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Social Procurement at the RMWB

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Procurement Engagement Sessions
As the roll-out of the municipality's Social Procurement framework continues, design labs are being Nov. 8-10 so that business owners and social profits can guide a "Made in Wood Buffalo" solution.

Stakeholder Comments

“The Métis Infinity Corporation supports this [initiative], my business supports this initiative, and the broader Métis community of the Fort McMurray Métis supports this [initiative].” — Gerry Gionet, Partner, Infinity Métis Corporation

“The Chamber of Commerce supports any change to the procurement policy bylaw which will provide our businesses increased opportunities to be awarded municipal work or contracts.” — Alexis Foster, Executive Director, Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce

“The Construction Association believes that with the launch of the vendor registry and now the social procurement framework that the RMWB will be taking steps to ensure that local business is offered a fair and equitable opportunity when bidding on work.” — Keith Plowman, Vice President, Fort McMurray Construction Association

Social Procurement in Canada

In February 2014, Social Procurement became law across Europe.

In Canada, Community Benefit Clauses are being added to public sector contracts in Ontario and Quebec, and Nova Scotia is about to follow. In July 2015, the Province of Ontario passed Bill 6 which states that infrastructure planning and investment should promote community, social and economic benefits. These benefits can include such things as local job creation, training opportunities, improvement of public space within the community and/or any other specific benefits identified by the community.

The development of a Social Procurement framework positions the municipality to prepare for upcoming international trade agreements such as Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which, unlike the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will impact municipal procurement.

The RMWB is demonstrating municipal leadership and is proud to be the first municipality in Alberta to adopt a Social Procurement framework.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) is transforming its method of purchasing goods and services to proactively seek social and economically sustainable benefits for the region. The Municipality will seek to leverage its current spend to achieve desirable and targeted social impact.

The framework was approved by Council in September 2016 in part to help improve small business opportunities and social enterprise access to government contracts. The Social Procurement framework ensures that goods and services are still accessed through a competitive and transparent bidding process, while proactively also seeking to achieve community benefits, by taking a much more strategic approach to procurement.

For more information about the Social Procurement Framework, please visit our FAQs page or contact Supply Chain Management at purchasing@rmwb.ca or 780-743-7020.

Alberta’s First Buy Social-Certified Municipality

Recognizing the region’s leadership, Buy Social Canada announced in September 2016 that the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is the first municipality in Alberta to receive the certification. The certification demonstrates the RMWB’s commitment to supporting businesses that enhance social value in our community.

Buy Social Canada is an internationally recognized third-party program that certifies organizations and municipal partners who have demonstrated a commitment to the Buy Social principles and are proactively working to ensure that procurement works to add, rather than diminish, social value in society.


Buy Social Canada, affiliated with Buy Social UK, was launched in the spring of 2015. Buy Social Canada works with partners across the country to certify social enterprise suppliers and promote social purchasing in the private sector and across government. Buy Social Canada offers certification and program services for social enterprise suppliers and social purpose purchasing entities.

Social Procurement FAQs

What is social procurement?

Social Procurement is a growing practice that seeks to better leverage tax dollars to achieve positive social outcomes in keeping with community values and strategic objectives.

Why is the Municipality considering a social procurement framework?

The primary objectives driving the pilot phase of the RMWB Social Procurement framework are social and economic development. The framework seeks to generate an increase in supply chain diversity, in part by improving access to government contracts; to improve small business access and to contribute to building the social enterprise capacity in the region. By adopting this framework, the municipality is taking a proactive approach to better leveraging taxpayer funded contracts to achieve community benefits and to stimulate socio-economic development.

What’s the benefit of implementing a social procurement framework?

Public sector spending represents a significant portion of the region’s economy. By implementing a social procurement framework, the municipality will help enhance economic and social value in the community.

Why is the Municipality championing this framework ahead of other municipalities in Canada?

Interest in Social Procurement is on the rise. Prime Minister Trudeau has signaled a new era for the advancement of Social Innovation and Social Procurement across Canada.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is taking a proactive approach to developing regional market capacity to ensure that our businesses are ready to respond to bids containing more social criteria in the procurement evaluation.

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