In Nova Scotia, co-operatives, government, and thousands of private citizens have become involved in the mobilization of community capital. The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council and its CEO, Dianne Kelderman, get much of the credit for this accomplishment. Still, it's important to remember Nova Scotia's long, deep commitment to social economy. Since the 1920s, the Antigonish Movement, New Dawn Development Corporation, HRDA Business Enterprises, and the Nova Scotia Equity Tax Credit Act (2000) all speak to the province's innovative spirit in terms of co-ops, credit unions, and community-based economic development.
It's within that context that the Co-operative Council has launched its effort to make credit unions the foremost financial player in the province. They have been instrumental in the creation of a small business loan guarantee program, a short-term equity fund, a microcredit program, and in support for co-operativism among welfare recipients. The Council has supported over a dozen co-operative Community Economic Development Investment Funds (managing over $13 million) and is helping to organize an even more flexible Community Investment Trust on the province's behalf. Now the Council is partnering with a provincial crown corporation to establish a co-operative that will bring to family healthcare all the advantages of modern telecommunications.
Nova Scotia, a "have-not" province? Hardly. It's a cornucopia filled with examples of financial mechanisms that put communities first.