See Talk Green to Us project proposal from a Montreal company
Perhaps we should file this one under the "ironic" category. As readers of CityCaucus.com know we encourage wise use of taxpayer dollars. We're also boosterish when it comes to our local economy, and especially our knowledge worker sector. These two goals are by no means at odds with each other, which is why we wonder the City of Vancouver in its quest to promote "green" through social media chose a Montreal-based company to do this work.
Back in December we submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out the funding behind a website project called "talkgreentous" geared to promote Vision's greenest city promise. We received the response to that FOI request this week – approximately four months later to the day. Note, these requests are supposed to be filled within 30 business days, but that hasn't happened once since the former manager of the FOI office quit.
The requests are being filled by the City Clerk's office to the best of their ability, but it is my understanding from a previous phone call to the department Paul Hancock's temporary replacement is working on a very limited part time schedule. If anyone at the City wishes to update me on this, please drop us a line.
Now this isn't the first time we've FOI'd the City about talkgreentous. We ran a post last September titled "Talk Gregor to Us" where we had inquired pretty much about the same thing:
- How much did the website cost? (Answer: $52,250, which includes the creative campaign)
- How much did the campaign video cost? (Answer: $12,750)
- How much did Vision insiders vancouverobserver.com get paid to run ads about it? (Answer: $1,950)
The City must have been talking about doing another website last December for talkgreentous.ca, which is why we filed another request. This time it appears the cost of the website was considerably less at $6,100. The charge out rate for the supplier was pretty low at $50/hour. But what struck us as odd was where the work was outsourced to: Montreal, QC.
Now, the last time I checked there are more than a few website development companies or contractors here in Metro Vancouver, and plenty who work on the Drupal platform. Given that Gregor Robertson has a pretty steep curve to climb in order to get those 12,000 (formerly 20,000) "green" jobs promised in the city by 2020, you'd think that the city might want to source that work locally.
We might surmise that "Fair Trade Media" won over the City's sustainability department with their name, and their connection to vancouver.mediacoop.ca, a left wing activist web hub. I'm not sure what Vancouver's social media development community needs to do to get some of the outsourced work the City seeks, but surely for six grand a local provider could have done the work.
What do you think? Should the work have been sourced locally, or does providing jobs for a Montreal company matter? Leave your comments below.
- post by Mike. Follow @MikeKlassen or @CityCaucus on Twitter.