An open letter to the Vancouver Parks Board:
Abandoning the Vancouver Parks Board’s commitment to ethical purchasing is a shameful decision. In choosing the “best value” for Parks Board purchases allows you to not spend too much money for needed or desired supplies. But the cost of this decision is enormous.
You have chosen to contribute to perpetuating sweatshops, forced labour, environmentally unsustainable production and the increased impoverishment of millions in countries you may not even be able to name.
You have chosen to neglect the opportunity to encourage Parks Board suppliers to embrace fair trade purchasing policies that can have a multiplier effect through our local economy and ameliorate the social ills unethical purchasing perpetuates [see above].
You have pledged our city to maintain a globally destructive form of capitalism in the race to the bottom that impoverishes billions so that taxpayers in one of the richest cities in the world can save marginal costs that could be used to create living wages for thousands, thereby showing that capitalism could meaningfully improve people’s lives. You have chosen to perpetuate the oppressive hammer of capitalism that crushes souls worldwide.
I applaud those of you who opposed this anti-human motion. Those of you who voted to ignore ethical purchasing have announced to the world your decision to keep Vancouver’s civic bodies complicit in unethical purchasing. Thank you very much for staining the image of our city for a short-sighted, ignorant agenda of local penny-pinching.