Credit Union Leadership Program

Canada Development Education (DE) offered in Halifax in 2024

As part of the Global DE Network, CanadaDE is a five-and-a-half-day leadership program that will renew and deepen your understanding and appreciation for the co-operative and credit union sector at the local, national, and international levels. This program is by and for credit union professionals who believe in harnessing the power of social, economic, and environmental transformation for the betterment of members and communities.

CanadaDE is a highly participatory and rewarding program that will build your professional knowledge and network on a local to global scale. Unlike most other professional development programs, the program is a team-based immersive experience. Participants spend intensive days together in rich content presentations and discussions on topics as varied as: the evolution of financial co-operatives in Canada and beyond; contemporary credit union issues; maximizing the advantages of purpose-led and values-based enterprise models; meaningful membership as a differentiator; long-term growth and viability; leadership on justice, diversity, equity and inclusion; tackling the climate crisis; the credit union's role in the wider co-operative economy; and so much more. The program pushes for positive change and provides frameworks to make sense of big-picture, complex issues. For example, CanadaDE integrates the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) into the program; this is a unique opportunity to learn about the UN SDGs in the context of your credit union. 

Enhance your knowledge, become a stronger leader, and join an international network of pioneering leaders.

Course Content and Facilitation

The facilitation team includes seasoned professionals - Tracey Kliesch (Co-Director of DE; Central 1 Credit Union); Karen Miner (Saint Mary’s University; Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada); Erin Hancock (Saint Mary's University; iNova Credit Union). Plus, subject matter experts are included as content providers, and a team of mentors (from Canada and beyond) coach a team of participants through the program.

Who is the Audience for this Program?

Leave your "title" at the door during the program, but understand that CanadaDE is designed for individuals from the board level through to frontline staff, with participants coming predominately from Canada, Africa, the USA, and Caribbean countries. 

Part of the Global DE Network

While 2017 marked the launch of DE in Canada, the international network of programs has been going strong since the launch of the US program in the early 1980s. Active programs also exist in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The launch of CanadaDE demonstrates leadership by Saint Mary’s University to facilitate connections within Canada and among a diverse, international network.

Your Path Towards an International DE Designation

Complete CanadaDE and continue on the path to the esteemed ICUDE designation awarded by the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions in partnership with the World Council of Credit Unions and the Global DE Network. Listen to the Worldwide Credit Union Foundation's webinar recording "What is the ICUDE?" (March 2024) to learn more! 


Next Offering and Fees

  • Halifax, NS: The program opens on Sunday, June 2, 2024, at 3 PM and closes on Friday, June 7, 2024, at 3 PM. The program fee is $4,250 + 15% tax and includes tuition, meals (except one evening), health breaks, and single occupancy university residence accommodations (check-in June 1 or 2 to June 7 or 8 check-out). You may contact for the cancellation policy.

Bursaries for Canadian Credit Union Emerging Leaders

We are offering five bursaries for the CanadaDE 2024 program for emerging credit union leaders under 35 in Canada, reducing the overall program cost to $3500+tax. This bursary is intended to support those in smaller or less-resourced credit unions but all requests will be considered. Please contact to take advantage of this bursary!


Registration is closed! Contact to express interest in future offerings.

Thanks to CaribDE

Our partnership with CaribDE was a catalyst in the creation of CanadaDE.

Contact Us 

For more information on the program, contact

In the Media

  • The Worldwide Credit Union Foundation hosted a webinar "What is the ICUDE" (March 2024) featuring program leaders from across the GlobalDE Network! Listen here!
  • CanadaDE Director Karen Miner and the Coordinator for the GlobalDE Network Mike Reuter were interviewed (July 2023) during the World Credit Union Program on CU Broadcast. Listen here!

3 people sitting at a table for interview for podcast



Linda Bowyer, CEO, First Credit Union (Canada); Board Director, WOCCU & CCUA; Vice Chair, Stabilization Central CU; CanadaDE Graduate (2022), Mentor (2023); CaribDE Graduate (2023); ICUDE (2023)

"The immersive, action-oriented nature of CanadaDE creates a one-of-a-kind experience that taps into the very soul of the co-operative movement. If you want to accelerate the evolution of an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) culture in your organization, there is no better program for you and your team.”

George Yashon Ombado, Executive Director, African Confederation of Co-operative Savings and Credit Associations (Kenya); Program Director, Africa DE; CanadaDE Mentor (2019); ICUDE

"The CanadaDE program is a great immersion training to enhance credit union leaders' and emerging leaders' understanding of the ethos and foremost object of the credit union model. When I took part in CanadaDE, I found the program’s application of our business model to provide solutions to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) to be outstanding. The cultural diversity within Canada, the Caribbean, USA, and Africa made the session enriching."

Jeff Fero, Director, Marketing and Community Engagement, StellerVista Credit Union (Canada); CanadaDE Graduate (2022), Mentor (2023)

"One of the most unique opportunities to learn as a professional, grow as a human being and experience true co-operative values as they are held by people across the world."

Charlotte Taylor, Executive Assistant, Atlantic Edge Credit Union (Canada); CanadaDE Graduate (2022)

"This program was incredible, and like nothing I've ever experienced before. Thanks to the value placed on intersectionality and the co-operative values, CanadaDE stands uniquely on its own in comparison to other educational and professional development opportunities. Participants leave this program changed for the better, and I believe each one of us will work even harder towards positive impacts for our members, organizations, communities, and the world as a whole."