Mr. Prosper Boulanger (Mercier):
Mr. Speaker, before we went up to the Senate chamber 1 referred to the fact that my colleague, the hon. member for St. Catharines (Mr. Parent), mentioned the introduction of bulletin board bidding for government printing requirements. This new technique provides a unique opportunity for local printers right across the country to bid on government requirements. In the past they were hindered by the need to get bids in from remote locations. That was with regard to printing.
With regard to publishing, the publishing centre was integrated with the department when Information Canada was disbanded in April, 1976. Its objective is to supply effectively priced publications of various departments and agencies to the Canadian public.
The "make or buy" policy was an element in the decision to close the six Canadian government bookstores. The government run bookstores were providing relatively few Canadians with a costly service that could not be self-supporting on the basis of sales revenues. With the closing of the bookstores more members of the Canadian bookselling community are being encouraged to become government sales agents, and annual savings in excess of $1 million are being achieved.
Mr. Speaker, the government rightly believes that all qualified businesses in Canada have the right to know the requirements of the state. The DSS has allowed everyone to have access to public contracts. Whatever their size or field of endeavour, all Canadian businesses are entitled to do business with the federal government.
Our policy is guided first of all by the principle of equal opportunities for all suppliers. This principle is foremost in our daily activities and ensures the impartiality of our negotiations. By using objective business practices and recognizing equal opportunities for potential suppliers in all regions of the country, the department applies this principle to its publicity methods as well as its information and advertising programs.
In the field of contract negotiation, the department sees to it that the contractors have equal opportunities to do business with the government, because we are convinced that it is a right and not a privilege for any businessman to be able to deal
March 15, 1979
with the Canadian government. It is quite easy to do business with the Department of Supply and Services. Our procurement methods ensure real integrity and accessibility guarantees for our department. These principles are reflected by the following initiatives, which are as follows-
Topic: THE ROYAL ASSENT
Subtopic: PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS