Long before the Trans-Canada Highway or even the Canadian Pacific Railway, exploration and trade throughout Canada was facilitated by canoe. In keeping with that entrepreneurial spirit, municipal associations across Canada have partnered to create the Canoe Procurement Group of Canada, one of the largest public sector buying groups in the country.
By combining the purchasing power of over 5,000 public and not-for-profit organizations throughout Canada, Canoe is uniquely positioned to get members access to a wide range of trade-compliant products and services at preferred rates.
In 1936, a handful of Western Canadian municipalities decided to combine their purchasing power to procure common necessities for their communities at better prices. This practice proved effective, and the program was gradually expanded.
In 2008, Prairie Fuel Advisors (PFA) Ltd. became a subsidiary of the group, which set the stage for the group’s journey across Canada to become leaders in municipal procurement.
The procurement group partnered with the National Joint Powers Association (now known as Sourcewell) in 2014 to further expand procurement options.
As the group expanded, all three Canadian Prairie Provinces partnered together to make cooperative procurement programs available to every municipality in Western Canada. Shortly thereafter, Newfoundland and Labrador joined, bringing programs to Eastern Canada for the first time. The group welcomed Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island in 2019, then expanded again in 2020 with the addition of New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories.
The procurement group – which had been operating jointly but branding separately – launched Canoe in June 2021, a unified identity for all Canadian municipal, public sector, and not-for-profit organizations to participate in collectively. Shortly thereafter, British Columbia formally joined the group. Nunavut followed suit in 2023, bringing the count of formally participating provinces and territories to 11.