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B.C. Social Procurement Initiative

Each year, governments and public agencies of all types, combined, spend hundreds of billions of dollars on construction. With all this investment in construction, there is a drive to leverage these investments to create social impact within a local economy and community through the existing purchasing channels of construction services. 

The British Columbia Social Procurement Initative (BCSPI) supports local government and First Nations social procurement through education, training and coaching. 

“The construction industry is a significant contributor to the economy of Vancouver Island and we see a great opportunity with BCSPI to support the growth and resiliency of our communities in a fair, open, and transparent manner,” says Rory Kulmala, VICA CEO.

“This initiative can benefit our local communities and our industry by promoting apprenticeship and skilled labour opportunities while diversifying the available employment options for disadvantaged peoples.”

CCSPI is a partnership between the Vancouver Island Construction Association, Scale Collaborative, Presentations Plus, and Buy Social Canada. It is active throughout Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.

BCSPI Vision

All local governments and First Nations in Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities have access to advice to develop in-house tools and skills to implement social procurement. 

BCSPI Mission

To improve the health of our communities and the strength of our economies by changing the culture of public sector procurement. 

BCSPI Background

  • The Village of Cumberland was the first in the Association of Vancouver Island and Coast Communities (AVICC) region to adopt and implement a Social Procurement Framework.
  • The Towns of Qualicum Beach and Ladysmith are also implementing procurement with a strategic focus to benefit the community.
  • The City of Victoria Council has adopted the Good Jobs + Good Business = Better Community Action Plan and is working toward implementation.

Across the region, there is about $300 million in procurement that could integrate social impact.

Participating Governments

Participating governments include the:

  • Town of Qualicum Beach
  • Village of Cumberland
  • Town of Gibsons
  • Town of Ladysmith
  • City of Powell River
  • City of Campbell River
  • City of Victoria

What is Social Procurement?

Communities today are facing complex social, economic and environmental challenges — such as poverty reduction, labour availability, housing and social marginalization — that are driving public agencies to find more creative and innovative ways to address these needs. Social procurement is an additional way that local governments and purchasers can direct resources towards community benefit. 

Every year, local governments across British Columbia award contracts for goods and services with significant public funds. It is becoming an increasingly expected practice that RFPs include local community and environmental impact assessments and goals, at all levels of government. Social procurement focuses on ‘best value for money’ beyond just a financial transaction.