By Mike Anderson

The Town of Georgina is changing its procurement rules to ban the purchase of Russian products.

The move follows council’s approval of a motion brought forward by Ward 1 Councillor Mike Waddington on March 2, which prohibits the Town from purchasing any products from Russia, including plywood, fertilizer, steel, furniture or machinery.

The motion also stipulates that any future contracts for services abide by these same limitations.

The ban will also apply to Belarusian products if there is confirmation that Belarus has also become involved in the invasion of Ukraine.

According to a Town spokesperson, the ban took effect on March 2 for all new procurement contracts.

“While a formal policy has not been completed at this time, staff will be including clauses in all procurement documents moving forward,” said Tanya Thompson, the Town’s communications manager, in an email to The Post.

However, the Town could not provide The Post with a list of products purchased from Russia, as it doesn’t identify goods and services it purchases by the country of origin.

“Prior to this motion being passed, there was no requirement to disclose the country of origin for procurements, so the Town does not have a list,” Thompson said.

While some might view the ban as largely symbolic, Waddington disagrees.

“If the world stands up to tyranny in their own small way, the end result isn’t a symbolic gesture,” he said.

“It won’t be a single community making moves like this that ends the war; it will be when countless communities do the same that pressure is formed.”

The motion was forwarded to other municipalities hoping they may adopt a similar ban.

According to the Government of Canada website, Canada imported just over $1 billion worth of imports from Russia in 2021, including fertilizers, steel, plywood and petroleum.

Imports from Belarus in 2021 were significantly lower, totalling only $32 million, including mostly wood furniture and petroleum products.

However, on March 3, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Canada removed Russia and Belarus from the Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff (MFN) treatment, subjecting both countries’ imports to a 35 per cent general tariff rate.

Russia and Belarus join North Korea as the only countries whose imports are subject to the general tariff.

Canada has also introduced a ban on the importation of Russian crude oil.

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