How Toronto is using its purchasing power to drive inclusive growth

FLAVIE HALAIS APRIL 7, 2017 TORONTO, Canada — Every year, the city of Toronto spends about CAD 1.8 billion (USD 1.35 billion) on goods and services, from large construction projects to one-off catering contracts. Now, the city wants to harness that procurement power to help raise minorities, aboriginal people, recent immigrants and people with disabilities out of poverty. Since 1 January, Toronto has been implementing a new Social Procurement Policy. The policy establishes clear guidelines and tools to ensure that businesses owned by members of disadvantaged groups participate in the bidding process for public contracts. It also aims to ensure that businesses contracting with the city hire and train a diverse workforce. Vendors working on large city contracts are encouraged to participate in workforce development programmes with vulnerable groups, such as youth. Supplier diversity programmes for minorities and women are already well established in the United States. And procurement schemes focusing on social goals are multiplying in other countries, notably in the United Kingdom and Australia. Requirements that...
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