On February 21, Quebec's National Assembly adopted a motion that underscores the contribution of the cooperative and mutualist movement to society and the Quebec economy.
In adopting this motion, Quebec's political leaders have affirmed their support for the cooperative movement and recognized the significant contribution this business model makes to the development of Quebec society and to the province's prosperity.
This motion of support was followed by a signing ceremony, during which Sam Hamad, the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, signed a declaration to mark the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives. This declaration reiterates the importance of promoting the cooperative and mutualist model as a solution that can help make Quebec economically viable, socially just and environmentally sustainable.
This declaration had already received the support of some 30 Quebec leaders from various organizations that represent Quebec society, thanks to the initiative of the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (CQCM). During the ceremony, Hélène Simard, CQCM's President and CEO, said that “the cooperative movement is gaining the kind of recognition that is usually reserved for mature organizations.
This reflects the UN's own purpose in declaring 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives, which is to raise awareness of the role of cooperatives, promote their growth and encourage the development of appropriate supporting policies.” Monique Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group, attended the ceremony, reiterating the importance of the International Year of Cooperatives in promoting the cooperative business model at the political level.
This is also one of the objectives of the 2012 International Summit of Cooperatives, which Desjardins Group, the International Co-operative Alliance and St. Mary's University will be co-hosting.