Co-ops_Farmers_New Ag - Centre for the Study of Co-operatives

usaskstudies.coop

Co-ops_Farmers_New Ag - Centre for the Study of Co-operatives

C A N A D A ’ S C O - O P E R A T I V E P R O V I N C E 4 7co-operative and community-owned basis. Many of these groups did not succeed in obtaininglicences from the federal regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and TelecommunicationsCommission. One that did so is Access Communications Co-operative. Incorporatedin Regina in 1974 as Regina Cablevision, Access Communications now provides television,Internet, and wireless services to sixty thousand subscribers in Regina and area, Estevan,Weyburn, Yorkton, North Battleford, and, as of 2005, Coronach. 85 Individuals within theservice area can attend meetings and elect members to the board of directors. The companyoperates a community channel and works with and supports community-based organizations,who are eligible to join as organizational members. 86 While distinct from other kindsof co-operatives, Access Communications illustrates some features similar to others of its era:branching out to new areas of activity, urban in focus, and operating in a field where governmentpolicy and regulation is critical.Housing Co-operativesHousing co-operatives were first created in Saskatchewan as a result of national housingpolicy and the lobbying of the co-operative sector and it allies. In 1968, the Co-operativeHousing Foundation (now Federation) of Canada was formed by the Co-operative Unionof Canada (including established Saskatchewan co-operatives) in partnership with the CanadianLabour Congress, the Canadian Union of Students, and later the United Church ofCanada. These organizations succeeded in obtaining changes to the National Housing Act in1973 that made housing co-operatives eligible for state financing. Parallel to this change, theCentral (now Canada) Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) funded communitybasedresource groups to act as consultants, trainers, and developers. Twenty-five years later,these partnerships had produced more than two thousand nonprofit housing co-ops operatingeighty thousand housing units through every province and territory. This federal initiativewas one of the most successful co-op–development programs of all time. 87In Saskatchewan, the program resulted in the creation of the Co-operative HousingAssociation of Saskatchewan and a variety of housing co-ops during the 1980s, mostly inSaskatoon and Regina. However, CMHC viewed the program as mainly for conventional,O C C A S I O N A L P A P E R S S E R I E S # 0 5 . 0 1

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