Buy Social Canada March Newsletter
Here's the latest in social enterprise and social procurement news
City of Winnipeg joins other municipalities developing social procurement policies
We are excited to announce that Buy Social Canada has won a consulting contract with the City of Winnipeg to further develop the Sustainable Procurement Action Plan. We look forward to engaging community stakeholders and City staff as we support this journey.

Currently, we are supporting City of Lethbridge where the project team is ready to present an update to Council on March 16 and we are now moving into policy and framework development. Also in Alberta, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has published their Social Procurement Program and Questionnaire and is including the Questionnaire in RFP and RFQ documents. Further east, in Peterborough, Ontario, extensive community and stakeholder engagement is underway to gain input on their Social Procurement Policy.

Learn more about our consulting services, and join the movement of community capital creators.
More than a structure:
Construction projects build community
"The purpose of social procurement and community benefit models is to leverage the demand side of the construction industry market to achieve added social value. As we see increased demand for social value from suppliers, more social value is created.

This shift towards social procurement and community benefits in construction is a clear path to achieving multiple social value goals. From ending poverty to impacting climate change, the construction industry holds the capacity and opportunity to influence these outcomes."

Vancouver CBA creates connection, opportunity
Buy Social Canada is the Independent Third-Party Monitor on the New St. Paul’s Hospital project. This is the first project to trigger City of Vancouver’s Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) Policy.

The City of Vancouver's CBA Policy includes a target of 10% of new employees who identify as belonging to an equity-seeking group, with a preference for those who live locally.

As Independent Third-Party Monitor, we are hosting quarterly Employment Opportunities meetings. These meetings offer an opportunity for key stakeholders including the project's General Contractor (PCL Construction) and key sub-contractors (such as Modern Niagara and Plan Group), to connect with various workforce training and employment organizations in Vancouver. These groups include:

These meetings are designed to build connections and engage organizations that can support in creating more equitable employment opportunities for the New St. Paul’s Hospital project and beyond. 

Stories of success so far include PCL's offer of a carpentry apprenticeship to a graduate of the ACCESS Bladerunners program and to an individual connected with via EMBERS. Read this Q&A to learn more. PCL is also connecting with the Vancouver School Board regarding the Construction Craft Worker apprenticeship and the YWCA Level Up Program which is geared towards women entering the trades.

If any Vancouver-based employment or workforce training agency would like to be participate in these meetings please reach out to
Welcome two new Buy Social Canada team members
We're happy to welcome two new members to our team: Raeesa and Sarah! They will be working to provide operational support and additional capacity as we work together to create a social value marketplace.
Raeesa Farooqi is a community builder and passionate advocate for a flourishing economy for all. She comes to Buy Social Canada with an eclectic background in economics and film, and has previously worked with organizations such as Momentum and the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies.

As a Social Procurement Consultant, Raeesa will be facilitating trainings and engagement around how the collective effort of leveraging social value from purchasing has a powerful and positive ripple effect on our communities.

When not working, Raeesa enjoys tinkering around with analog photography, exploring the great outdoors, and co-hosting a podcast on Indian cinema from a critical lens.
Sarah Pickering is a passionate advocate for Indigenous reconciliation and environmental sustainability. Getting to work with like-minded, solutions-focused people is what motivates her to keep finding positive ways to tackle the social justice and climate crises we are currently facing.

She has worked on community-engaged projects including co-founding and running a grassroots food security project for three years and volunteering at a research centre on the Caribbean Sea. She enjoys working with people and spending time in the mountains.

At Buy Social Canada she provides administrative and organizational support in her role as the Operations Coordinator.
As we welcome a new team member in Alberta, we'd like to acknowledge that we are now a certified living wage employer in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta.
British Columbia Social Procurement Initiative updates: upcoming webinars and welcome two new members
BCSPI welcomes new members Town of Golden and British Columbia Lottery Corporation, a crown corporation, to the initiative. We look forward to supporting Golden and BCLC on their member journeys.

Interested in becoming a member? Reach out to

Sign up for the BCSPI Newsletter to stay in touch.
Join this BCSPI webinar to ask lawyer Sonia Sahota your burning social procurement questions on:

March 15, 2022
2-3pm PT / 5-6pm ET

Sonia, Managing Parter at Civic Legal LLP, practises in the areas of procurement, construction and land development, with a particular focus on tendering law, procurement fairness and construction contracting. She routinely provides advice on structuring and administering public tenders and competitive RFPs, managing contractor performance and lien issues, and securing land tenure.

Free for BCSPI members through the member home, use code BCBEST for free registration for all others. Register now.
Watch the recording from the recent BCSPI Impact Measurement webinar to learn more about this new tool which will support members to track their impact, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Register now for upcoming Buy Social Canada trainings
Congratulations to our two February cohorts who completed the Social Procurement Professional Certificate course. One cohort had a great mix of public and private attendees from PSPC, ESDC, local governments, the Toronto Public Library, GHD, Tridel, and more. A private cohort was also held with a team from Clark Builders, a new Buy Social Pledge Member.

Here's what they had to say about the course:

"I found the whole course to be useful and engaging, and provided a well-rounded learning experience. I think most of us entered the program thinking how it would help us shape our policy and effectively communicate it. I think what most of us obtained was a much larger cultural appreciation for the impact social procurement can make." - Clark Builders Training Participant

"Thank you once again for providing such an engaging learning opportunity. I learned so much from the certificate program, which I was then able to apply directly to a pilot we’re currently running." - February Cohort Training Participant

The Social Procurement Professional Certificate course is for you if you are:
  • Starting or in the midst of your social procurement journey
  • In the public or private sector
  • Seeking support to create culture change in your organization
  • Looking for best practice advice

Upcoming cohorts are available in April, May, July, September/October, and November.

The course cost is $495 per participant.
Contact with any questions.
Through the SUPER Project, we offer two courses which elevate the capacity of social enterprises and social value suppliers to access procurement opportunities.
Procurement for Social Value Suppliers
Reach your procurement potential. At the end of this four-week, in-depth training you will finish the program with foundational tools to bid for contracts.

Upcoming cohorts in April, June and October 2022.
Storytelling for Social Value Suppliers
Become an impactful storyteller. This three-part training will delve into the art and importance of storytelling through the unique lens of social value suppliers.

Upcoming cohorts in May and September 2022.
The course cost is $60 per participant.
Contact with any questions.
Port Dalhousie explores partnership with Niagara region to implement social procurement
Port Dalhousie City Council approved a motion to develop a report on the concept of social procurement and its impacts, which will be carried out in partnership with the Niagara Regional Council and City of St. Catherines.

“It’s important to understand that we are not asking for anything that is unfair or discriminatory in any way,” said Port Dalhousie Councillor Carlos Garcia, who presented a motion asking for a report on the concept.

“We just want to make sure that wherever possible, if bids on a particular project are essentially equal, that we give the benefit to the city wherever possible, and that we can select one that provides community benefit locally.”

Scale Collaborative releases their 2021
Impact Report
Our colleagues at Scale Collaborative have shared their 2021 impact report, showcasing the many social value outcomes they've contributed to in the past year.

Read the report to learn more about their many programs and fantastic team.
Join us for "Exploring Social Enterprise" webinar series
Join Buy Social Canada Managing Partner David Lepage at the upcoming Webinar Series "Exploring Social Enterprise: A Solution to the Challenges of Supportive Employment," presented by CERIC and CASE.

Webinars take place on:
Thursday March 17, 24 and 31, 2022
9-10am PT / 12-1pm ET

Whether just considering or already full on in operations, this webinar series will help your team have a shared language and common evaluation lens in assessing or enhancing social enterprise as part of achieving your organization’s mission, goals, and sustainability.  

The series will review and demonstrate how social enterprises can accommodate and support a spectrum of employment options and opportunities, including supportive permanent employment, training and skills enhancement, and transitional roles, from entry level to skilled.

Register now to attend.
Social enterprise: A solution to supportive employment
"If we want to find a solution for supportive employment outcomes, we must look for an alternative business model – one whose core purpose is the creation of supportive employment opportunities. That business model is social enterprise."

Read more in David LePage's guest blog post on CareerWise.
Certified Social Enterprise Goodly Foods partners with Fraser Health to deliver healthy food and social benefit
Goodly Foods, a Buy Social Canada Certified Social Enterprise, recently announced a new partnership with Fraser Health that will bring locally produced Goodly soups to patients while benefiting sustainability efforts.

Goodly makes healthy food that helps employ marginalized people and reduce food waste. "With every 1000 litres of Goodly Hearty Tomato Soup we make, we generate over 100 employment hours and repurpose up to 1000 kilograms of produce, diverting over 450 kilograms of CO2 emissions."

Read this media release from Fraser Health to learn more about the collaborative effort.
March 10 Lunch and Learn: Measure the impact of your social enterprise
Join Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), Common Approach to Impact Measurement, and CCEDNet for a virtual session to learn about measuring the impact of your social enterprise.

Event takes place on:
March 10, 2022
9-10:30am PST / 12:00-1:30pm EST

Out of the Box Social Enterprise
Out of the Box Social Enterprise (OTBSE) is a construction social enterprise in Toronto that employs and trains people from underrepresented communities.

OTBSE offers general contracting services including framing, flooring, drywall, and taping. They also offer property maintenance services including office cleaning, site cleanup, and handyperson services.
Buy Social Canada Community Champions are the individuals and organizations that support our mission to promote and advance social procurement activities within their networks and communities.
Sustainability Advantage is a sole proprietorship of Bob Willard. The resources SA provides help sustainability champions support organizations to assess their sustainability performance and become a market force for improvements in suppliers’ sustainability performance.

Buy Social Canada
910-1050 West Pender St
Vancouver, BC V6E 3S7