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Ted McMeekin
M.P.P. - Ancaster-Dundas
Flamborough-Westdale


tmcmeekin.mpp@liberal.ola.org
4th Floor, suite 4320
Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1W3
416-327-2333
Fax 416-327-3790



Constituency Office
P.O. Box 1240,
Waterdown, ON, L0R 2H0
905-690-6552
Toll-Free: 888-566-6614
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  Home / Weblog / WORKING TOGETHER TO FOSTER INNOVATIVE  

WORKING TOGETHER TO FOSTER INNOVATIVE

Ted McMeekin, MPP

On December 14, 2006 the Legislative Assembly unanimously passed Private Member Resolution I presented calling on the government of Ontario to “commit to the promotion, development and support of the co-operative model of business as one that should be replicated to provide stronger communities, increased social responsibility and continued economic growth, AND that the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade commit to investigating the establishment of a co-operative secretariat to support the co-operative model of business.”

Ontario co-operatives have a proud past and, under the right circumstances, a bright and promising future.

For example, Ontario farmers have always been at the forefront of the ‘new generation’ co-operative movement. Espoused by the Christian Farmers and others – the goal of a co-operative approach is to bring added value to the agricultural community through innovation, diversification of products and the retention of ownership and control of a product beyond the farm gate. For instance, recently efforts are being made to develop ethanol initiatives.

In Ontario, co-operatives are everywhere; the agri-food sector; the finance, health care, housing and elder care sectors - even energy, like Positive Power, a local award-winning co-operative dedicated to advancing the establishment of wind power.

Today the co-operative sector is enormous with more than 2.3 million members and assets in excess of $19 billion in Ontario alone. Examples of successful co-ops include the CUMIS group; the Co-operators group, the largest Canadian-owned multi-product insurance company; Gay Lea Food, a dairy industry leader; GROWMARK Inc.; the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and the list goes on and on.

Over the years, I have discovered that cooperative endeavours enhance our economy in creative, entrepreneurial ways. But innovative ideas don’t just happen – they require careful thought and planning and more often than not are best tackled by working together.

I believe that government can only effectively partner with communities if it is prepared to be as innovative as the coop sector itself. In this context, I’m proud to be an unabashed partisan of the pioneer values that have built this country - hard work, a sense of fairness, a passion for community and the openness to sharing one another’s burdens. This indeed is what the cooperative model of business is all about.