We recently discussed new procurement changes in Australia with the Western Australian government procurement process, which includes specific policies to increase opportunities for Aboriginal businesses. The Government of Canada has recently announced similar changes to provide increased economic opportunities to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses through their federal procurement process.
Through collaboration between Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), the government of Canada is implementing a mandatory requirement for federal departments and agencies to ensure a minimum of 5% of the total value of contracts are held by indigenous businesses. This requirement will include public reporting and will be phased in over 3 years, beginning this year. To support the mandatory target, ISC will invest $35.2 million ($CAD), over 5 years to modernise the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business (PSAB).
Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, said "by increasing indigenous representation in the overall Canadian economy, it will not only offer new and exciting opportunities for indigenous entrepreneurs but will benefit all of Canada thanks to a more competitive and inclusive procurement process. As we start to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, our government is more than ever committed to building a better, more inclusive, and sustainable future.”
It is anticipated that these changes will result in approximately $1 billion ($CAD) worth of government contracts being awarded to Indigenous businesses per year, providing a significant boost to the Indigenous economy.
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Image by Marc-Olivier Jodoin