Release of the Study on the Economic Impact of the Co-operative Sector in Canada in 2015

GUELPH, Ontario, June 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- During Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC)’s Congress 2019, Scott Banda of Federated Cooperatives Limited and Guy Cormier of Desjardins Group released the Study on the Economic Impact of the Co-operative Sector in Canada in 2015. Led by Dr. Fiona Duguid in partnership with George Karaphillis, the study confirms that co-operatives are an economic driver that contributes to the development of the Canadian economy.

Conducted earlier this year using data collected in 2015 from 5,730 co-operatives, this study is one of the most comprehensive ever done, and provides a comprehensive portrait of Canadian co-operatives. Among other things, it presents descriptive statistics for 2015, five- and ten-year trends, and the economic impact of the sector on the Canadian economy.

Commenting on the study, Peter Cameron, Acting Executive Director of the Ontario Co-operative Association stated: "The co-operative sector should be recognized as a key sector and important economic driver. Ontario’s 1,500+ co-operatives alone operate in 1,900 locations and in 400 communities, employing over 57,000 people. They are an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the province, and play a key role in building a more sustainable and equitable economy."



  • In 2015, there were 5,730 co-operatives that reported in Canada.
  • Their volume of business was $85.9 billion, with assets of $503.2 billion. This represents 20.9% growth in volume of business and 42.5% growth in assets.
  • Memberships totalled 31.8 million, and the number of reported full-time equivalent employees was 182,253. This represents a 13.3% increase in membership and a 2.5% increase in the number of employees.

The economy

  • The co-operative sector in Canada contributes $61.2 billion yearly to Canada’s GDP, an increase of 12% since 2010.
  • The sector injects $34.3 billion in taxes to all orders of government, an increase of 11.1% in five years.
  • The contribution of the co-operative sector to Canada’s GDP in 2015 was estimated at $61.2 billion, representing 3.4% of the national figure of $1,813.9 billion.

About the Ontario Co-operative Association (OCA) - Co-operatives are a different kind of business model, driven by people, planet and profit. OCA supports, develops, educates and advocates for Ontario’s 1,500+ co-operative businesses. We exist to strengthen and unite the co-operative movement and we believe that co-operatives are the solution to creating stronger communities, which help to build a better world.

About CMC - Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) is a member-driven association that supports, promotes and unites co-operative and mutual organisations. CMC strives to advance the co-operative economy by organizing co-op development, advocating with government and conducting research to improve public policy. CMC serves as a common table for co-operatives and mutuals in Canada. The co-operative and mutual movement in Canada comprises more than 31.8 million memberships from approximately 8,000 co-operative and mutual enterprises.

For more information, please contact:

National contact

Simone Saint-Pierre
Communications Manager
Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada
Mobile: 1-438-596-5950
Local contact

Peter Cameron
Acting Executive Director
Ontario Co-operative Association
519.763-8271 x. 23