Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark Credit Union Day, celebrated during Co-op Week 2005. Credit unions give people more control over there financial services.
As a social democratic party the NDP has a natural affinity with the co-operative movement. We share the vision of greater power for Canadians over their economic lives. The 9,500 co-ops and credit unions in Canada are worth over $175 billion and employ over 150,000 people. Yet this sector does not receive the attention it deserves from the federal government.
For example, the co-operative development initiative will provide $15 million over five years. That is only $3 million a year for a sector that serves 10 million Canadians.
It is time for the federal government to give this important sector the attention it deserves and create a ministry for co-ops and community economic development. The power of cooperation is strong in Canada and I ask all members of the House to join with me in celebrating Co-op Week.