ARCHIVED - Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects

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In the 2007 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada emphasized that there are both new opportunities and new challenges in the North, and indicated it would bring forward an integrated Northern Strategy focused on strengthening Canada's sovereignty, protecting environmental heritage, promoting economic and social development, and improving and devolving governance. As a signature deliverable of this new commitment, the Government also promised to "build a world-class arctic research station that will be on the cutting edge of arctic issues, including environmental science and resource development. This station will be built by Canadians, in Canada's Arctic, and it will be there to serve the world". In August 2010, the Prime Minister announced that Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, will be the location for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS).

On August 23, 2012, the Prime Minister announced a new investment for the next phases of the CHARS: $142.4 million for the construction, equipment, and fit-up of the CHARS and $46.2 million over six years for the phase-in of the Science and Technology Program. An additional $26.5 million per year has been set aside, as of 2018–2019, for the on-going program and operations of the CHARS.

CHARS will be operational by 2017 to coincide with Canada's 150th anniversary.

Project Phase:

Design: Budget 2010 provided $18 million over four years for the design of CHARS. The Prime Minister also announced the winning bidder for the design of the station in August 2012. Fournier Gersovitz Moss Drolet et associés architectes and NFOE et associés architectes, operating as a joint venture, have been awarded the Design Consultant contract through a competitive and transparent bidding process.

Leading and participating departments and agencies

Lead department

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

Contracting authority

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)

Participating departments



Prime and major subcontractor(s)

Prime contractor

The contract for advisory services during the design of CHARS was awarded to EllisDon Corporation in joint venture with NCC Dowland.

Major subcontractor(s)

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014


Major milestones

Major milestone


Creation of a Canadian High Arctic Research Station announced

Speech from the Throne 2007

CHARS Feasibility: $2 million over 2 years

Budget 2009

CHARS Design: $18 million over 4 years

Budget 2010

Cambridge Bay location announced by Prime Minister

August 2010

CHARS mandate announced by Minister

December 2010

Feasibility Study Released on

September 2011

Request for proposal (RFP) for Design Consultant Tendered

September 2011

RFP for Design Consultant Closed

November 2011

Design Consultant Proposals Evaluated – Phase 1

December 2011

Seek Decisions on Construction Funding

Winter 2012

Design Consultant Proposals Evaluated – Phase 2

February 2012

Design Consultant Contract Announced

August 2012

RFP for Construction Management Services tendered

November 2012

RFP for Construction Management Services closed

December 2012

RFP for Construction Management Services evaluated

January 2013

Site announced in Cambridge Bay

February 2013

Consultation with Cambridge Bay residents

February 2013

Construction Management contract for Advisory Services awarded

June 2013

Complete Design Development

Winter 2014

Complete Land Acquisition in Cambridge Bay

Spring 2014

Prepare construction drawings

Spring 2014

Begin Construction

Fall 2014

Finalize Design


Operational by 150th Anniversary of Confederation

July 1, 2017

Commissioning Complete



Project outcomes:

Progress report and explanations of variances:

Industrial benefits:

Date modified: