Shop local is great … unless there are laws or trade agreements that prevent it. Such may be the case with Spotless Uniform in Prince George. The company’s bid to continue providing cleaning services to the City of Prince George was unsuccessful, losing out to Canadian Linen, a U.S. company operating out of Burnaby. The city received three bids for the contract, which were evaluated and scored by an evaluation team and Canadian Linen and Uniform Service Co. (Canadian Linen) was the highest-scoring proponent. A three-year contract, with an option in favour of the city to extend the contract for two additional one year terms, was awarded to Canadian Linen at a projected cost of approximately $50,000 per year. Spotless Uniform’s bid was slightly higher, but less than what it had secured the contract for in 2011. That has Spotless Uniform and Linen Service president Shaun Heighington questioning why the city didn’t stick with a local company.
“This competition is subject to domestic trade agreements (New West Partnership Trade Agreement; Agreement on Internal Trade),” according to Coun. Brian Skakun, who posted an explanation on Facebook. “To award based on a local preference would be inconsistent with trade agreement obligations to provide vendors with open and non-discriminatory access to the procurement opportunity. Providing non-discriminatory access includes treating the services of vendors from other locations no less favourably than local vendors. “More specifically, the city may not discriminate based on the province of origin of the services; restrict the call for bids based upon the location of a service provider, or give secret preference to local bids after bids have been submitted. Some purchases of services can be exempt from trade agreement obligations, but no exemption was found to apply to this particular contract.”
Trade agreement prevents city from awarding contract to local business
You can count on ranchers to pay their bills. At least that's what the provincial government believes and is willing to back that up, or more aptly, willing to back ranchers up. Victoria is increasing the maximum guarantee limit to $15 million for two popular loan guarantee programs for the B.C. ranching industry. The loan guarantee programs have been so successful that several regional co-operative associations have reached their current maximum loan limits. The increase, from $9.75 million, will allow industry to finance additional cattle purchases to build inventories with the goal of benefiting from the current strong North America cattle prices. It is anticipated the increase will also support the expansion of planned co- operative associations for Vancouver Island and the Kootenays. The Bred Heifer Association Loan Guarantee and Feeder Association Loan Guarantee programs support 12 regional producer-owned co-operative associations located throughout B.C. The program, now in its 26th year, strengthens the B.C. livestock sector by helping the local associations negotiate favourable loans for the purchase of feeder and breeder cattle on behalf of their members. The B.C. ranching sector provides safe, high-quality beef and is a major contributor to the province’s economy and food supply security. In 2014, B.C. beef producers marketed more than 191,000 cattle and calves amounting to over 91,000 metric tonnes, an increase of about five per cent over the previous year. The Thompson-Okanagan, Cariboo, Peace River and Nechako regions are the top beef producing regions in the province.
Loan guarantees for ranchers increased