ANNOUNCEMENT 01 Sep 2015In September 2015, the government of Canada/Province of Saskatchewan announced a change in the local input requirements for the participation in certain public purchases.
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A new policy adopted by the province of Saskatchewan is aimed at restricting participation in certain procurement contracts to firms located either in that province or in two of its neighbors. Effective September 1, 2015 certain crown corporations located in Saskatchewan are exempt from rules in Canada's Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) that otherwise require procurement contracts to be open to businesses in all Canadian provinces and territories. The exempt corporations include SaskEnergy, Saskatchewan Gaming Corp., SGI, Sask-Power, SaskTel and STC. The new policy was announced by Justice Minister Gordon Wyant, who is minister responsible for Sask-Builds. "We've seen other provinces where they have Crown corporations ... taking advantage of exemptions in the AIT. We felt it was time that we balance the playing field,'' the press quoted Wyant as saying. "When Saskatchewan companies are excluded from participating 'in government contracts' in other provinces, we don't think that's fair." The policy will allow these corporations to restrict their procurements to firms located in one of the provinces that adhere to the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA). The NWPTA is an accord between the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to create a barrier-free, interprovincial market, based on full mutual recognition or reconciliation of their rules affecting trade, investment or labour mobility so as to remove barriers to the free movement of goods, services, investment, and people within and between the three provinces. The NWPTA came into effect July 1, 2010 and has been fully implemented since July 1, 2013.
Foreign firms that have established presence in the affected Canadian provinces and that bid for state contracts will be disadvantaged by this change.