Mr. Speaker, this is National Co-op Week and, as the NDP spokesperson for co-operatives and credit unions, it is my pleasure to congratulate them on their successes over the past year.
Marketing, economic and consumer co-operatives have always played a vital role in our economy. Rochdale Boulevard, where my riding office is located, is named after the founders of the co-op movement in North America, the Rochdale pioneers, whose principles were first developed in 1844.
In this globalized economy we now live in, co-ops and credit unions give individuals and communities the opportunity to take control of their own lives and their own futures. With assets of over $167 billion, 15 million members and 151,000 employees, co-ops make a significant contribution to our national economy, but they can do more.
For example, as the supply of affordable housing is disappearing, thanks to the Liberals, and homelessness is reaching epidemic levels we should be looking to co-op housing as part of the solution. The federal government should make it its co-op week project to restore funding to co-op housing.