On board with buy local

Buy local is now official city policy, after Nelson city council voted to updated its purchasing policy last week.

  • Jan. 20, 2011 6:00 p.m.
Councillor Donna Macdonald has pushed for policy.

Councillor Donna Macdonald has pushed for policy.

Buy local is now official city policy, after Nelson city council voted to updated its purchasing policy last week.

A new addition to the policy will see city staff “give preference to suppliers of goods and services who hold a business license in the West Kootenay area,” so long as their prices and experience are comparable to competitors outside the region, and doing so doesn’t violate provincial trade and labour agreements.

According to city manager Kevin Cormack, the move won’t do much to change the way the city sources products, because they’re already favouring local businesses.

“We’re not going to Grand and Toy to buy our paper now,” he told council. “If we’re going to buy a $500 item we don’t try to go to the internet or Vancouver. We try to deal with our local suppliers as much as possible.”

But Councillor Donna Macdonald, who proposed the amendment, said having a buy local policy on the books ensures the city doesn’t change the way it shops if current staff members leave.

“Staff change over time, priorities change,” she said. “And that’s why we have policies, because policies guide the actions of our staff.”