The liberals in power in Canada are now experimenting with the business sector of the country. Diversity is becoming a fuss. The liberal government wanted social inclusivity in the education sector and ended up hurting it and its future and now they are doing the same with businesses of Canada.
Contracting on the basis of identity has become a new trend in Canada. Identity-based contracting must be seen as a major and serious issue as it can prove to be another step to hurt the Canadian economy. Just to bring socioeconomic outcomes the liberal government is now in a bid to play its identity politics.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are becoming real in Canada for businesses dealing with the federal government. The federal government’s procurement division is setting up a secondary system that allocates contracts to businesses based on the identity of their owners. Isn’t it unfair?
The department spends approximately $22 billion annually on contracts with private enterprises. This development at Public Services and Procurement Canada, which is responsible for the majority of government contracting, has occurred in just the past few years.
In 2021, the federal government earmarked $87.4 million over five years to go towards diversity procurement. In May 2021, the department instituted a policy on “social procurement” that stated that contracts should be used to further the government’s socio-economic objectives (such as creating jobs and social advantages for “underrepresented groups,” as well as imposing DEI requirements on businesses).
Five per cent of all federal departments and agencies’ contracting budgets, or $1.1 billion if the total expenditure is $22 billion, must be spent on Indigenous firms, according to a mandate issued by the procurement minister in August 2021.
The agency introduced a Supplier Diversity Action Plan in January 2022 to further implement the social procurement policy. According to what a spokesman stated earlier this month to a House of Commons committee, the department plans to follow up the action plan with a comprehensive Program on Social Procurement this winter.
It entails creating mentorship programmes for specific groups, reserving certain contracts for diverse suppliers, and increasing consultation. The objective is to increase contracts with firms owned by women and minorities, as well as “social-purpose organisations” with social, cultural, or environmental purposes (sexual, gender, and racial).
Amidst their identity politics, the government of Canada is forgetting the aim of obtaining the ‘best value’ for the contracts. The focus is just on furthering its wokish propaganda. The new policy indicates the government’s intention to compile contractor demographics.
The liberals in power have completely fabricated the definition of “best value” when it comes to contracting. They changed it according to their own whims and fancies. “The socio-economic goals” are bound to hurt the businesses of Canada now.
The previous meaning of “best value” can be found in the procurement policy manual entry from 2010; it combined price, technical merit, and quality (the federal treasury board’s contracting policy used the same term up until May 2022). A tie is broken by the best value offer. According to a 2015 entry in the policy manual, if two businesses submit identically low offers to the government for a contract, the best value should prevail.
But, then comes the new definition that Liberals gave with a Treasury Board Directive on the Management of Procurement, which has a different definition of “best value.” The lowest price is no longer the goal; instead, it is anything that achieves an “optimal balance of resource expenditure and realisation of results, including socio-economic and environmental returns.” Now, a deal that provides fewer products but the more overall social value may still be seen as the best deal.
Clearly, now the procurement system in Canada is so broken. Public services like healthcare and education are seeing the wave of wokism but the business sector was something nobody must have expected. Furthering propaganda by hurting a sector is surely unfair. The liberal government in Canada is going “illiberal” now.