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Username: chunter
Date/Time: Sat, November 4, 2000 at 11:14 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V4.01 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: Support for .co-op!


      The Canadian Co-operative Association supports the creation of .co-op as a TLD. Co-operatives are a distinct sector of the Canadian economy -- referred to as the "fourth sector" and distinct from the public,private, and voluntary sectors.  In Canada, there are over 8,000 co-operatives and Canadians hold over 14 million memberships in co-operatives and credit unions.

The absence of any coordinated strategy to drive traffic to co-operative and credit union web sites renders most co-operatives, and the system of which they are a part,invisible on the Internet.  We believe that many Canadian consumers, and other consumers around the world, want to seek out alternative and community based businesses with which to do business or buy products.  In June 2000, the Conference Board of Canada released the findings of a research report on corporate social responsibility which showed that 72% of Canadians were more more likely to buy goods and services from a company that commits resources to social and community concerns. Further, 60% of Canadians have chosen to do more business with or buy more products from one firm because the company is more socially responsible.

A .co-op TLD would allow consumers to quickly locate enterprises that embrace both social and economic values; are commited to serving the communities in which they are located; and which exist to serve the needs of their member-owners.  The current unsophistication of search engines does not allow Internet users to locate co-operative enterprises on the Net.  A .co-op TLD, registered to incorporated co-operatives, would allow consumers to navigate more systemtically to co-operative enterprises. 

A .co-op TLD would also facilitate co-op to co-op trade (North-North and North-South) by allowing co-operative enterprises to more easily identify businesses with aligned values.

The Canadian Co-operative Association urges ICANN to create this new top level domain.  Consumers have the appetite for socially responsible businesses and require the ways and means to navigate to those businesses. 


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