Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Fife’s bill on diversity in government procurement blocked by Ford

Published on April 26, 2021
QUEEN’S PARK – Waterloo MPP and Official Opposition NDP critic for Finance and Treasury Board Catherine Fife’s Bill 275, which seeks to diversify government procurement and ensure the province’s economic recovery from COVID-19 is equitable and inclusive, was shot down by the Ford government Monday morning.  
“It's concerning to see that the Ford government doesn't recognize the economic and social value of diversifying our province’s supply chain,” Fife said.

"The public sector has significant buying power, and the passing of Bill 275 at second reading could have been an important step towards using that buying power in support of an inclusive economic recovery. 
"Supplier diversity creates new opportunities for business owners who haven’t always had a seat at the table, such as women, BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ folks, those with disabilities, immigrants, and veterans. It is egregious that the government would not support legislation that will directly support diverse small and medium businesses.” 
Bill 275, The Supply Chain Management Amendment Act (Provincial Diverse Vendor Strategy) establishes a framework for a strategy, creates a Diverse Vendor Advisory Board, and strikes a standing committee of the legislature to analyze the topic and propose best practices. Similar initiatives are common in the private sector and have been introduced across the United States, the City of Toronto, and the City of Brampton.  
“Today, the Ford government has shown their true colours,” Fife said. During the debate, a PC MPP said, 'you can’t rush diversity.'

Clearly, this government isn't interested in supporting diverse small and medium businesses or making this province a better place to do business.”