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In the News Archive
September 2000



compiled by Summit staff

Read re-elected CPPC President 

John Read, Director of Special Projects at Public Works and Government Services Canada, has been re-elected president of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Public Procurement Council. 

Read was reconfirmed at a meeting of the Council's 2000-2001 executive following Forum 2000, the second annual meeting of the fledgling organization of public procurement professionals. 

Vice President is Ron De Vries, Director of Contract Services at Defence Construction Canada. 

Lynda Allair, Purchasing Manager for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, is Secretary and Marie-Josée Linteau, Director General of Procurement with the Quebec Treasury Board Secretariat, is Treasurer. 

Also on the new executive are: 

  • Janice Vervaeke of Toronto, Manager of Enterprise Strategies with the Ontario Shared Services Bureau; 

  • Syl Parry of Winnipeg, Projects Officer with the Manitoba Department of Highways and Government Services; 

  • Terry Galan of Hamilton, Director of Purchasing Resources at McMaster University; and 

  • Jacques Arvisais, Director of Regional Purchasing Services with the Hamilton Health Sciences Corp.

Summit's corner of cyberspace

Over the past few months, we've redesigned www.summitconnects.com , adding several new features and making the site easier to access. The result, we believe, is a different kind of community centre, one tailored to readers in all corners of the public procurement arena.

In addition to articles and columns from Summit magazine, the website includes:

  • a calendar of upcoming events in the public procurement world;

  • an expanded version of our SummitConnects section of website links; and

  • the beginnings of a tool kit which will eventually include a procurement glossary, RFP templates, best practices tips and other useful resources.

Because it's a work in progress, there'll be more added to www.summitconnects.com  over the next few months. Look for email newsletters, job listings, feedback forums and pointers to videos and other products aimed at the procurement professional. There'll also be links to other publications and products of the Summit Group.

Send us your:

  • content for Summit - calendar listings, news items, letters to the editor, etc.; and

  • comments on the redesign of www.summitconnects.com.

Contact us at web@summitconnects.com.

Purchasers make contact with new magazines

La Corporation des approvisionneurs du Québec (CAQ), which is the Quebec Institute of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC), recently released its own magazine. Sent to the more than 1100 members of CAQ, Contact includes information about professional development opportunities and best practices. The bilingual publication can be accessed online at www.caq.qc.ca.

Meanwhile, at PMAC headquarters, Progressive Purchasing has moved from being the association's newsletter to being the magazine that replaces Modern Purchasing, previously offered to members. Rogers Media, publishers of Modern Purchasing, have taken advantage of this change in their strategic alliance with PMAC to relaunch the 41-year-old publication as Purchasingb2b.

Ottawa's pot craving pushing wide interest

A bidding contest to become Ottawa's official drug dealer has had wide interest from across Canada, says Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). By mid-June, PWGSC had received 250 requests from individuals or companies for copies of the RFP to supply Health Canada with medicinal marijuana. Some of those requests come from the just plain curious and were not expected to result in bids, says Fran Gershberg, PWGSC spokeswoman. "If you go into this list you'll get a chuckle - many are journalists."

Nobody at PWGSC can remember if 250 requests for an RFP is a record, but it would certainly be close. Bidding closed June 21. Health Canada is offering a five-year contract, worth around $5 million, to supply the department with marijuana for clinical research trials to determine whether it is safe and effective for medicinal purposes. In the first year alone 100,000 marijuana cigarettes and 85 kilos of the substance would be required.

According to the RFP, which is an inch thick, the contractor would be required to grow, cultivate, dry, prepare and deliver the marijuana to the government. "It is a very serious procurement - not frivolous by any means," says Gershberg. Conditions of bidding include the requirement that the entire operation behind the marijuana be located in Canada and a performance bond of 25 percent of the bid's value be posted. In addition, the project manager and key personnel must be clear of a criminal record. - Gord McIntosh

CITT files own brief

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal recently published its annual report for 1999-2000. Within the report is a chapter on procurement review, which offers an explanation of the role of the CITT in handling complaints from suppliers under NAFTA, the Agreement on Internal Trade and the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement. The report looks at a sample of decisions made by the tribunal in light of their legal significance, and provides a complete list of all procurement complaints handled by the CITT and the status or decision in each case, as well as a list of the cases appealed to the Federal Court of Canada and their status.

Learning your RFPs

A series of seminars on "How to Avoid Indecent Proposals" will be held this fall and winter, focusing on key Canadian case studies in procurement law. The events, produced by National Education Consulting Inc. and Summit Group, will feature CITTing In columnist and lawyer Paul M. Lalonde, Summit editor Robert Parkins and Gerald Smeltzer, NECI president and legal editor for The Legal Edge newsletter. As well, participants will take away with them a valuable handbook on RFP laws, strategies and case studies. For more information on the seminars which will be held in Ottawa (November 20), Toronto (November 21), Richmond, BC, (February 19) and Halifax (March 2), visit www.neci-legaledge.com  or call (250) 370-0041.

Suppliers join forces

A new non-profit association has been formed by private sector Canadian companies to assist all members in becoming more effective suppliers. The Business Forum on Public Procurement plans an official launch, currently forecast for Ottawa in early November.

The forum will provide unprecedented networking opportunities for private sector companies to identify and capitalize on procurement opportunities in Canada and around the world. Members will benefit from procurement-related services and conferences, advocacy on their behalf, counsel and hands-on assistance in winning vital and lucrative contracts from all levels of the public sector.

For more information on the forum, contact Paul M. Lalonde, Heenan Blaikie, (416) 643-6828, email: plalonde@heenan.ca.

Hospitals diagnose e-procurement

According to the Millennium Research Group's Hospital Online Procurement Surveys, more than 64 percent of hospital procurement, including medical products, supplies and capital equipment, will have moved online by 2003. The results of the survey of US hospitals and group purchasing organizations can be purchased online at www.mrg.net.

Giving a voice to water fix

International Teledata Group announced earlier this summer that their Ventriloquist technology would be used by the community of Walkerton, Ontario, to deliver updates to residents. The technology allows for personal voice broadcast telephone updates, in this case providing information about the water system disinfection program being administered by the Ontario Clean Water Agency, following the E. coli outbreak in Walkerton this past spring. According to the mayor of the Municipality of Brockton, David Thomson, "Ventriloquist technology will help us regularly communicate to Walkerton residents in a personal and direct manner and help deliver vital information to them on a regular basis."

Second annual CPPC forum

Forum 2000, the Conference of the Canadian Public Procurement Council, is a premier event in Canada dealing with public procurement for all levels of government. The event will be held October 25-27 in Ottawa and 400 to 500 individuals are expected to attend. This year, the forum will also be open to the private sector who can participate as delegates, sponsors or exhibitors.

The conference provides the opportunity to discuss and debate with industry experts on issues such as green procurement, regulatory and legal issues in contracting, electronic commerce and construction procurement. Visit www.ccmp-cppc.qc.ca  for more information.

Joanne Monaghan, new FCM president

Clearing the way for small and rural communities to benefit from the over $42.5 billion a year spent on procurement at the municipal level is a particularly cherished goal for Joanne Monaghan, newly elected president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

To do so, Monaghan, a municipal councillor from Kitimat, B.C., will apply pressure on two fronts - preserving the rights of municipal governments to favour procuring goods and services locally, which NAFTA is written to preclude, and finding a remedy for the historic constitutional peculiarity that fails to recognize municipalities as a legitimate order of government. She hopes to replicate across Canada a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1996 between the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and the provincial government, an initiative she spear-headed as president of UBCM. The memorandum requires the province to consult with UBCM on any legislation that has implications for municipalities.

Once all of the provinces are onside, the FCM is mandated to seek a similar relationship with the federal government. "Right now the feds can do whatever they want, and off-loading services is just one example of how we've been hit," says Monaghan. "A Memorandum of Understanding is the only way that we will have control over our destinies."

Monaghan has been active in the FCM since 1980, and has served in several executive capacities since then. The owner and operator of two businesses in Kitimat, she was Kitimat's Lady of the Year, in 1985, and later, its Citizen of the Year. She was recently featured in BC Woman Magazine as one of British Columbia's seven most prominent women. - Catherine Morrison

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