The Canadian government is publicizing extensive procurement opportunities on the Internet as a part of its efforts to increase trade and investment between Canada and the Southeast.

“The government of Canada has made a huge investment in putting information on-line to make [bidding processes] as easy as possible,” said Joe Fagan, specialist with the Ottawa-based professional consulting group, CSG Sales Inc.

Mr. Fagan spoke in Atlanta last week at a June 1 seminar organized by the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The seminar addressed doing business with the Canadian government, which offers $ 3-5 billion a year in contract opportunities.

Learning about available government contracts, writing effective proposals and adhering to mandatory requirements, can be facilitated by many on-line resources, said Mr. Fagan.

In particular, he suggested that American businesspeople use MERX Public Tenders, the Canadian government’s official publisher of procurement opportunities.

MERX offers potential bidders free access to current federal contract opportunities and allows individuals to see which companies have placed bids on contracts, he said.

It also archives former government contracts, which businesspeople can use to do market research on specific industries, Mr. Fagan said.

He suggested using other Web sites for further resources including: from Contracts Canada Information Centre, a federal organization that helps small companies do business with the Canadian government; from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal that deals with legal issues of foreign trade; of SourceCan that also offers on-line procurement opportunities.

American businesses must be cautious when bidding on Canadian contracts, however, even if they have contracted with their own federal government, warned another panelist at the seminar, Lucy Latka, commercial specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

“The two systems are not the same,” she said, noting that large and lengthy procurement bids can be nullified if a company does not follow mandatory requirements of the Canadian federal government during the bidding process.

Also at the seminar, Malcom McKechnie, Canadian consul general in Atlanta, emphasized increasing business ties between the Southeast and Canada, citing that trade between Georgia and the country grew to $7.2 billion last year.

He noted that a Canadian consulate recently opened in Raleigh, N. C., and an honorary consul was named in Memphis,Tenn. “The timing for this gathering is excellent,” he said.

For further information on Canadian procurement opportunities, contact J.B. (Barry) Fournier at Contracts Canada at (819) 956-3453 or

Ms. Latka can be reached at (613) 688-5219 or Mr. Fagan can be reached at (613) 723-9475 or