Sending work off the island no surprise
Letter to the editor from Weldon Bona
Cape Breton Post
Monday, May 24, 2004
The use of Halifax companies for
the design and printing of
brochures and postcards to promote
the tar ponds cleanup is nothing
Recently, my company, Absolute
Design, was asked by Environment
Canada to produce brochures to promote
the cleanup to politicians and
others. After we started the initial
design, Environment Canada contracted
a Halifax company to do the work.
As for the recent postcards that
clogged our mailboxes, there was no
tendering process inviting Cape
Breton design companies to quote.
The printing requirement --
overnight turnover -- made it
impossible for local printers to do
Local printers were unable to
meet an unreasonable, last-minute
deadline, and so lost the job to Halifax.
In my 20 years of business, I have
seen this happen many times.
Recently, the Cape Breton Growth
Fund, established with a mandate to
invest in the Cape Breton economy,
hired a Halifax company to advertise
Cape Breton business success
stories and to design its annual
report. These documents are printed off-island too.
I could give many more examples.
So why aren't Cape Bretoners
getting this work? Icon Communications,
Vibe Marketing, Art Plus
Communications, City Printers and
Absolute Design are all well known
for their creativity, professionalism
and ability to get a job done on time
and in budget. These Cape Breton
companies have won many awards
for their work, have contributed to
the success of hundreds of clients,
and can produce anything equal to
that produced in Halifax.
No one is successful in winning
every tendered project. We are not
expecting special treatment. We
have all made a commitment to live
and work in Cape Breton and to
contribute to our communities.
To see work that could and should
be produced locally going off-island
is disheartening. It has come
to the point that many companies,
after seeing contracts go off-island
again and again, refuse to bid,
knowing full well that it is an
exercise in futility.
The public servants making
spending decisions on projects
intended to serve business and
individuals in Cape Breton should be
held accountable by their boards of
directors and their responsible ministers.