Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Drouin.
Thanks especially to the witnesses for being here today.
As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, I must tell you that we are determined to modernize the procurement process. It’s one of the top priorities set out in the Minister of Public Services and Procurement’s mandate letter. The SME issue is obviously hugely important.
As part of this process, we have reached one or more agreements with various jurisdictions regarding acquisitions related to specific jointly held properties. Most of the agreements are with provinces, but we will soon be extending them to municipal authorities as well as to the health and education sectors.
I’m going to share a little anecdote with you. One province had a concern. One of its manufacturers was worried prior to signing the agreement with the Government of Canada. The province was adamant about doing business with the manufacturer, who turned out to be selling the product to the federal government and, by extension, all of its partners, at a lower price than what it was charging the province.
Unfortunately, Quebec still hasn’t signed the agreement.
Not only does this tool provide value to taxpayers in various jurisdictions—there is only one taxpayer, as we know—but it also affords businesses in those jurisdictions the opportunity to offer their products and services at the national level.
My question is for the representatives of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec. If there is enough time left, the representative from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business can answer as well.
Would you be supportive of federal government efforts to expand the agreement and sign one with the Quebec government? Are you even aware of those efforts?