The Manitoba Government is committed to community economic development and social considerations as a key component of Manitoba's economic strategy, intended to develop a provincial economy that is more inclusive, equitable and sustainable.
Consistent with the Sustainable Development Act (1998), "Manitobans should think globally when acting locally, recognizing that there is economic and social interdependence among provinces and nations ..." Further, Provincial Sustainable Development Code of Practice (2001), requires that the Government's decisions and activities strive toward "ensuring that our local decision-making is consistent with our global environmental, economic and social responsibilities". Procurement practices can be one way to advance corporate social responsibilities.
Manitoba was the first federal, provincial or territorial jurisdiction to establish a Responsible Manufacturing Policy and has introduced a combination of legislation, regulation and policy to support the purchase of clothing from responsible manufacturers. The goal is to promote awareness and to educate the vendor and subcontractor community about Manitoba’s interest in dealing with vendors that supply clothing at competitive prices without engaging in exploitive labour practices. The intent is to purchase clothing that has been manufactured in a responsible way; in compliance with local laws and a set of minimum labour standards.
The legislation and regulation governing the purchase of clothing from responsible manufacturers came into effective March 31, 2009 and are available at Government Purchases Amendment Act (Responsible Manufacturing).
On January 1, 2007, the Manitoba Procurement Services Branch issued the Responsible Manufacturing – Clothing Policy. This policy applies to the purchase of clothing acquired by departments in the Manitoba Government, including Special Operating Agencies, who are authorized to purchase clothing. The procurement of clothing under this policy requires that suppliers provide the name and location of factories and/or subcontractors used in the production of the clothing.
There are several key benefits under this policy:
Contracts awarded by Manitoba under the Responsible Manufacturing - Clothing policy and any other contract where responsible manufacturing has been a mandatory requirement, is publically reported in the Responsible Manufacturing Report document.