CED and social economy in Canada

A people’s history

Marc Cabaj, 2004

To download : PDF (290 KiB)

Summary :

In Canada, there has been for a long time a history of people organizing and innovating to defend the ties that bound them together. In the XV century, the Aboriginal communities, their institutions and their way of life, were overrun by the Europeans who invaded Canada. After 1850, government encouraged immigration and build a new economic system based on large-scale industries. For the next 150 years, people would devote their energy and creativity to cope with the new system of development and curb its excesses. Labour unions,producers cooperatives, consumers cooperatives and credit unions emerged with that purpose. After the war, « top-down » experiements of social development failed to deliver the results the people were after. Lessons were learned and the government resigned themselves, in part, to a supportive role in local revitalization. The author gives several examples of alternative economic development.

Due to the globalization of Canada’s economy, part of the people is still excluded from the growth bonus. Yet community-based initiatives continue to flourish both in number and variety across the country.

Sources :

Making Waves Magazine, Volume 15, Number 1