The Co-operators Expands its Membership

GUELPH, ON, Jan. 24 2008 – The Co-operators, a leading co-operative provider of insurance and financial services, has expanded its membership, welcoming two new members. The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation, and Fédération des coopératives québécoises en milieu scolaire/COOPSCO bring to 39 the number of co-operatives, credit unions and like-minded organizations that comprise the ownership group of The Co-operators Group Ltd.

A co-operative is owned and democratically controlled by members who use its services or products. The Co-operators 39 members are based in every region of the country and represent six sectors: agriculture, finance, retail/consumer, service, health, and labour.

“Our members provide important links to a number of sectors of the economy, and a variety of communities throughout the country,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Our membership provides us an opportunity to more thoroughly understand the issues and concerns of the sectors they represent, so that we can better meet their insurance needs. The Co-operators warmly welcomes these two new members, and we look forward to forging strong and mutually beneficial relationships with them.”

Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) is a non-profit co-operative representing approximately 65 worker co-op members and 75 co-operative developer members across Canada. Its vision is to be a growing, cohesive network of democratically-controlled worker co-ops that provide a high quality of life and support the development of healthy and sustainable local economies based on co-operative principles.

Fédération des coopératives québécoises en milieu scolaire, operating under the banner COOPSCO, is a federation of 60 student co-ops present in the majority of post-secondary institutions and a growing number of high schools in Quebec. The co-ops have a combined membership of nearly 400,000 and are governed by a Board of Directors, the majority of who are students. They work together to make needed goods and services such as books, stationery, computers and food, available to students and other members of the institutions’ community.

Approximately 10 million Canadians are members of the more than 10,000 co-operatives and credit unions, whose primary purpose is to provide products and services to their members. Governed on the basis of one member/one vote, rather than shareholder companies’ one-vote-per-share, they provide a distinct values-based alternative to consumers in virtually every sector of the economy. For further information about co-operatives, visit www.coopscanada.coop.

About The Co-operators:

Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is the leading Canadian-owned multi-product insurance company, offering home, auto, life, group, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products and property development. With assets of $7 billion, The Co-operators is a co-operative owned by 39 Canadian co-operatives, credit unions and like-minded organizations. It is well known for its community involvement, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. www.cooperators.ca

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