UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The contribution of co-operatives to community economic development : A case study of CRS Workers’ Co-operative Newell, Teresa Margaret


Compared to many other places in the world, Canada is a peaceful, safe, economically well-developed haven of democracy. Despite this designation, many Canadians struggle daily to acquire the simplest of necessities. This thesis is about exploring the potential of alternative economic structures to ameliorate some of Canada's economic and social problems. The purpose of this work is to examine the concept of Community Economic Development (CED) and the role of the co-operative model as a CED institution. To illustrate the potential of the worker co-operative as a CED institution, the case of CRS Workers' Co-op is studied. A review of the literature provides background information on the development of the CED movement in Canada. Academic and community-based publications are examined to provide insight into various CED theories and approaches. Basic co-operative concepts are introduced in a historical review of co-operative development in Canada. The role of co-operatives as CED institutions is examined and a case study of CRS Workers' Co-op is used to explore the potential contributions of an alternative business structure. Recommendations contained in reports from a federal task force and a provincial advisory group on co-operatives and CED form the basis for conclusions about the roles of government and established co-operatives in fostering and supporting the development of worker co-operatives and CED projects.

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