A third phase has been added to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy.
At a March 3 virtual press conference, Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn and Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston announced the implementation timelines for bid value reductions and the verification process outlined in the policy would be pushed back to Oct. 4.
Under the new policy, which guides Yukon government spending, applicants can receive a competitive advantage based on their percentage of Yukon First Nation ownership and their willingness to hire First Nations workers.
The policy was adopted in December with most provisions coming into effect Feb. 22. The remaining provisions had been originally set to come into effect in April, but the final two are now set for October.
At the March 3 press conference, Mostyn said the move to Oct. 4 for the two sections of the policy will allow an additional five months for businesses to prepare for two of the more complex sections of the policy.
“Every Yukon business deserves an opportunity to succeed,” Mostyn said. “The Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy is a positive step in that direction. This extension will ensure that Yukon First Nations and non-Yukon First Nations businesses get the time they need to succeed for the territory’s overall benefit.”
Johnston noted Yukon First Nations and the territory are continuing to work together to build on understanding of the policy as implementation moves forward.
“The Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy is a concrete step that will contribute to a better future for our people, communities and the territory as a whole,” Johnston said.
The decision to add more time for the implementation of the two sections came out of feedback received at meetings held with the business community.
“The business community spoke and we listened,” Mostyn said.
Along with the change in implementation, the territory and First Nations are inviting business representatives to be part of the monitor and review committee, which is responsible for ensuring the policy is reaching its intended goals and being improved.
The changes, it was noted, are being made to ensure the policy reaches its goals and supports competitive procurement in the territory.
Both Mostyn and Johnston emphasized the potential the policy has to benefit the entire territory.
“It’s been a lot of work to get to this point,” Johnston said. “It’s going to benefit everyone.”
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org