Victoria City Council Votes to Support Cumberland Social Procurement Resolution

April 6, 2016

UBCM 2015 - Cumberland, B.C. is Canada’s First, Buy Social Certified Municipality

Above L to R: Comox Valley MLA Don McRae, Councillors Jesse Ketler & Sean Sullivan, Minister Stilwell, Mayor Baird, Social Procurement Consultant Sandra Hamilton, David LePage, Buy Social Canada

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird today announced City of Victoria support for a ‘Social Procurement Resolution’ being presented by Cumberland Councillor Ketler at the 2016 AVICC conference in Nanaimo next month.

With billions in stimulus spending about to flow this is most timely and interest in Social Procurement and Community Benefit Agreements is on the rise. Last November, Prime Minister Trudeau specifically included Social Procurement in his mandate letter to Federal Procurement Minister Foote, communicating the need to modernize Public Sector Procurement and signaling a new era for the advancement for Social Innovation and Social Procurement across Canada.

“I see Social Procurement as a new approach to economic development,” said Mayor Helps. “Public sector spending represents a very large portion of Vancouver Island’s economy. How we spend matters. It can either enhance or diminish economic and social value in our communities.”

Cumberland’s Mayor Baird agrees “Harnessing the power of Social Procurement is important to Vancouver Island’s economy and the Village of Cumberland is proud to be Canada’s first Buy Social™ certified municipality.”

Victoria, Ladysmith, Campbell River, Powell River and other early adopter municipalities across Canada are already exploring how Social Procurement might enhance their own communities.

What is Social Procurement?

Social Procurement seeks to better leverage existing taxpayer spend to achieve positive socioeconomic outcomes.” It’s about moving beyond the Do no harm of the environmental movement to pro-actively leveraging tax dollars to Do some good’” said Sandra Hamilton, a leading authority on the topic who has authored the first municipal Social Procurement framework in both BC and Alberta.

“It’s about beng more strategic; about aligning public procurement with community values and objectives”, says Hamilton. “Where one community might focus on supply chain diversification to improve small business access to public sector contracts, another might focus on generating employment for disadvantaged groups.

At the Vancouver 2010 Olympics the floral contract was awarded to a company that, throughout the course of the contract, proposed training women from the downtown eastside to be florists. “By changing a few words in a contract, Social Procurement is literally changing lives” says Hamilton, former Business Manager to Vancouver 2010 Olympic CEO John Furlong.

Social Procurement is legislated across Europe. In Ontario and in Quebec ‘Community Benefits Agreements’ (CBA’s) are already being included in public sector infrastructure contracts.

CBA’s often include requirements for apprenticeship training, jobs for disadvantaged populations or for the improvement of public space within the community. CBA’s work on the basis that public sector infrastructure planning and investment should also improve the wellbeing of a community affected by the project.

Sandra Hamilton speaks on the topic of Social Procurement as a New Approach to Economic Development, 3pm, April 9th at the 2016 AVICC Conference in Nanaimo.

For more information contact:

Sandra Hamilton
Sandra at         
Office: 250-890-9386
Cell: 250-702-6206
Mayor Baird: 250.897.5020
Mayor Helps: 250.361.0597


Background: Cumberland – First municipality in B.C. to adopt a Social Procurement
March 2016 Paper: Advancing Social Innovation in Canada

Source: Sandra Hamilton