City of Parksville staff to prepare report on ‘buy local’ policies

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Parksville council hopes to see the city buy from local companies as much as possible.

Mayor Ed Mayne introduced a notice of motion that staff be directed to prepare a report in the next six months that outlines the options and implications of a “buy local” preference clause in city purchasing policies.

“I think it’s something we’ve got to look at. We’ve got to look at it carefully,” Mayne said during council’s Dec. 6 regular meeting.

City staff are working on an update to the city’s outdated purchasing policy, according to Keeva Kehler, chief administrative officer (CAO). She said staff could work on the buy local report while updating the policy.

“The current policy is outdated in that is doesn’t correctly reference the trade agreements that we’re bound by, especially when we’re getting funding from senior governments,” said Kehler. “We have been told that it is actually illegal to have a local preference, but there are some programs where we could essentially put this in, but they’re basically the social procurement programs.”

She added staff can consult with nearby local governments to see how they have implemented “buy local” policies. 

The updated policy will be a fairly large project, but staff should be able to bring a report back to council in six months, according to Kehler.

Mayne’s motion was carried unanimously.

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