Left to right: Don McRae

Cumberland has become
 Canada’s first ‘Buy Social’ municipality

Unanimous support from all members of council

  • Sep. 24, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Thursday at the Union of BC Municipalities’ annual convention, Cumberland was recognized for its innovative leadership, as it was officially certified as Canada’s first Buy Social municipality.

“My congratulations to Cumberland on becoming the first municipality in B.C. to adopt Social Purchasing. Earlier this year, the Ministry adopted social impact purchasing guidelines to ensure that staff consider social value, in addition to financial value, when they buy goods and services. Governments invest in social programs that improve life in our communities. Our purchasing dollars can also make a difference and it’s wonderful to see Cumberland take this step,” said Minister Stilwell, B.C. Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation. Stilwell also thanked Comox Valley MLA Don McRae, for leading the initial development of the Provincial Social Impact Purchasing Guidelines, during his time as Minister.

Buy Social Canada is an internationally recognized third-party program that certifies organizations and municipal partners who have demonstrated a commitment to the Buy Social principles and are proactively working to ensure that procurement works to add, rather than diminish, social value in society.

Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird said that the social procurement framework received unanimous support from all members of council.

“The Social Procurement Framework ensures that we still access goods and services through a competitive and transparent bidding process, but we are now being a lot more strategic and proactive in procurement. Staff will leverage existing spending to achieve desirable community goals, while working in alignment with community values and maximizing returns for taxpayers,” said Mayor Baird.

The mayor added that the decision was quite simple after hearing about the concept from consultant and area resident Sandra Hamilton, the former business manager to John Furlong.  Hamilton, accompanied by Cumberland Councillor Jesse Ketler, spoke at the Union of BC Municipalities Conference on the topic of Social Procurement and Economic Development.

“Sustainability at VANOC meant doing the right thing” said Hamilton.  Over the last 30 years the environmental movement has done an excellent job of educating and increasing awareness surrounding the importance of developing more sustainable practices. This has led to considerable changes in behaviours and societal norms. Environmental considerations in government procurement have now become normalized. Everyday we see certifications, like LEED, Fair Trade, Organic and others.

“Social procurement knowledge is a tremendous legacy of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, and is already required by law in countries all across Europe; it is a more strategic approach to government procurement that works to better leverage every tax dollar for added social value and community benefit. We now know that changing the language and structure of a contract, quite literally has the power to change lives. Procurement can be a powerful force for good in society” said Hamilton.

Buy Social Canada, affiliated with Buy Social UK, was launched in the spring of 2015. Buy Social Canada is working with partners across the country to certify social enterprise suppliers and promote social purchasing in the private sector and across government. Buy Social Canada offers certification and program services for social enterprise suppliers and social purpose purchasing entities. For more information: www.buysocialcanada.ca.

 

Just Posted

Four-hour ferry delay on Buckley Bay-Denman Island route

BC Ferries reported the cable ferry is experiencing issues with the head shieve.

Air quality statement in effect for Comox Valley

Smokey skies could mean a high risk on the air quality health index

Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Council approved the addition of $125,000 for pre-construction work

Local musicians inducted into Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Seven local musicians have earned their spot among some of the Comox… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Comox resident part of famed basketball team

Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for Edmonton Grads

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read