Building Ontario Businesses Initiative Act (BOBIA)

The Building Ontario Business Initiative Act (BOBIA), 2022, is effective April 1, 2024, for broader public sector (BPS) organizations. This new provincial regulation will impact procurement requirements for purchases under $121,200 CAD (before taxes). The BOBIA which applies to Queen's University as a BPS organization, requires that preference be given to Ontario businesses as part of the procurement process, defines 'Ontario Business' for the purposes of the Act, and describes how preference should be given.

BOBIA does not override the university's requirement to engage in competitive procurement (e.g. receiving competing quotations where required by the university's Procurement Policy).

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What is an Ontario Business?

As per Ontario Regulation 422/23, a business that meets the following requirements is considered to be an Ontario Business for the purposes of the Act:

1. The business is a supplier, manufacturer or distributor of any business structure that conducts its activities on a permanent basis in Ontario.
2. The business either,
    i. has its headquarters or main office in Ontario, or
    ii. has at least 250 full-time employees in Ontario at the time of the applicable procurement process.

As permitted in the Regulation, the university requires that suppliers self-attest as to whether they meet the definition of Ontario Business. This self-attestation is to be completed in the acQuire Supplier Portal.

How to Comply with BOBIA:

Depending on the means of procurement, there may be slightly different requirements to demonstrate compliance with BOBIA. Follow the table and guidelines below.

Procurement Type Total Contract Value (TCV), before tax Means of Procurement How to apply BOBIA BOBIA exemptions


Under $9,999.99 CAD

One written supplier quote or invoice.

  • acQuire catalogue;
  • acQuire non-catalogue purchase requisition;
  • acQuire payment form; or 
  • Procurement Card (PCard) (up to $10,000 inclusive of tax).

Award to Ontario Business

  • Existing and any net new Vendors of Record (VORs) or Preferred Suppliers.
  • Services provided by lawyers, treasury operations, paralegals, notary publics, or expert witness.
  • Goods or services requirement for an emergency (emergency is defined as a situation or impending situation that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property).
  • Goods or services procured for commercial sale or resale.
  • Goods or services which are not available from an Ontario Business.

Invitational Competitive

$10,000 to $49,999.99 CAD

Two written supplier quotes.

  • acQuire catalogue; or
  • acQuire non-catalogue purchase requisition.

Determine if one or more Ontario Businesses are available to meet the purchase need.

Allocate a 10% preference for an Ontario Business. BOBIA Toolkit available on SPS SharePoint Hub. 

$50,000 to $121,199.99 CAD

Three written supplier quotes.

  • acQuire catalogue; or
  • acQuire non-catalogue purchase requisition.

Open Competitive

$121,200 and above

Open competitive procurement process (e.g. RFx).

  • acQuire non-catalogue purchase requisition.

Not Applicable.

Not Applicable.

Using your PCard:

Purchases made on your university PCard must be made from an Ontario Business unless a valid exception applies. If you purchase a good or service from a non-Ontario Business, keep the justification with your monthly reconciled credit card statement.

acQuire Payment Form:

Purchases processed on an acQuire payment form must be made from an Ontario Business unless a valid exception applies. It is recommended that Queen's users document on the payment form (via the comments), any justifications for purchasing from a non-Ontario Business.

Invitational Competitive Procurement:

BOBIA provides two methods for giving preference to Ontario Businesses when seeking quotes as part of the competitive procurement requirements:

  • Only invite Ontario Businesses to quote, OR
  • Allocate a 10% evaluation advantage to any Ontario Business that provides a quote.

In either instance, departments are required to be fair and transparent when requesting quotes from suppliers. This includes providing suppliers with information regarding how their quotes will be evaluated when you contact them, and before any quotes are received.

Departments and/or purchasers should complete these steps before committing to a supplier.

To support Queen's users, please see the SPS SharePoint Hub | BOBI Toolkit Resources for support on soliciting quotes from suppliers that comply with BOBIA.

Open Competitive Procurement:

Open competitive procurements (greater than $121,200 CAD before taxes) are not subject to BOBIA and current processes (RFx) remain in place.