Date: July 17th, 2006
Re: VendorACT Campaign and Request for Assistance
We require your immediate assistance in reviewing articles that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen over the weekend, articles that summarize CATA's progress and position with respect to the VendorACT Campaign and are bases for you to, once again, contact your local MP, media and businesses to help advance the Campaign at the grass roots level.
The first article is entitled, "The 2.5B balancing act", and is available for print out at:http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/observer/story.html?id=9a10aca5-834c-4842-a71f-d69c0c67a954
The second articles entitled, "Small business to get bigger piece of a federal pie", is an interview with the Minister of PWGSC, Michael Fortier, in which the Minister commits to the minimum award of 40 percent of PWGSC business to SME's (small and medium sized businesses), as well as freeze on procurement changes (e.g.,) until the end of the year, pending further consultations from the various industries. The article is available for print out at:http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=2a93fa07-fad4-49b2-8961-619c806c035c&k=39788
You will also find a helpful summary of VendorACT media coverage, MP reactions at:http://www.cata.ca/Media_and_Events/Press_Releases/cata_pr07100601.html
The summary includes CATA's letter to PWGSC, Deputy Minister, David Marshall, in which we note:"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."
A commentary from Linda Duxbury, professor at Carleton University's Sprott School of Business, injects humour while providing insight into one of the core procurement issues:"They are equating the lowest price with the best deal. Do you buy a Mr. Fluffy chocolate bunny at Easter for $1 at Wal-Mart or Godiva chocolate for $5? Sometimes you need some good chocolate and Mr. Fluffy doesn't cut it. The problem with basing everything on price is you often need a highly skilled expert for a couple of hours but you end up with a bunch of Mr. Fluffys for five days."
Please send electronically and or print out recent articles in the Ottawa Citizen and follow up with a phone calll to your local MP, media and network of contacts. Ensure that you stress the importance of the 40 percent target commitment and freeze of procurement changes by Minister Fortier.