The network of funeral cooperatives continues to grow. Last August, two new funeral cooperatives were added to our ranks. The network now has a presence in six provinces of Canada, plus the United States and Peru. In addition to the 26 member cooperatives in Quebec, we now have 13 "auxiliary member" cooperatives, meaning that they are located outside Quebec.
In 2009, nearly 10,000 families decided to entrust their loved one to a cooperative in our network.
Our research has identified 52 funeral cooperatives in Canada. Very often these cooperatives are corporations fully owned by their members. In other cases, cooperative enterprises from other sectors have acquired a funeral company which they continue to manage, thereby extending the overall service offering for their members. This is notably the case of the Omega Funeral Home, which is owned by the Portage Consumers Co-operative in Manitoba.
With the promotion of the cooperative model that is being done by the Federation on the cross-Canada tour, we can hope to see the number of funeral cooperatives grow in the years ahead. Recognized as playing a priceregulating role, funeral cooperatives also make it possible to preserve local ownership of businesses, in addition to restoring decision-making power to their members.