Montreal: Co-op City

ACORN Citizen Wealth Ideas and Issues International

Montreal bikesMontreal Perhaps I was talking to the wrong people, but it started to seem like everywhere I turned I was hearing about a co-op in Montreal.

Right across Sherbrooke not far from where I was staying there was of course Coop la Maison Verte, where last fall we had great Citizen Wealth event (and I noticed they still have a couple of my books on display for any in the area who are looking).  Sitting next door having a cup of coffee, I found myself and an associate looking at a huge truck owned by an organic cooperative farming outfit was making deliveries on the block.  There is a large taxi co-op, but I fortunately did not have to use it.

And then there’s transportation.  Perhaps Montreal doesn’t have more of this, just a better fan base, but the virtues of collective transportation were touted over and over.

CommunAuto is a car cooperative.  A deposit is paid in the $500 range and then you pick up and pay for small cars to scoot about the city and the province.

And, bicycle cooperatives seem everywhere.   The largest may be Velogik, but another eight also sprung up on Wikipedia offering bikes as well as bike repair assistance and operations.

Why?  Part of it may be the collective drive of the population, but more probably it also lies in the fact that cooperatives get extensive resources and support from the provincial Quebec government and the city.  With such public support many flowers are allowed to bloom and find popular support ready to rise to the occasion.

Very exciting to think about working here in such an environment!