a lot of room,” said Mr. Paruch.
Aside from the transportation savings, the phase-out of the penny is not expected to cause any issues for the bank’s cash customers and staff. [MORE]
November 29, 2012
Truro Daily News, Truro NS: Community Credit Union Arena is the name that has been attached to the arena at the new Rath EastLink Community Centre in Truro NS, thanks to a $750,000 donation from Community Credit Union of Cumberland Colchester.
Jon Stanfield, Chairman of the facility’s fundraising committee, made the announcement Thursday evening, November 29, 2012, during a ceremony at the Marigold Culture Centre.
“As Chair of the Unite the Spirit campaign, on behalf of the Municipality of Colchester and the Town of Truro, I am pleased to introduce our new and significant partner, Community Credit Union (of Cumberland Colchester) to the new Rath EastLink Community Centre,” he said. “Community Credit Union (of Cumberland Colchester) is made up of community-minded members from throughout the region, and it is quite fitting that this locally owned credit union wanted to support our new centre in a significant manner.”
The credit union believes their contribution will benefit their community, their members and the organization’s good will. [MORE]
November 8, 2012
The Journal Pioneer, Summerside PE: A student gingerly reaches around a volunteer and selects a fresh apple. Another sorts through the granola bars in search of his favourite flavour. There are bagels, toast, juice, milk, cheese and spreads available on the counter from which students can choose. That’s the standard fare most days that the M.E. Callaghan Breakfast Club (Profit’s Corner) runs.
“Once a month we do pancakes,” program co-ordinator Barbie Barbour explains. “That’s a crazy day.” Students start pouring into the classroom where the program is set up as soon as the 8:30 a.m. bell sounds. They have until the next bell at 8:55 a.m. to grab a light breakfast and to socialize.
The breakfast program is supported by President’s Choice Children’s Charities. Tignish Credit Union has also helped out with a $1,500 contribution from its staff 50-50 fund.
Barbour estimates that it costs about $3,200 a year to run the program. The co-ordinator expressed her appreciation to the sponsors and volunteers who help keep the program running. [MORE]
October 15, 2012
Government of NB: Fredericton, NB: The following message was issued today by Justice Minister and Attorney General Marie-Claude Blais to mark Co-op Week, October 14 to 20, and Credit Union Day on October 18, in New Brunswick:
“I extend my best wishes for a happy and successful Credit Union Day and Co-op Week to the thousands of credit union, caisse populaire and co-operative members throughout New Brunswick. It is also noteworthy to point out that the United Nations has proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives.
New Brunswick’s co-operatives are responsible for the creation of more than 12,000 jobs, with an annual payroll valued at more than $460 million and total tax revenue exceeding $117.4 million.” [MORE]
October 14, 2012
The Guardian, Charlottetown, PE: Major drive for Summerside food bank planned.
“During this International Year of Co-operatives, Evangeline area co-operators are particularly being encouraged to celebrate the strength of the movement by supporting their co-ops and by participating in the six free events of the 2012 Co-op Week being held in mid-October,” says Angèle Arsenault, president of the Conseil de développement coopératif de l’Î.-P.-É. (CDC).
The president said the community, renowned as the Co-op Capital of the World (on a per capita basis), has ample reason to celebrate. In fact, the region has 18 co-ops that have more than 8,500 members, more than 250 employees and assets worth more than $80 million.
These co-ops provide services in a vast array of sectors – from fish processing and handcraft production to grocery sales and funeral services, along with TV show production, cultural development and lodging for seniors. Together, they are, as the International Year slogan says, co-operative enterprises that “build a better world”. [MORE]
October 12, 2012
Journal Pioneer, Charlottetown, PE: To help commemorate the International Year of Co-operatives, the P.E.I. Co-operative Council has created a feature-length documentary film chronicling the history and development of co-operatives throughout P.E.I. over that past 150 years.
After almost a year of production the film, “Building a Better World: A Co-operative History of P.E.I.,” is now complete and will be shown throughout the Island at various venues during Co-op Week.
The film traces the co-operative movement in the province back to 1864 with the founding of the Farmers’ Bank in Rustico through the boom years for co-ops in the early part of the 20th century and a look at the future for the sector.
“It was a huge project and for us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take advantage of the International Year campaign to create something like this which will serve as a legacy to almost 150 years of hard work and the efforts by thousands of Islanders to grow, development, strengthen and improve co-ops of all types,” said P.E.I. Co-operative Council’s communications director, Todd MacEwen. “We were certainly lucky to have found a film maker to work with who developed a passion for the topic and had the skills to shape the story into this film.” [MORE]
October 5, 2012
Taryn Greig, chair of Bergengren Credit Union’s Youth Council was recently honoured as a recipient of the Dr. Trudy Eagan Women in Business Award. Ms. Greig was joined by Kailin Morrison. Both are fourth year business students at StFX’s Gerald Schwartz School of Business, and received the award during the St. Francis Xavier University’s 13th annual Dr. Trudy Eagan Women in Business Speakers’ Series and Award Presentations, “Women Who Make A Difference.”
August 20, 2012
The Journal Pioneer, Charlottetown, PE: More than 30 entries took part in the Bell Aliant mammoth street parade Saturday afternoon to help kick off the 45th Kensington Community Harvest Festival. This year’s parade theme was autumn days in Kensington – celebrating the harvest.
The farmer’s daughter pageant entry took home two awards from the judges. It won in the most comical category and it was the judges overall choice for best entry. The Mount Zion Lodge won the best theme category. Best community entry went to Malpeque Bay Credit Union. [MORE]
August 16, 2012
The Kings County Advertiser & Register, Kentville, NS: If you live in the Annapolis Valley, there’s a good chance you’ve done business with a co-operative, even if you didn’t know it. And according to the Valley Cooperative Committee, that’s a very good thing. So good, in fact, they’ve decided to throw a party to celebrate it.
On August 19th, the committee is hosting the first-ever Co-op Celebration Family Picnic; an open-invitation event aimed at shedding light on the benefits that co-operatives bring to the Annapolis Valley economy. Committee member Joel Stoddart believes there are many.
“Co-operatives are such great community-builders because they exist primarily to meet the common needs of their members, and not far-away shareholders who may or may not have a vested interest in the community,” he said. [MORE]
July 25, 2012
Journal Pioneer, Charlottetown, PE: Two area high schools are now better equipped for medical emergencies. Consolidated Credit Union, in Summerside PEI, donated automatic external defibrilators (AED) to both Three Oaks and Kinkora High Schools as part of an effort to improve the community.
AEDs are portable medical devices that apply electrical therapy that stops heart arrhythmias. They’re easy to use, requiring little to no prior training.
The credit union provided the devices, which normally cost upwards of $6,000 at no cost to the schools after becoming award of the need for AEDs in high schools when staff received first aid and CPR training last May. [MORE]
June 12, 2012
Daily Business Buzz, Halifax, NS: In architecture, a capstone refers to a finishing stone crowning the top of a wall or building. For many of the first graduates of Dalhousie’s College of Sustainability and the ESS program (environment, sustainability and society), the capstone class project signifies the final achievement of their undergraduate career.
In its debut year, the fourth-year students worked with Credit Union Atlantic (CUA) to get hands-on experience performing a baseline assessment of the financial institution’s environmental footprint as part of CUA’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. CUA provides banking services and financial solutions to individuals and businesses in Greater Halifax/Dartmouth, and is one of the largest credit unions in Atlantic Canada.
June 13, 2012
What’s Goin On – June 13, 2012: The Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Cape Breton University, inducted four local business people into the Cape Breton Business Hall of Fame during a gala dinner Wednesday, June 13th at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. One of the inductees was Rina Gouthro, Manager of Dominion Credit Union. Other honourees included Warren Gordon (Gordon Photographic), Dave MacKenna (Municipal Ready Mix), and Steve Lewis (Steve Lewis Autobody).
Rina credits her parents, who are first generation Italian immigrants, for the strong work ethic that has led to her ongoing success. Gouthro, one of five siblings, was raised in the seaside community of Dominion. She was a fresh high school graduate when she was hired as a teller at Dominion Credit Union. “All I had was a pen, paper, and a willingness to learn,” says Gouthro. Skip ahead 15 years, and that ambition resulted in a management position she retains today.
Gouthro says that one of her proudest accomplishments professionally is having played an integral part in the Credit Union’s continued growth and success. That success was recognized within the community, and recently in a business section of a provincial newspaper. “Yes, Dominion Credit Union is a business, but you need to remain aware that people matter and people care. Show respect, and people will come back.” [MORE]
June 12, 2012
Daily Buzz, Halifax NS: In architecture, a capstone refers to a finishing stone crowning the top of a wall or building. For many of the first graduates of Dalhousie’s College of Sustainability and the ESS program (environment, sustainability and society), the capstone class project signifies the final achievement of their undergraduate career.
In its debut year, the fourth-year students worked with Credit Union Atlantic (CUA) to get hands-on experience performing a baseline assessment of the financial institution’s environmental footprint as part of CUA’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. Credit Union Atlantic provides banking services and financial solutions to individuals and businesses in Greater Halifax/Dartmouth, and is one of the largest credit unions in Atlantic Canada.
A big part of Credit Union Atlantic’s CSR strategy is to become more environmentally conscious in its operations and business practices. President and CEO Marie Mullally recognized that to “articulate tactics or initiatives that CUA can realistically and cost-effectively implement,” a baseline assessment of CUA’s emissions, energy use, waste, water, etc. would be required. [MORE]
June 8, 2012
Progress Magazine, Halifax NS: Working for one boss is one thing, but having a few hundred of your friends and neighbours as bosses creates a unique working environment. Metro Credit Union and Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union ranked first and second, respectively, in Progress Magazine’s 2012 Best Places to Work survey. Find out why.
May 28, 2012
The Guardian, Charlottetown, PEI: When the lunch bell rang Monday at noon at Colonel Gray High School, students quickly filled the hallway to check out a smooth new business venture.
Eco-smoothie is part of a PEI Co-op Council Youth Co-operative project for Grade 12 economic students.
The “eco” comes from being a part of the economics curriculum, but also because the smoothies are ecologically friendly and affordable.
The Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council (PEICO) was pleased with the progress made in such a short period of time on the pilot program launched two-weeks ago at the high school in Charlottetown. As part of its mandate to celebrate the International Year of Co-operatives, the PEICO had been exploring various options in engaging youth and raising awareness of the co-operative sector and business principles among today’s young people. [MORE]
May 25, 2012
The Guardian, Charlottetown PEI: When it comes to men’s fashion, Charlottetown will never be mistaken for New York, Paris, Milan or Moncton, but if you look past the baggy pants and wife-beaters, you’ll find some sharp-dressed dudes in this city.
But who is the best-dressed of them all? I’ve been watching, asking around and taking notes – sounds weird, I know — and came up with a very unscientific list. There may not be any Zoolanders in this group, but they all have their own sense of style.
Doug Bridges: Maybe it’s just because he seems to be everywhere — as the MC for Chamber of Commerce events and Rotary Club dinners, in TV commercials for Camp Gencheff, at the Metro Credit Union – and he’s always wearing a jacket and tie. Curious to see what he wears when he mows his lawn. [MORE]
May 25, 2012
The Guardian, Charlottetown PE: Metro Credit Union Ltd. in Charlottetown has received top honours in a best places to work survey in Atlantic Canada.
In a program designed by Progress Magazine and Best Companies Group to recognize the best employers in the Atlantic region, Metro was the only Prince Edward Island-based employer to qualify. The credit union received the award at a special luncheon in Halifax.
Seven of the top 27 Best Places to Work in Atlantic Canada 2012 are credit unions, including Metro which placed number one on the list.
“Metro is full of great employees who take pride in their career, who value the role our credit union plays in the community, and who go out of their way to provide outstanding service to their members,” says general manager Bernard Gillis.
The list was announced May 17 in Halifax. [MORE]
May 23, 2012
The Gulf News: Port aux Basques, NL: It may be a milder than usual spring, but Susan Lamunu said she still found the southwest coast almost unbearably cold during her visit last week. The Ugandan woman spent 10 days in Southwestern Newfoundland as part of the Canadian Co-operative Association’s Women’s Mentoring Program. Ms. Lamunu was at the Leading Edge Credit Union, learning about the business of managing a co-operative.
Uganda is an African country about half the size of Newfoundland, but with a population about the same as Canada’s, at 34 million.
Ms. Lamunu manages a credit union in her hometown of Gulu. She previously worked for a bank, but she said there is a big difference between banks and credit unions in her country. She said banks are much less customer oriented, and they often charge 30 per cent on personal loans. Many of her clients have bad experiences with borrowing money, and her credit union’s customers must take a three-day training session on credit. [MORE]
May 23, 2012
The 2012 inductees include Rina Gouthro of the Dominion Credit Union, Dave MacKenna of Municipal Ready-Mix, Steve Lewis of Steve Lewis Autobody, and Warren Gordon of Gordon Photographic.
The induction of the new members will take place June 13 at the Business Hall of Fame Gala in the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre.
The Cape Breton Business Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to honour people from the Cape Breton business community who paved the road for future generations in Cape Breton through business achievement and community involvement.
The people are selected from a list of nominees who have established a legacy for the community that has broadened opportunities for others and provided inspiration for entrepreneurs. [MORE]
May 15, 2012
Using smartphones to pay for small purchases took another step forward Monday with Canada’s financial institutions announcing guidelines for mobile payments that work with technology already in place. The guidelines were developed by the major banks and credit unions, although observers say that consumers routinely using smartphones to tap and pay for items like sandwiches, bread, milk and gas is still a few years off.
“We are not throwing our wallets away in the next 36 months,” said telecom analyst Duncan Stewart of Deloitte Canada. “But you have to line up all of the ducks now,” Stewart said from Toronto.
The Canadian Bankers Association said the voluntary guidelines are designed to work with the same security standards used by chip-enabled credit and debit cards and existing wireless point-of-sale terminals at retailers.
“This benefits merchants and consumers by building on an existing system, and leveraging the same high security standards used by today’s chip-enabled credit and debit cards,” the association said in a statement. [MORE]
May 14, 2012
As Canadians continue to adopt mobile technology and as demand for mobile payments capability continues to grow, the banking industry and credit union system today announced a set of voluntary, secure, open guidelines for the development of mobile payments at point-of-sale in Canada.
The voluntary guidelines, technically known as the Mobile Reference Model, will serve as a blueprint for how mobile payment capabilities can be offered in the Canadian market, including guidelines around how information is exchanged among various parties to a transaction including financial institutions, payment card companies, telecommunications companies and merchants. While voluntary, the financial institutions that developed the guidelines are committed to these principles in the mobile market, and these guidelines are intended to create a path to help all market participants move forward in developing mobile payment solutions.
Canadians are looking forward to being able to pay at point-of-sale with their mobile device, and today’s announcement of guidelines for mobile payments in Canada brings this closer to making it a reality. By developing a set of guidelines that all participants in the payments marketplace can work within, the goal is to ensure safety, security and ease of use for merchants and consumers while allowing for innovation and competition among market participants. [MORE]
May 10, 2012
Beverly brightens a room the moment she walks in. So it’s difficult to imagine that this smiling 50-something woman upon arrival at PEI Family Violence Prevention Services’ Second Stage Housing Charlottetown just a few short months ago was a mere shadow of her true self.
“When I first got here I was completely broken. I couldn’t even make a sentence my head was so full of fog,” remembers Beverly, who only wanted her first name used. “The first words from (staff member) Ellen (Ridgeway) were ‘We’re going to give you a week to settle in to get your bearings around you’ and I felt instantly safe.”
Beverly’s healing process started slowly a week later, and part of that journey was the Aspire program, which is under the umbrella of P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention Services.
From May 28th to June 1st, PEI Family Violence Prevention Services (PEI FVPS) is partnering with Metro Credit Union, Hot 105.5 and Ocean 100 to encourage people to donate their pennies with the proceeds from this fundraiser going to P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention Services, Anderson House and the services provided by this organization. [MORE]
May 8, 2012
A Halifax company that has built a career development social networking platform for students is enhancing its product and developing new markets with an investment from the province.
Equals6 has secured $250,000 in venture capital financing from Innovacorp.
The company has launched an online career development community that connects students with employers. The site allows students to build a professional network, then helps them use it to enter the workforce and develop a career path.
More than 13,000 students from across North America have joined the Equals6 network, and the company has already secured 125 employers, including Atlantic Central Credit Unions, Nova Scotia Power, Bell Aliant and SimplyCast, as local examples. Universities and colleges looking to attract students to their programs are also using the site. [MORE]
May 2, 2012
After an April 26 vote by members of the Valley Credit Union, the stage is set for the July 1 debut of the FirstNova Credit Union.
Members of the Community Credit Union, serving Cumberland and Colchester counties, approved the merger deal between the two institutions the night before. Mike Wark, Chief Executive Officer of the Valley group, will become the new credit union’s CEO.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our members across the province to see benefits,” he said in a release. [MORE]
April 30, 2012
HALIFAX — Canadian icon Michael J. Fox will be the featured keynote at an October festival in Halifax. Fox hosted a show called Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, and that is precisely what the Atlantic Dream Festival aims to encourage. The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council and Atlantic Credit Unions have teamed up with the organizers of the festival to host the region’s largest motivational and leadership event.
Fox will be joined by television personality and design expert Debbie Travis and the newest addition to CBC’s Dragons’ Den, Bruce Croxon.
The theme of the Atlantic Dream Festival is “Dream It. Live It.”
The Atlantic Dream Festival is designed to inspire, empower, and educate people from all walks of life. The event attracts a vast mix: organizers expect nearly 10,000 attendees, from students to entrepreneurs and businesspeople, to members of the general public and seniors. All public events are ticketed and all are welcome to purchase and attend. [MORE]
April 18, 2012
The Journal Pioneer, Charlottetown PE: The Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council (PEICC) will be presenting a first of its kind Co-operative Trade Show on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Rodd Royalty in Charlottetown. The event is designed to showcase the diversity of Island Co-operatives.
“The International Year of Co-operatives is providing a great opportunity for co-ops not only in the province but around the world to show the impact that the co-operative sector has, particularly on the community and local levels,” says Todd MacEwen, communications director with the PEICC. [MORE]
April 11, 2012
Social enterprises across Nova Scotia will now have access to small-business loans, through the provincially funded Credit Union Small Business Loan Program. Social enterprises operate as non-profits with the purpose of addressing social, economic or environmental concerns.
The province is providing a $2-million loan guarantee for the program and is available to any qualified social enterprise. It is a two-year pilot program and will provide a loan guarantee of up to $150,000 for social enterprises. The program will be offered through the network of Nova Scotia Credit Unions and will be administered by the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council.
April 10, 2012
An article in today’s Chronicle Herald profiled Dominion Credit Union. Reporter Bill Power noted that Dominion is enjoying increases in both member savings and lending. Dominion’s Manager, Rina Gouthro, was interviewed, and attributed the credit union’s successes to the independent nature of the operation which is part of the co-operative business model for all credit unions. Dominion Credit Union’s board, management and staff pride themselves on the care they give to their members and their community.
The reporter also spoke to the Nova Scotia Co-op Council and tied in the UN International Year of Co-operatives.
April 4, 2012
The Journal Pioneer, Summerside PE: As he made the rounds Monday of the three branches that make up the newly merged Évangéline-Central Credit Union, Ira Smith observed business as usual. “Everything’s normal,” he said, “and that’s the way we wanted it. If you do it right, that’s what happens.” Smith, who had been a Tyne Valley-area representative on the Évangéline Credit Union, took over as president of the new Évangéline-Central Credit Union board of directors when the merger of the two organizations became effective on April 1. He brings to the position years of experience with the Finance department in Ottawa. Smith was a member of the committee that prepared the merger proposal that was put to a vote by the membership of the two organizations in December.
“You have two different organizations; two different communities. You have to understand what’s happening in each one and whether they are compatible; whether you can bring them together,” he said in explaining all the work that went into preparing for the merger.
March 14, 2012
Mr. Speaker, in Newfoundland and Labrador, we are home to some well-established co-operatives that have contributed greatly to community and business development. We are also home to newer co-operatives that hold tremendous promise.
In southern Labrador, when the Bank of Montreal withdrew its operations, residents stepped-up, mobilized their resources, and formed the Eagle River Credit Union. It was a collective effort that ensured that the delivery of financial services would continue and today it has accumulated more than $79 million in assets.
December 22, 2011
The Daily Gleaner: Fredericton, NB: Representatives from NBTA Credit Union, Progressive Credit Union and OMISTA Credit Union are among the businesses presenting over $13,000 to local food banks, money raised during the Amazing Turkey Race.
December 8, 2011
The Guardian: O’Leary PE, Guardian, Eric McCarthy – Now that memberships of the Evangeline and Central Credit Unions have endorsed their boards’ merger proposal, subtle changes can be made to prepare for the targeted April 1, 2012 amalgamation date, suggests Alfred Arsenault.
December 7, 2011
The Guardian: Charlottetown PE, Guardian, Eric McCarthy – A motion to merge Evangeline and Central credit unions passed its first hurdle Tuesday night.
November 16, 2011
CBC.ca, Diane Buckner: (excerpt) “I like our credit union because if you need a loan, you call them up, they have your information,” says Adam MacLellan, who helps run his family’s dairy farm and trucking company in Tyne Valley, PEI. “It’s not like CIBC or RBC where you need to fill in applications, meet all kinds of guidelines. If we need new equipment or new truck, we know within minutes if we have that.”
November 9, 2011
Charlottetown, PEI: The Holland College Prince of Wales Campus cafeteria was named the Credit Union Café today in honour of the generous $200,000 gift made to Holland College by Prince Edward Island Credit Unions through the Learning. For Life. Capital Campaign.