MASH Sector - Municipalities, School Boards, Publicly-Funded Academic, Health and Social Service Entities as well as any corporation or entity owned or controlled by one of the preceding

What effect will this Agreement have upon other levels of government within British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba?

The NWPTA applies to local governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 

However, the procurement rules of the NWPTA will apply to MASH entities in Manitoba only as of January 1, 2019. At that time MASH entities in Manitoba will be required to provide suppliers in the other provinces with open and non-discriminatory access to their procurements at or above the dollar value thresholds specified below.  MASH entities in the other provinces will be required to do the same for Manitoba suppliers as of that date.

What roles do the Governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba play as opposed to municipalities, academic institutions, school boards and the health sector (the MASH sector) in regard to the NWPTA?

The Governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the Parties to the NWPTA and are bound by its provisions. As such, they have a duty to ensure compliance with all of its provisions, including those regarding labour mobility and procurement.

MASH sector entities are not a party to the NWPTA. However, under the NWPTA, the Governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are obligated to ensure that MASH sector entities are compliant.

What entities are covered by the term MASH sector?

MASH sector refers to: regional, local, district or other forms of municipal government, school boards, publicly-funded academic, health and social service entities, as well as any corporation or entity owned or controlled by one or more of the preceding entities.

What if a MASH entity is unable to comply with the NWPTA because the governing legislation, regulations or bylaws don't allow them to?

The Governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are required to comply with the NWPTA and have made whatever changes are necessary to legislation to achieve compliance. MASH entities need to take any necessary action to remove bylaws or other internal policies that might result in barriers.

What are the key elements of the NWPTA for the MASH sector?

Key points for the MASH sector provisions are as follows:

Procurement Thresholds

MASH sector procurement thresholds under the NWPTA have been set at:

  • $75,000 for goods;
  • $75,000 for services;
  • $200,000 for construction.

In addition, MASH entities will not be required to alter long-standing procurement contracts entered into before the NWPTA was executed. MASH entities may also continue to procure using standing offers made available by their provincial government that enable them to order goods directly from suppliers at prescribed prices over a specific period of time.

Business Licensing
Under the NWPTA, the reconciliation of local government business licensing processes between British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba municipalities is currently voluntary. However, the NWPTA does not prevent municipalities from requiring licenses for mobile, permanent, or different classes of businesses, or to charge different fees for those different types of licenses. This permits municipalities to maintain policies that allow them to collect higher fees for persons or businesses that do not reside or maintain a place of business in the municipality.

Land Use Bylaws
Municipal land use measures, such as zoning are exempted from the NWPTA, provided that the exercise of the measure does not constitute preferential treatment of local workers, investments, goods, businesses, or services over those of the other province.

What impact will the NWPTA have on MASH sector procurement processes?

Under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), the MASH sector has, since 1999, been required to provide open and non-discriminatory access to their procurements to all provinces and territories where the value of those tenders meets or exceeds specified thresholds.

Under the NWPTA, MASH entities will be required to provide open access to their procurements when the value of those procurements meets or exceeds $75,000 for goods or services, and $200,000 for construction.

According to the NWPTA, what does procurement cover?

Procurement refers to the purchase, rental, lease, or conditional sale of goods, services or construction. It does not include government assistance, such as grants, loans, equity infusion, guarantees or fiscal incentives, or government provision of goods and services to persons or other government organizations.

Who can I contact if I have more questions on procurement?

British Columbia
Phone: 250-952-0635
Email: nwptabc@gov.bc.ca

Alberta
Phone: 780-644-7430
Email: chelle.busch@gov.ab.ca (Manager, Trade Development)

Saskatchewan
Phone: 306-787-6871
Email:gspurchasing@gov.sk.ca

Manitoba
Phone: 204-945-5781
Email: Fernando.Francisco@gov.mb.ca

What do the NWPTA provisions on labour mobility mean to MASH entities?

Labour mobility refers to the movement of workers between jurisdictions without requirements for additional examinations or training to practice their occupation.

Under the NWPTA,British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba agreed to reconcile or mutually recognize occupational standards for those occupations regulated in all four provinces where the scope of practice was similar. For this reason, professionals and skilled tradespersons certified in one province are recognized as qualified in the other three provinces. The benefit of the NWPTA is that workers do not need to go through material examinations or training to practice their chosen occupation in another NWPTA province.

The recognition of certificates from the other province means that MASH sector entities have far more options when hiring for occupations where workers are required to be certified by a regulatory authority. For example, Alberta municipalities hiring a certified welder will now be able to consider candidates who obtained their certification in British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Manitoba and vice versa.

What must MASH entities do to comply with the labour mobility provisions of the NWPTA as an employer?

MASH sector entities must ensure that their hiring practices and policies do not discriminate or contain restrictions to labour mobility for workers from the other province. Under the NWPTA, MASH sector entities are required to eliminate any preferential hiring practices they may have had in place that provided advantages to local candidates over ones from another province.

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