Mr. Speaker, there are more than 400 co-operatives and credit unions operating in Nova Scotia.
The co-operative movement was started in Cape Breton by a fellow islander, Dr. Moses Coady. It came about mostly because of the struggles that farmers and fishermen were facing in rural areas during the depression.
In 2006 the Cape Breton Co-op stores won the CEO award from Co-op Atlantic in recognition of the best overall improvement in sales, expense controls and overall savings for their membership. Housing cooperatives in my riding of Sydney--Victoria provided good quality, affordable rental housing for almost 50 families.
I had the great experience of being a member of four different co-ops. During my time, I saw at first hand how the co-op not only benefits communities but also brings a sense of unity to the community.
I ask all members of Parliament to join me in recognizing this week as Co-op Week and celebrate the co-ops' accomplishments with them.