Whitehorse Daily Star

Procurement policy still rankling some

The Yukon government’s new First Nations procurement policy is continuing to not sit well with some people.

By Tim Giilck on February 17, 2021

The Yukon government’s new First Nations procurement policy is continuing to not sit well with some people.

A lawyer representing a Whitehorse business has warned the government about the potential launch of a constitutional challenge of the policy.

Meanwhile, in a letter submitted to the Star recently, local resident Mandeep Sidhu outlined his objections to the process announced by the Liberals before Christmas.

“I’m ashamed of the Liberals’ new procurement policy that is pushing for a re-evaluation for bids submitted by First Nation (FN) owned companies,” Sidhu wrote.

“The value can range from 15 per cent to 35 per cent. What this means is that First Nations-owned companies will be given an advantage by being able to bid 15-35 per cent more than a non-First Nation-owned company.”

Sidhu went on to use an example of the way he understands the process would presumably work. He provided an example of his reasoning.

“Say a non-First Nation-owned company bid $100,000 on a contract and received no benefits from the new bid value reduction.

“Meanwhile, a First Nation owned company bid $114,000. The FN bid would be re-evaluated with the reduction of 15 per cent and the bid would be considered $96,900 and the FN company would receive the tender. The First Nation company would be paid the $114,000.

“This means taxpayers will be paying between 15-35 per cent more to have First Nations-owned companies to complete a contract than a non- First Nation owned company.”

Meredith McDonald, a communications analyst with the Department of Highways and Public Works, said Sidhu is not understanding the process properly.

“In terms of policy measures respecting bid value reductions, (they) are a mathematical way of re-ranking bids to increase the participation of YFN businesses and people in territorial procurement,” McDonald said.

“Bids submitted by suppliers are adjusted during procurement evaluation process based on a supplier’s ownership structure as a Yukon First Nations business, partnerships with Yukon First Nations businesses, business location, and hiring Yukon First Nations labour.

“Bid value reductions are applied to bids according to who is doing what work,” McDonald said. 

“The use and impact of bid value reductions will be closely tracked and assessed by the Department of Highways and Public Works as well as the monitor and review committee, which will be made up of equal numbers of Government of Yukon and Yukon First Nations representatives.

“There will also be a two-year review on bid value reduction measure in the policy to assess its effectiveness and impact on the economy,” McDonald said.

“In the meantime, if any major market disruptions are observed, the Yukon government will work collaboratively with Yukon First Nations partners to adapt the policy sooner.”

McDonald then went on to discuss the scenario that Sidhu had raised.

“It seems like a scenario about a price-driven procurement,” she said.

“It is important to note that for many important and large Yukon government procurements, the value of technical points is much larger than price points, usually with only 20 per cent for price.

“For a bid value reduction of 15 per cent, the business would have to be a 100 per cent Yukon First Nation-owned business, and the business would have to meet the policy definition of Yukon First Nation business.

“It would also have to be assumed that Yukon First Nations-owned business is doing 100 per cent of the work in the contract, not using any subcontractors,” McDonald added.

“If those assumptions are true, then that Yukon First Nations-owned company would receive a 15 per cent bid value reduction, not 35 per cent.

“Also, there are opportunities for non-First Nations-owned business to partner or subcontract with Yukon First Nations business to also benefit from bid value reductions, which would offset the 15 per cent bid value reduction,” McDonald said.

In his letter, Sidhu said he had asked several government officials and departments “a very simple question.

“Under the previous tendering system, were their obstructions that made it inaccessible for FN owned companies?” he asked.

“I have not received an answer from government; however, one FN company owner did respond, and he said he felt he was just as capable as any other non-First Nation-owned company.

“The Liberal government is saying, by allowing this procurement policy, that that must be impossible,” Sidhu said.

“That’s what the Liberal government would have you believe. That these FN companies aren’t equal to the non-First Nation-owned. That FN can’t compete against non-First Nation-owned without assistance.”

Sidhu completed his comments in the letter by writing, “I strongly disagree. FN-owned companies already compete with non-First Nation-owned companies and don’t need to be coddled.”

Sidhu’s father’s business, JS Sidhu Trucking Ltd., has weighed in on the issue via its lawyer, Brian Beresh. The Star has obtained a copy of that letter.

“My client is extremely concerned about the lack of effective consultation and the constitutionality of this legislation,” Beresh wrote in the letter to minister Richard Mostyn.

“My client has operated in the Yukon for over 30 years and is sincerely committed to the economic and social development of the Yukon.

“It employs 99 per cent of local hires and has a broad and clear track record of employing a large number of First Nations citizens. It has endured additional cost for start-up, utility fees and related costs because of its location in the territory.”

In the letter, Beresh cited “of further concern is that the Umbrella Final Agreement, under which they have operated in good faith, protects not only First Nations individual and business interests, assured that the bid procurement system would remain ‘competitive.’

“My client’s past investments and future plans have been developed and framed with that protection and assurance in mind.”

Beresh wrote, “what is of further concern to my client is that consultation with the industry in which it operates only occurred recently, whereas Yukon First Nations have been at the consultation table, we understand, for two years. 

“Had proper consultation been undertaken, you would have received the perspective of my client’s industry and been able to fashion legislation that not only protected Yukon First Nations’ interests but also that of other contractors who, as indicated above, have a similar interest,” Beresh wrote.

On behalf of the firm, Beresh told Mostyn: “Given what has been an artificial time for consultation, we request that you provide to us any and all relevant statistics and data which you believe supports the decision to implement Policy 2.6.”

Beresh then raised some potential constitutional issues with the policy.

“You should be aware that we have obtained a clear and expansive legal opinion in relation to the constitutionality of Policy 2.6 from a well- respected constitutional scholar in western Canada. 

“In considering what steps to take hereafter, we ask that you consider the following: 

1) The Policy is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Umbrella Agreement and the Final Agreements which have adopted its terms by departing from the commitment to a fully competitive procurement process.

“As it stands, the Policy will have the impact of effectively removing competitive bidding by drastically reducing or eliminating competitive market activity in the Yukon and forcing the removal of a number of existing companies and individuals from the local marketplace entirely.

“The Umbrella Agreement promised to provide support for robust First Nations economic development but to maintain a procurement process ‘on a competitive basis’. The Policy abandons this promise. 

“Please consider this our request to delay final proclamation of Policy 2.6 pending further discussions with our client and other members of the industry,” Beresh wrote.

“Failure to do so may result in our decision to launch a constitutional challenge of the policy.

“We trust you will govern yourself accordingly.”

The government did not provide a response to the concept of a constitutional challenge before the Star’s press time this afternoon.

Comments (71)

Up 6 Down 0

Disappointed on Feb 23, 2021 at 10:34 pm

Why has the Yukon Party remained so silent? Mr.Dixon if you remain MIA on this Liberal policy we can only assume you support it but are scared to say so. Your silence is deafening on the biggest issue in the Yukon in many years. Currie you should at least have the cajones to come out and tell us you don't support us instead of sitting on the sidelines and hoping that we don't call you out!! Well sorry to burst your bubble bud, but if you can't come out and support us on this, I'm afraid I won't be leaving the comfort of my home on election day. If you are trying to garner support from First Nations then fine. Go ask them for their votes, but don't you dare come asking me for mine after this no show!!

Up 3 Down 3

New to Yukon on Feb 23, 2021 at 7:31 pm

I’m surprised that first nations are supporting this. This is the same policy that led to Natives losing their land. First you take a Caucasian guy, who uses a native, to support an idea that benefits the Caucasian. Keep it very simple. On Vancouver Island one steel manufacturer wanted to own all of the steel contracts for lower B.C. They simply bought every steel company. Now when a contract comes out, they bid with whatever group is in the area. The groups can provide their price to the Dev Corp and the Dev Corp chooses which one they submit.

A FN owned business that isn’t bought by the Dev Corp will be at a serious disadvantage. They’ll have more resources, a larger group of accessible labour, and receive more competitive rates for materials because of quantities. This is already happening in the south. As well, the Dev Corp will delegate which people get to go to work. If there are 3 FN owned companies that want a snow clearing job, the Dev Corp will win the project, then tell the companies which ones get to go to work and for how much. That’s is what happened with the introduction of surveying land. You either work with the Dev Corp or you get pulverized into non existence.
Why are the FN taking advice from Caucasian capitalists versus using their own self determination. FN’s will not be happy with this outcome. Feel free to sell your soul to the Dev Corp. You fought so hard to keep it away from the Yukon Government. Just to give it to a corporation. So close.

Up 6 Down 2

stacey's seminar --? on Feb 23, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Not doubting what you're saying --- but how is that different than shutting down the legislature and passing laws with no bearing on the state of emergency completely unimpeded?

For 2 years the gov worked with FN Dev Corps and didn't talk to a single contractor. Now with no time left on the clock they come to the table to tell people how this is going to work. That's their idea of consultation. I'm not into buying votes for either side. This government worked with no oversight and literally steamrolled small business. Look at their covid response to big box stores versus locally owned ones. They don't care about you. They don't care about the Yukon. Look at how they started versus how they look now. Same as the old animal farm. Double chins and alcoholism in their cheeks.

Up 2 Down 2

Wilf Carter on Feb 23, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Reading the liberals platform from the last election, they are going to fix procurement and make it easier to access and fair to all. Does anyone think this meets the liberal platform and promises to Yukoners?

Up 17 Down 3

Faro Remediation - Dena council on Feb 23, 2021 at 2:58 pm

I thought the Dena council in Faro just took $5,000 for any company that tried to bid on the job in order to get a letter that says the Dena will work with them. None of that money goes to members in the community. Then 10% of the bid amount for the winning tender has to be paid to the Dena council. I think that S. Noel is aware of that. Pay the fee and the Dena will agree to work with you, regardless of the merit of the company.

Up 14 Down 4

joe on Feb 23, 2021 at 2:52 pm

@ paul...are you kidding ? Let's talk about the bonus you get from increased Dev Corp revenues. So in fact you participated in the drafting of a policy that benefits you and other FN Dev Corp management with public funds. That should be direct conflict of interest and you should be held accountable . Sounds like we can fool the general public kind of rhetoric. Go liberals!

Up 11 Down 4

Faro Remediation contract here we come on Feb 23, 2021 at 8:26 am

The $750 M dollar remediation contract for Faro Mine clean up let's go get it Yukon First Nations....

Up 9 Down 11

Stacey's Seminar on Feb 23, 2021 at 4:26 am

It is with great hope that I recommend Mr. Hazzard put on a Procurement Procedural Seminar. Some of his topics will include how to stop nosey reporters with an epic phone slam and contracts in excess of 1 million dollar sole sourcing to 'friends of the government' on a lark option advantage. "This is the way we handled it" and oh did I mention the 'rodeo grounds'.

Up 22 Down 6

Karl on Feb 22, 2021 at 5:57 pm

Paul, as a white guy who is the CEO of an ostensibly FN development corporation (with a mostly white management team), you might understand why your comments might be regarded with a certain degree of cynicism.

Perhaps in this case your point would have been better made anonymously.

Up 22 Down 4

Wowzers! on Feb 22, 2021 at 5:04 pm

@ Paul Gruner - I think that most of us would like to use our real names to speak our intelligent minds as lucidly and as cogently as possible. However, speech is no longer free. The Liberals have legislated and otherwise defined contrary opinions as something worthy of excoriation, condemnation, and often punishment - Again, systemic racism reinforcing systemic racism through economic and sociopolitical extortion.

So, until society rebalances itself where tolerance, debate, and logic are in fashion again that is a hard know on a possible discussion and the reason that most of us will remain anonymous - Because of the hate-mob, cancel-culture, pitchfork crews that come with their torches for unapproved thought whether it is just or not.

Your risk is not the same. This is why the Liberals NEED to be removed from power!

Up 23 Down 1

@paul gruner on Feb 22, 2021 at 4:50 pm

The reason some people may not use their name is they work for gov and aren't allowed to make their opinions public.

Up 14 Down 3

funny that on Feb 22, 2021 at 4:17 pm

That same company that did the JV's also destroyed the North Klondike and brought in outside contractors to install the washboard asphalt during the Hillcrest widening and the government is just letting it all go, no enforcement at all for their horrible construction but hey someone is getting greased.

Up 31 Down 3

Just Sayin' on Feb 22, 2021 at 3:35 pm

I really wish someone would do an investigation. This policy was being worked on 2 years ago. There is one company, not Indigenous owned, who has created a JV with every single FN in the Yukon and will meet the 2 year requirement. How is information divulged from closed door meetings to a single company? Something stinks!

Up 4 Down 23

Paul Gruner on Feb 22, 2021 at 3:04 pm

Hi wowzers. I was willing to put my real name and contact information in my post. I noticed that yourself and most other posters were unwilling to do that. Why is that? I am willing to have a respectful conversation if you would like to contact me: paul@detoncho.com

Up 17 Down 4

Just Sayin' on Feb 22, 2021 at 3:02 pm

@Paul Gruner


NWT is launching a review to see what is working and what is not working. The issue I continue to observe is there is no consultation in the Yukon on this policy while NWT, is creating a board to complete this. If YTG could provide information as to the rationale for the required implementation that would be very helpful, but they continue to ignore this. I know this can upset Indigenous people, i.e why do we have to explain, but this is monies supplied by Canada and all tax payers (Indigenous, Caucasian, Purple) contribute to this.

Here is an excerpt from the story link above ;
The policy, according to the N.W.T.'s discussion paper, has been criticized for providing "relatively little benefit" to the N.W.T. for local business opportunities, education and training. The review, it continues, will be looking for a way to make this type of contract more relevant to the N.W.T.'s economy.

Where is the review from the Liberals; how many contracts have gone out of Territory. There was a recent story in the Star about the Carmack's Arena not being finished and the contractor had been out of Territory.

"The review also "strongly suggests" the creation of an Indigenous procurement strategy. The way this will look, the territory's discussion paper reads, will be based on the feedback gathered from Indigenous governments and business leaders." NWT is asking people for input. Not the Liberals, who avoided it.

The NWT is such a progressive Territory from assessment process and inclusion. I have been in meetings with the Self Governing First Nations (SGFN) who have stated, "what do you need for personnel and what training is required." Granted NWT has had oil and gas and various mines for along time. However, I was taken back. In all my experience thus far, I've have yet to hear a SGFN in the Yukon be so proactive. I think the NWT has many models the Yukon can model, but most of the design and implementation of the polices, comes from engagement and consultation with every one.

Up 37 Down 2

The socio economic effect is being completely missed on Feb 22, 2021 at 2:29 pm

And the comments have started, "So should I charge FN 15% more?" "sad that they can't compete." There were a few others that were said today. I talked to a friend over the weekend and explained this as well, "You're setting back an entire generation, kids will go to school and be made fun of or harassed for the "advantage" given to them. If a FN makes a representative hockey/soccer team, there will always be the stigma of, "Oh, need to make that 15% quota."

What else this says is family owned businesses can't bid on YG tenders competitively unless they are FN owned. The history of affirmative action programs in California is there to be studied. I don't believe that FN's will benefit from the BVR but are setting themselves as "different" against every other person in the Yukon.

Up 33 Down 3

North_of_60 on Feb 22, 2021 at 1:43 pm

This is blatant Lieberal vote-buying in preparation for the upcoming election. The LIB will use this as a divisive smokescreen. They will pull out all the stops in a futile attempt to deflect public attention from their record of bungling almost everything they tried to do.

Up 38 Down 4

Wowzers! on Feb 22, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Nice Paul - Thank you for taking the risk to speak out. However, respectfully so, your post just demonstrates further privileges granted to FN businesses and you thought that would somehow lessen the outcry?

Respectfully, your submission proves everyone’s concerns are warranted and that the FN privilege goes even deeper than the public was perhaps aware of, systemic racism does exist.

Up 51 Down 3

Smoke that bong and sing us the song of Liberal pipe-dreams... on Feb 22, 2021 at 12:02 am

You can’t make this stuff up: Fighting racism using race-based policies while asserting they are not racist although the policies are explicitly designed to disadvantage other races in a competitive process to favour one race. The chosen one!

This perversity is not our strength!

Up 39 Down 3

Yukoner on Feb 21, 2021 at 10:02 pm

Funny how everyone made a big joke about born and raised people getting upset about Rendezvous renaming and how born and raised doesn't matter, maybe they should carry that through a bit more and we should just treat everybody equally.

Up 10 Down 33

Paul Gruner on Feb 21, 2021 at 8:15 pm

I am posting this from my comments on CBC North. Up until today I have never posted on a news article / social media. Just my thoughts. Please be respectful.

I have worked within Indigenous business both within the Yukon when I was with Dakwakada and now with Det’on Cho in NWT. I am incredibly proud to be associated with both. Here are some observations around Indigenous procurement whether it be with the Federal Government, Territorial Government or Industry through Impact Benefit Agreements:

- Indigenous participation helps grow the pie. Through Indigenous support Territories are able to attract both Federal and Industry Investment. The greater the opportunity for Indigenous to participate in the economy the greater their support and the pie grows;

- Through the Canada Free Trade Agreement there is wording that exempts Indigenous groups. This is good news for allowing Territorial Governments to, “keep it local”.

- In NWT we have seen very real value creation from Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) with the local diamond mines. Those IBAs have kept opportunities local that very well would have gone south. Many non-Indigenous NWT companies have benefited as a result and that is good news for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses (check out the 2018 Diamond mine report from GNWT page 6: https://www.iti.gov.nt.ca/sites/iti/files/socio-economic_agreement_report_-_2018.pdf)

Lastly please review the sticky dollars article that profiled 3 Indigenous business leaders from NWT in support of an indigenous procurement strategy: https://inukshukpublishing.ca/sticky-dollars/

I am happy to discuss indigenous business and procurement with anyone in a respectful fashion. You know how to find me.



Up 25 Down 4

Remember the Peel project on Feb 21, 2021 at 3:54 pm

YP was taken to court for having empty consultations and not at all addressing the issues raised by the board.
The Liberals are doing the exact same thing. Remember the result in court? Empty consultations have their precedent set.

Up 26 Down 7

Anonymously Hiding From the Liberal Schit Show... Hoping for the Schit Storm to Pass... on Feb 21, 2021 at 3:20 pm

Daniel G - The same thing that happens to every issue in the small pond Yukon. However, today it is much worse. Everything political is about identity. It is irrational, uncritical, and an entirely unthinking blunt method of governing that seeks to destroy those who do not conform to its objectives. You must be seen to actively engage in cancel culture behaviours - sociopathology - or you are out. Quite simple.

The code of conduct in victim village is the submission to a victim narrative and the one with the greatest victim count wins. Liberal ideology levels the playing field by lowering everyone but the elite to the same level. You’re too successful - smack down. We are going to take from your hard work and give it to buddy over here smoking doobs on the couch playing his retro gameboy. You’re no better than anyone else. If you’re Caucasian - You’re not as good as anyone else - smack down.

Are you serious? The Conservatives are not going to challenge the Liberal madness because crazed Liberals will attack because they cannot intelligently defend their madness - BECAUSE it’s MADNESS!

Up 30 Down 5

wonderful bit of hypocracy on Feb 21, 2021 at 2:07 pm

Church, R.C.M.P., Government all complicit in the events.
Penalties are applied to groups that had nothing to do with it.
Why not take 20% of each government employees wage. Pool it into an account and distribute it evenly among the YFN.

If that sounds ridiculous. Then why is it ok when you take it from the private citizens? You'd think the rapist should pay the crime. Instead they get off scott free and make say they are fixing the crime but the perpetrator pays no penalty.

Up 19 Down 4

Groucho d'North on Feb 21, 2021 at 12:44 pm

What definition of traditional territory do you think they are implying here? Is it part of their negotiated land quantum or Commissioner's (Crown) Land? Ambiguity is being somebody's friend here.

Up 49 Down 5

For a bit of context on Feb 20, 2021 at 8:19 pm


I know that certain people online are bashing Sidhu. Including comments like "he's been bad to FN"
You may want to read that article linked in this comment and check his employment history of FN in the Yukon.
Mandeep was the only mayoral candidate that doored to door in McIntyre and brought it up during the debates.

So I doubt they are anti FN. Their actions and history are the opposite. Even now on the ice road 19% of Sidhu's drivers are FN. Yes i work for Sidhu.

Up 23 Down 5

Daniel G on Feb 20, 2021 at 1:23 pm

You say the Yukon Party wouldn't pull this kind of thing, yet where are they right now? Like someone else already said, all I've seen is ONE wishy washy letter about consultations but no real opposition to it. This is unacceptable.

We've come to expect this kind of thing from the Liberals, but traditonally the Yukon Party has stood up against it. Now it is mostly crickets from them, what the heck is going on?? Why is Currie sitting quiet and allowing this to happen? Either he quietly agrees with this OR he is too scared to come out against it for selfish political reasons.
I've always voted Yukon Party but I'm feeling stabbed in the back right now. The policy comes into effect on Monday and not a bloody word from the Yukon Party on how unfair it is. Don't bother knocking on my door looking for my vote in the next election if you can't be bothered to support me in my hour of need. Perhaps I should have voted for Brad Cathers in the leadership race.

Up 42 Down 6

Erik on Feb 20, 2021 at 10:03 am

The policy clearly states that a First Nations owned company operating on that First Nation’s traditional territory using First Nations employees will be given a 35% BVR. Meredith Macdonald is downplaying the effect by her comments, most construction contracts are value driven meaning that the contract is awarded based on price. To suggest that a construction contract award could have a 20% bid price component is unlikely, and for that matter even non-value driven contracts (which are usually consultant or technical) are 30% or higher price based.
Everyone concedes that FN groups are disadvantaged and that encouragement is needed to assist them onto equal footing in the contracting field, but it needs to be done in a manner that is not so susceptible to shady back room deals and the resultant controversy. This policy places all of the responsibility of compensation onto the backs of those organizations such as Sidhu who have worked hard all of their lives to build companies which are now at a disadvantage.
Yukon Government says this will provide opportunities for non FN businesses through subcontracting or partnerships. Why doesn’t YG support all local businesses? Subcontracting and partnerships indicates that non indigenous businesses will still do the work, resulting in a handout of all or part of the advantage.
Much effort has been put into supporting FNs already but has on a large part been unsuccessful. There is nothing in this policy that will give individuals the pride and self respect of accomplishment.

Up 49 Down 8

Yukoner79 on Feb 19, 2021 at 10:46 pm

Say what you want about the Yukon Party. They would have never in a million years pulled sh*t like this. Never. This racist bullsh*t is getting out of control. Liberals are working for one group. It’s not Yukoners as a whole.

Up 28 Down 3

Arturs on Feb 19, 2021 at 6:26 pm

Where's Currie?

Up 38 Down 5

for those saying not a racist policy -- on Feb 19, 2021 at 6:02 pm

If a 100% Yukon non first nation owned business gets the maximum benefit that they can under the bvr and they bid $100

and 100% Yukon first nation owned business gets the maximum benefit they can under the bvr and they bid $100
the First Nation owned business will always win by 15%

based purely on... (drum roll please)


Up 67 Down 10

Groucho d'North on Feb 19, 2021 at 12:14 pm

I believe its long overdue that Mr. Silver stands up and tells Yukoners the reasoning and logic behind this racist and unfair policy. As a government they did this for a reason and the secretive way they did it also needs the reasoning explained. To borrow a line from the Spiderman movie, "With great power there must also come great responsibility." Mr. Silver you have a responsibility to explain your actions and answer the questions that will follow, and not the cryptic non-answers typically given in the Legislature.
It's part of your job, so please do your duty sir.

Up 72 Down 5

Yukoner61 on Feb 18, 2021 at 8:38 pm

I think it's time this issue got political. We all know there will be an election sometime this year and judging by the comments and likes on this story, opposing this policy will be a winning strategy. Currie and the Yukon Party need to make a strong statement on this. I saw a weak kneed letter from Hassard grumbling about consultations but that was it.

So please Mr.Dixon, come out strongly against this policy! and if you are feeling a little scared to do that, then at the VERY least, come out against the Bid Value Reductions. You know what the Liberal government is doing is wrong, so please don't cower on this one. You have a real chance to show some leadership here instead of playing politics like the current government is doing.

We are your base so please don't forget about us.

Up 70 Down 6

Yoduh on Feb 18, 2021 at 8:19 pm

All Yukoners, are all equal.
I’ve said it before, and will say it again.
The solution to things like this ridiculous procurement policy is, NEVER vote Liberal again, and then change these laws. “Common sense is like deodorant, the people that need it most never use it.”

Up 58 Down 3

Jim on Feb 18, 2021 at 7:13 pm

@JL, maybe you can reference the page number and which agreement that it is written that there is to be 15% on all contracts. By your thinking nobody should question any decision made by Liberals behind closed doors that threatens their livelihood. You sound like a few others that believe forcing local businesses to form a partnership is good for all Yukoners.
Sidhu is definitely not the only business that feels blindsided by a government that is supposed to represent all Yukoners. Most businesses are slowly becoming aware of this policy and how it will affect them. Mostly because this was the deal made behind closed doors with absolutely no consultation. This policy will change nothing as far as skilled workers. It will just put more money in the hands of First Nations development corps to then pay out obscene management salaries and do nothing for their own people.
@bigbusiness complaining, this will do absolutely nothing to change the social problems in any of the communities. Maybe list the social or financial programs that these development corps have invested in. Or how many First Nation citizens are working for Kilrich, Castlerock, Air North, Northerm. There is no large non-first nation monopolies here. Take road construction for example. We have Cobalt, Sidhu, Norcope, Castlerock; all large enough to do most any road work we need. But to think that Castlerock needs a 15% edge is ludicrous. I’m not sure where the idea that First Nation companies have been shunned by YTG for the past many years. If they were capable and skilled enough, being FN didn’t mean their tender didn’t count.
I would much rather see money spent on training in communities to generate skilled workers who could gain the experience and then with assistance if required form new small or large businesses.

Up 25 Down 5

Time to instil some ethics in the uncivil service! on Feb 18, 2021 at 6:21 pm

@ Time To Retire Steve - Deep into your public service career eh! According to everything that is going wrong with today’s society; racism, sexism and on and on, that makes you complicit.
Your longtime government service workers are responsible for a lot of this mess. We know that. That is likely the real reason that you lashed out - The name does suit you.
The government has been run too long by the old guard mentality. Maybe if you put some effort into your Union you could correct their behaviour or lack of it. Is it apathy? Is it myopathy? What has you on the sidelines?

It’s too bad that you are not more invested in the workplace - It is because of people who tune out that there is just so much static in the workplace.
Perhaps you are mis-management?

Up 63 Down 4

Mandeep Sidhu on Feb 18, 2021 at 5:44 pm

I'd like to clarify the example.
Say there is a contract for clearing highway stops of trees/debris near McIntyre.
The job consists of mainly labour. There is a small portion for mobilizing and another small portion for demobilizing but 98% of the bid value is in labour.


So now the tenders come out. Sidhu says, "I'm able to use first nations for labour, these are the members of the FN. So I've done the best I can to fulfill the BVR requirement. They bid $100,000.00 but receive a BVR of 15% on the labour component (which makes up the majority of the contract). Making their bid 85,000

Second group is Canyon Construction, They are 100% FN owned. They take 15% there. They are also working on their traditional land. They take 5% there. They also are going to use FN labour. They take 15% there. Giving them a 35% reduction. Their bid price is 120,000.00.
With the reduction their bid value goes to 78,000.

Then we have a company like Castlerock bid. They also are first Nation owned. They also will use FN labour. So they get a 30% reduction (as they aren't on their land). They also bid 120,000.00. but their bid is reduced to $84,000.

Now this is the result.
Canyon construction gets the contract and will be paid $120,000.00. Their bid amount is considered $78,000.00
Sidhu Trucking does not get the contract and would have been paid $100,000.00. Their bid amount is considered $85,000.00
Castlerock does not get the contract even though they bid the same amount as Canyon Construction. Their bid amount is considered $84,000.00 even though they would have been paid $120,000.00

So a job could have been done for $100,000.00 but instead we'll be paying $120,000.00
If I'm incorrect in my example feel free to point out where.

Up 20 Down 5

Juniper Jackson on Feb 18, 2021 at 5:06 pm

Just sayin'.. that is so well said.

Up 25 Down 3

bonanzajoe on Feb 18, 2021 at 4:32 pm

JL, The FN may own 15% of the market share. I won't argue that. But who is heading it all up and who is doing most of the thinking and work? Waiting for your answer.

Up 33 Down 6

bonanzajoe on Feb 18, 2021 at 4:27 pm

JL, who's land have they been making money on the last 30 years? The land that non natives developed over the last 30 years. And the hundred plus years before that. Show me something that has an importance to the world your people have developed in that time and before. So, let's keep racism out of this and talk facts. Let's seem some evidence.

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Dallas on Feb 18, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Typical liberal bs, what’s next same process for immigrants and what do we have then... same screwed up mentality that creates divisions and then uprisings and civil unrest. But we should know by the actions of the liberals in Ottawa that the liberals in the Yukon are gonna try.

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Salty Dog on Feb 18, 2021 at 1:21 pm

@ Salt - Because it is YGs way of encouraging White People to leave.

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laughable on Feb 18, 2021 at 12:48 pm

Sidhu monopoly on the North?!

Bwahahahahah!!! you clearly don't know about where the major contracts go. Clueless is an understatement. Google Castlerock (First nation company) and look at their annual revenue for the Dakwakada. North Klondike is all Cobalt right now. So pretty poorly maintained monopoly.

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JustSayin' on Feb 18, 2021 at 12:41 pm

@BigBusniess Complaining,
Ask yourself this; how many First Nation pilots does Air North Employ? How many of their staff are First Nation? Let's take the local garbage business which is predominantly owned by a self governing FN (SGFN). How many of their employees are FN? They bought this business at least 15 years ago and the head person, is a Caucasian person.

As people have said go drive in the communities and see how to help the FN; well you have to start at the top and view the chaos the SGFN cause. They have a plethora of jobs within their own Government structure and numerous of the more beneficial (fiscally) jobs are given those of non FN. SGFN.
Let's take a look at DDC, their head person is Caucasian. Why have they not encouraged a FN to come and run DDC, heck an FN outside of the Territory even?
The other issue is YG took the easy way out. They didn't put out incentive programs and/or fund training and state to the contractors, these are the people who have the following qualifications, for each one you hire and keep employed, we will provide with the following (what the incentive is, I do not know as I am not in YG), but they didn't. They put the onus on some one else. Here is an issue that policies through assimilation created and now, you have to deal with it. Peace.

Would you be ok if you went into a shop on Mainstreet and there was a different cost, for different ethnicities? Would you be ok if YG stated to the Yukon, the FN's have a history due to residential school and the effects from them and colonialism, ergo those who are not FN will receive a 20 % discount on alcohol purchases? I realize the examples are crass, but to simplify it, this is what the government who is supposed to represent everyone is doing.. it is not ok. It is a different form of discrimination.

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whose land? on Feb 18, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Well the land belongs to Canada. That's the agreement people have. I don't get a native passport. Liberals may want to play up the first nation ownership but its not real. Chinese, Nordic, Indians, Aborignees, Mestizos, etc., all went around Canada and "may" have had settlements?

How many Metis or Iroquois farmers that lost their land pre 1867 are receiving benefits?
You can raise your "This is First nation land" flag as much as you want BUT if you actually read history you'll realize it's like being a pea in a soup and claiming to be the entire soup.
It's an egotistical and false perception. There were more than just First Nation in Canada during settlement

And it may shock you to know there were people before first nations. Inuit have a pretty solid claim but they even recognize that they didn't get spit up by a whale.

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Real cost of Yukoner budget on Feb 18, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Capital budget of Yukon government is $370 million x 15% = $57 million is not a competitive bid any more.
If TYG evaluate bids on a price than that can come to 15% higher but qualifications will count 60% that results in 15% increase in costs of projects to Yukon people than before.
That means Yukon people will be paying 15% more and getting less for their capital money.

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JL--- on Feb 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm

Your comment is as bad as " And if you don't allow Mexicans into the U.S who will clean your toilets?"

FN working for Sidhu work in the high and low skilled positions. Also, Northerm windows, Kilrich, Air North, Castlerock; I'll make a solid bet that FN already own more than 15% of the market share. "Go drive through the villages"
Thats FN management issues. Why don't you audit the amount of money that the different FN's have and ask why that isn't getting to the people?

Do you think a 15% bid reduction is going to change issues with alcohol/drug abuse, psych effects from history, violence, murder?

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CJ2 on Feb 18, 2021 at 12:07 pm

@JL the Sidhus are an incredibly hardworking family and they have more than earned the right to weigh in on this policy.

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JustSayin' on Feb 18, 2021 at 11:46 am

At least Sidhu is willing to put his name out there. You've used your initials. As I see it, I know Sidhu is an immigrant and has been a second class citizen in this country and has worked hard to get where he is. Now it appears as if this policy is going to make a him 3rd class citizen.
If you think FN needs a partnership, to get ahead, a bid reduction to get ahead, then you need to reevaluate your thought process. Numerous FN have created legacy businesses without policies such as this and this policy is going to also harm them. The big companies already have two year joint ventures from projects such as the Faro mine this BV will help them, not the Joe who wants to be near his family and does not want to head out to a mine for rotation.

At the end of the day this about more; this about divisiveness in our society. This about racism. This about a two tiered system that all Yukoners are not consulted on. This is about discrepancies on how the Yukon implements thing. The fact this runs under the guise of reconciliation is a joke. This does not help the communities, this does not actually help FN, this puts money in the select few FN and only exacerbates the situation.

If you have the testicular fortitude you so proudly care to illustrate in your words, put your real name down.
I totally understand the hypocrisy in my request.

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JL on Feb 18, 2021 at 7:04 am

Sidhu has just done much more damage to his business than this agreement ever could!
What First Nation will want to partner with or hire a business that fought against the implementation of longstanding signed agreements which they were promised?

You say you have operated here for 30 years so why do you show such an embarrassing lack of understanding of our history and signed agreements? Whose land have you been making your money on for the past 30 years?

If you can't work with First Nations and go belly up instead, you have no one to blame but yourself. There are big advantages to working with us (and no, hiring some people to hold flags or carry bricks is not meaningful participation!) so it's your choice whether to move forward or get left behind. But good luck with your legal case Sidhu - win or lose - you will ultimately lose regardless.

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Sue Sez on Feb 18, 2021 at 6:46 am

Since when is a citizen's constitutional challenge a threat? More an early Wake-Up call offered to a Gov't. that is late on consultation.

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CJ2 on Feb 18, 2021 at 12:11 am

"It is important to note that for many important and large Yukon government procurements, the value of technical points is much larger than price points, usually with only 20 per cent for price."

That's a claim that is crying out for some examples. Is the government saying that construction tenders are now value-driven, not price-driven? I'm curious about that statement.

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Tyler on Feb 17, 2021 at 9:56 pm

McDonald is portrayed as being dismissive of Sidhu's perception, and the article sees her downplay the actual effect that the new procurement policy will have. If it is 'not a big deal' - as she purports it to be - then the Libs should have no problem scrapping this race-based policy. Fat chance though, right?

At my business I do not charge based on the colour of my client's skin. Can you imagine if I did? One price for whites, one price for natives, one price for blacks, etc., etc ... I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I did. What a shame that YTG is not just as colour blind.

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Salt on Feb 17, 2021 at 9:26 pm

If FN have their own lands and government structure, why do they have preferential treatment within non FN government?

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JustSayin on Feb 17, 2021 at 9:13 pm

It is hard to sit by and be told giving someone who is considered oppressed by society is going to make them equal especially when our laws reflect the two tiered systems. Perhaps, the self governing First Nation's should give those who are not First Nation a 10 to 35 % increase when bidding a FN job versus their own people as those who are not FN have been oppressed by said government.

The Libs came out with a policy in the fall where a FN anywhere in Canada who may have the same qualifications as a Yukoner and the out of Yukon FN will get the job.
Ask yourself this, if a policy stated Non FN groups get a 20 % bid reduction, would you not be outraged? If a policy stated a Yukon FN who has the same qualifications as a Non native Canadian resident (non yukoner) would you still be okay with the policy???

Thanks Liberals!!!

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Jim on Feb 17, 2021 at 9:05 pm

So McDonald says Sidhu doesn’t understand the policy correctly and goes on to explain in mumble jumble government double speak pretty much the same thing that Sidhu said. First Nation companies have a 15% advantage if 100% owned as well as more available for First Nation hire (also available to non-first nations). So for example if a 5 million dollar road project was up for tender and the bidders were PS Sidhu, Cobalt const, Castlerock const, all would or should receive the same scoring points as per technical abilities, business location, etc. But only Castlerock would receive the 15% financial advantage for being 100% First Nation owned. It’s pretty easy math for the government to figure out. This is Liberal logic at its best. Unfortunately some long term local businesses will have to feel the pain.

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Clint Teichroeb on Feb 17, 2021 at 8:05 pm

Thank you for a well balanced, informative article.

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Joe on Feb 17, 2021 at 6:10 pm

The title of this article is wrong “Procurement policy still rankling some” should say “ illegal procurement policy opposed by many” - this will be an election issue, fyi most of the “ FN Dev Corps” are run by paid off white guys. Who benefits?

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If a person purchases from Kilrich vs Home Hardware on Feb 17, 2021 at 5:58 pm

do they get to add 15% to the price of materials?

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also EVERY other problem with it on Feb 17, 2021 at 5:57 pm

Rental agreements with YG- 15% reduction
Reduction Procurement for goods - 15% reduction
Ta'an versus LFN - depending on where the work is, one band will be preferred.
Any government tender will have the BVR introduced.

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drum on Feb 17, 2021 at 5:14 pm

This is b-----------t - why are we giving first nations advantage over any other company. Does this mean everyone has to have first nations on the board to make it look good?

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BigBusiness Complaining on Feb 17, 2021 at 5:06 pm

Everyone should take a drive through any FN community and you can see the poverty and issues. First Nations people and their grandparents were here a long time and never benefited from Government contracts or tendering.

The only people complaining are the large companies owners (afraid to state their misguided views except Sidu) who see their monopoly on the north having new local competition with a bit of help in evaluation criteria.

Hard working Yukoners should celebrate this change in direction, it will lead to more Air Norths, Northerm Windows and great employers who care about you. Almost every Development Corporation of FN's have a financial AND a SOCIAL agenda to make Yukon a better place.

Please - Yukoners - don't buy into the rhetoric of these business owners who will continue to do well and will still be an important part of the Yukon as well.

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bonanzajoe on Feb 17, 2021 at 4:13 pm

Now if Yukoners could just remember this during the next Territorial election. Unfortunately though, Yukoners have bad memories.

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bonanzajoe on Feb 17, 2021 at 4:09 pm

Sidhu is right, McDonald is wrong. Typical Liberal lies. No matter how you throw BS it still sticks to the wall.

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Jackie? on Feb 17, 2021 at 3:45 pm

I think his name is in the article.

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What are the numbers? on Feb 17, 2021 at 3:43 pm

it's been asked over and over, meeting after meeting, email after email. What percentage of the Yukon market are the FN's a part of?
If it's greater than 15% already, do they have to give up market share?

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I just heard this on CBC as well on Feb 17, 2021 at 3:21 pm

Mr. Sidhu is correct in his assumption.

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Wilf Carter on Feb 17, 2021 at 2:28 pm

MacDonald answer the question on how 15% would work in the bid price?
Show Yukoners a copy of the evaluation form so contractors know how they are been evaluated on contracts. Can you Macdonald sent me answers and copy of the new bid form at wilf_carter27@hotmail.com

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jackie on Feb 17, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Who is the Whitehorse lawyer threatening YG?

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Dave on Feb 17, 2021 at 1:56 pm

We have to stop this entire race based system that both the federal and territorial Liberals are trying to set up. Want a government job or contract? The native race gets precedence. Want COVID vaccine as a Canadian? Natives have been vaccinated at a rate 25 times higher than white people. This country was not established to turn into a race based priority system for anything government controlled but that’s the way the Liberals are heading. Meanwhile the rest of us are supposed to stand around with our hands in our pockets whistling.

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Sharon on Feb 17, 2021 at 12:58 pm

Complete and utter Liberal BS. No consultation and completely pandering to the FN. This is no good for anyone. They will try to sell this to the public as reconciliation. It's not reconciliation its complete racism. AND somehow they also squeaked in a "pilot project" so all government jobs are prioritized to FN applicants. Utter BS. Should be equality for all. I'm sure FN Dev corps will try to say "this is equality". Don't buy into this crap.

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