Changing Canadian High Value Sole Sourcing Laws - “Response from Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training”


Dear Mr. Olumide:


Thank you for your email dated January 11, 2013, in which you propose changes to the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) to address high value sole sourcing.  As Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, I am pleased to respond.


The Government of British Columbia has long advocated for stronger rules in the AIT to ensure fully open and transparent government procurement practices.  You may be aware that this standard of openness was incorporated into the British Columbia-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) with Alberta, and its subsequent extension to Saskatchewan as the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA). 


Both the TILMA and the NWPTA require open, non-discriminatory access to government procurement by ministries, crown corporations, municipalities, academic institutions, schools and hospitals.  Thresholds above which procurement must be openly tendered are substantially lower than those contained in the AIT.  Furthermore, the TILMA and NWPTA provide for an effective dispute resolution mechanism to allow suppliers to challenge a procurement they believe was not fairly tendered. 


British Columbia will continue to work with other provinces and the federal government in an effort to improve fairness and transparency in all government procurement in Canada, and to adopt a national mechanism to enforce such standards. 


Thank you for your interest in internal trade, and for taking the time to propose some improvements – your views are always welcome. 


Yours truly,


Dave Byng

Deputy Minister

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

and Minister Responsible for Labour