Coast Capital becomes B.C.’s first federal credit union
Coast Capital Savings has been given approval by the federal Minister of Finance to become a federal credit union, effective November 1, 2018.
The approval follows an extensive review, which assessed Coast Capital’s ability and readiness to meet the standards of a federally-regulated financial institution.
Coast Capital is the largest credit union in Canada by membership, and the first from B.C. to be approved to operate as a federal credit union.
In the fall of 2016, 79.2 per cent of the nearly 80,000 Coast Capital members who submitted a ballot voted in favour of Coast Capital becoming a federal credit union. That voter turnout, however, represented less than 15 per cent of the 555,000 members of Coast Capital.
The move to becoming a federal credit union has been criticized by some as being contrary to credit unions being inherently local, self-help responses to big banks. Critics say this conversion abandons the model of a network of locally based, democratically controlled financial co-ops.
The Co-operators to provide optional medical cannabis coverage
The Co-operators Life Insurance Co. is introducing optional medical cannabis coverage for its largest group plan sponsors.
While the coverage can be added as an optional provision under an extended health-care plan, it requires prior authorization and is subject to an annual maximum.
The insurer will consider cannabis an eligible expense under a health-care spending account, as long as the plan member has met all the guidelines set out by Health Canada. It stipulates that since medical cannabis doesn’t have a drug identification number, it isn’t eligible for coverage under a prescription drug plan.
However, the Co-operators will consider coverage for conditions where cannabis has been proven effective, such as chronic pain, nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy and muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.
Mountain Equipment Co-op funds trail building in B.C. Interior
Several student volunteers from three Kelowna schools have been hauling, spreading and packing gravel across a new one-kilometre trail at Black Mountain Regional Park.
The still-unopened, 640-hectare regional park is the largest in the Central Okanagan and has the unique position of being operated by two organizations.
“This is the first time that we’ve entered into a co-management agreement with Westbank First Nation,” said Bruce Smith, communication and intergovernmental affairs officer at Regional District of Central Okanagan. “We’re partners in this park and will be forever. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to raise awareness about the first nations culture here in the Okanagan.”
The new Grassland Trail will be a 1.9-kilometre loop. Two grants were provided by Mountain Equipment Co-op and TD Friends of the Environment to help fund equipment and material needed to construct the trail.
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