Town of Qualicum Beach adopts social procurement policy

"It's making sure disadvantaged groups or people have access to employment," said the town's CAO Daniel Sailland

The Town of Qualicum Beach has adopted what it says is the country’s first social procurement policy.

Social procurement is an emerging practice of a more strategic and proactive approach to purchasing.

The town’s CAO Daniel Sailland said the town is “looking to leverage buying power of the municipality in order to achieve some of those goals that aren’t just dollars and cents.”

“Rather than using the philosophy of ‘let’s do no harm,’ let’s put in the philosophy something that says ‘let’s do some good,'” Sailland said.

As an example, Sailland said when hiring someone to pave road in the town, the town staff would see who the paving company employs such as youth or disadvantaged people.

“It’s making sure disadvantaged groups or people have access to employment,” Sailland said, adding that it also ties in with the Youth and Family Attraction and Retention Strategy of the town.

The Village of Cumberland was the first in the country to create a framework for social procurement, according to Sailland. He added that the town is following in Cumberland’s footsteps.

“Vancouver Island is on the forefront of (social procurement), and Canada, in general, is way behind,” said Sailland, adding that European nations have already adopted social procurement policies and frameworks.

“We’re just simply opening the gate here,” Sailland said.

— NEWS Staff