A new Indigenous Procurement Policy was passed at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
The policy outlines a minimum goal of 20 per cent of City procurement contracts held by Indigenous vendors and will put tools in place for greater success for Indigenous-led business growth and development within Regina and the area.
Currently, the city spends $200 million on procurement per year, with 0.15 per cent procured through an Indigenous business which equals approximately $300,000.
Thomas Benjoe, the President and CEO of FHQ Developments, said the policy marks a significant and historic moment for the City.
“The City of Regina’s Indigenous Procurement Policy is a step in the right direction to create economic prosperity for Indigenous-owned businesses and our community,” he said. “This commitment to a minimum 20% per cent total is historic and will benefit not only our Indigenous business community but our community at large through the reinvestment that most Indigenous businesses make in supporting our local economies.”
At current procurement levels, a minimum 20 per cent Indigenous procurement value would be at least $41 million worth of goods and services procured through Indigenous businesses.
There is no timetable for when the city has to meet the 20 per cent goal.
Glenn Pratt with George Gordon Developments said he knows it will take a while to get there.
“I know it’s going to take some capacity building on our part to make sure we build those companies and train our people and are ready for this procurement policy, but we’ve already begun. We are already achieving success in other industries.”
He also said that the city should aim for the target and report on how it went to gather data.
“For us, we would love to see 20 per cent direct opportunities within the current 2023 budget to make sure that Indigenous communities are engaged early so we can have a first go around and do an evaluation of how it went.
He added that the policy helps with both reconciliation and economic reconciliation.