Fresh Takes

The erosion of the lowest bidder rule: An expensive nationalist measure for Quebec

Last week, Quebec Treasury Board chair Sonia LeBel presented Bill 12, whose purpose is to force public organizations to buy from Quebec companies. This clear example of economic nationalism promoted by the premier will inevitably increase costs for Quebec families.

Indeed, the lowest bidder rule, which allows us to get more for our money, is to be partially replaced by the obligation, eventually, to prioritize Quebec products for contracts under $100,000. Ms. LeBel is clear on this: “Eventually we want 100 per cent of companies, ministries and organizations to source from Quebec in agrifood,” an economically counter-productive goal that runs counter to the sound management of public finances.

Politicians and bureaucrats should prioritize the wallets of Quebec families instead of arbitrarily deciding to reduce competition. After all, Quebec SMEs will be considered if they offer the best prices. We should show a little more confidence in our entrepreneurs.

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