April 17, 2018 10:29 am
Updated: April 17, 2018 1:11 pm

Mayor Bowman wants Winnipeg to increase local spending

If Mayor Bowman's motion is approved, the city of Winnipeg would spend more of its money closer to home.

Jeremy Desrochers/Global News

Winnipeg’s mayor is hoping to see the city spend more of its money locally.

Mayor Bowman introduced a ‘buy local’ procurement procedure for city contracts valued at less than $100,000 Tuesday morning, making headway on a promise from last month’s State of the City address.

“To support Winnipeg’s growth into the future, we must protect Winnipeg’s long-term competitiveness,” Bowman said.

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“This means finding ways to continue supporting our local businesses who are a vital part of a growing and thriving economy.”

READ MORE: State of the City – Winnipeg mayor wants to see positive growth continue

He noted the city is already a key buyer of local products — almost half of the city’s 21,000 suppliers are located within Manitoba, and the city of Winnipeg made $600 million worth of local purchases in 2016.

“We’re already doing a significant amount for local businesses,” he said. “What we want to do is work within the existing internal and international trade parameters to better support local businesses.”

Bowman’s motion would have the public service amend its Material Management Policy to source local providers for certain contracts, should it pass at executive policy committee and subsequently at council.

The mayor also said he would like to see Winnipeg’s business tax eliminated.

“We are the last Canadian city with a business tax, and the best support we can give to those fueling our economy in so many different ways is to be clear on the direction and commitment to ending it once and for all,” he said.

Bowman has reduced the city’s business tax each year for the past four years, but said he would like to see it go for good.

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