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Monday, April 30, 2012

Bang for the Buck

At the FPCOW meeting March 23, 2012 a Local Preference Purchasing Policy was voted down.  The following is with regards to this and a couple of stories that came out in the Daily News.

It is nice to see consistency with NEDCorp; both the CEO and Chair of the board seem to see no problem with shopping for services elsewhere rather than promoting our local economy. It is also interesting that even the Chair of the Chamber of Commerce thinks the same.

I guess I am a bit naive but for some reason I thought NEDCorp , which is taxpayer funded to the tune of $1.4 million, was supposed to promote Nanaimo and its economic development.  I fail to see how this will be accomplished if they continue to encourage the contracting out of the community of services for Nanaimo.
Wally Wells of the Chamber of commerce states; “A local preference could have shut doors for companies selling outside the community.”   This would only happen in other communities that have ‘Buy Local” policies and so in essence they are already shut out of those communities.

A.J. Hustins, chairman of NEDCorp states; "Companies can't bid on jobs outside the community and then have outside companies banned from bidding here."  Of course they can and they will continue to do so.  The difference being that if a community they bid in also has a buy local policy then they will not be arbitrarily given preference for simply having the low bid.
The fact is that other communities already have such policies. Ladysmith, next door to Nanaimo, as well as Kelowna and other communities in the province have taken these steps.   It is a trend that is growing and it is doing so in part to protect local economies and jobs.

Perhaps one of the sillier comments was by Councillor Anderson who in one story is quoted; "We need to go for whatever is cheaper, whether it's by $500 or $1,000."  I am reminded of the old adage You Get What You Pay For. 
Bottom line is that no community will be able to produce all the goods and services they need.  There will always be opportunity for outside business.  Personally I believe we should support local whenever possible. 

Daily News:
26th  Nanaimo merchants at odds after buy-local policy rejected

FPCOW April 23, 2012 (Report pgs. 21 - 31)

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