Letter to PWGSC: CATA to Deputy Minister
July 11, 2006
Mr. I. David Marshall
Public Works and
Government Services Canada
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0S5
Dear Mr. Marshall:
Thank you for your letter of June 30, 2006 to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. As you recognize in your letter, the issue of government procurement is one of substantial and serious concern to both our membership and our Board. The Board has advised me that they would be delighted to accept a meeting with PWGSC on the clear understanding however that the meeting would include not only yourself and other representatives of the Department, but also the Minister, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Industry insofar as, in our view, the whole issue of government procurement and the Canadian industrial strategy are, in fact, the issues that are at risk with respect to the current strategy being pursued by PWGSC and one cannot be pursued or resolved independently of the other.
The question of industrial strategy in Canada and the treatment of small business enterprises (which represent well in excess of 85% of the employment base in this country, as well as well in excess of that same percentage vis-à-vis tax revenue related to employment and business profits) makes the whole issue of government procurement which is funded by those same tax dollars directly related to the industrial strategy which the government should pursue vis-à-vis its obligations to the business sector in Canada. The taxpayers who in fact fund all these procurements have a vested interest in insuring the government acts as a good citizen and does not use short term benefits to eviscerate the business sectors which support their communities. This is the concern not only by our association but also other associations involved in various levels of procurement in Canada. Nations throughout the world pursue procurement strategies which are not only supportive of national industries which in many cases are exempt from NAFTA or other trade remedies, but also have endeavored, insofar as possible, to maintain a level platform which permits small and medium size enterprises to participate in the supply chain.
Perhaps you could advise my office as to what dates would be convenient with respect to a meeting with yourself and the Ministers referred to above so that we can have a full and productive dialogue on the issues surrounding these initiatives and I would be pleased to co-ordinate a meeting with the appropriate participants from the alliance’s Board of Directors.
John Reid, President