In the 2007 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada emphasized that there were both new opportunities and new challenges in the North. The government proposed an integrated Northern Strategy focused on strengthening Canada's sovereignty, protecting environmental heritage, promoting economic and social development, and improving and devolving governance. A key deliverable of this new strategy was the Government's commitment 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, would 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 research station 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 ongoing program and operations.
In Spring 2014, the contract for the construction of CHARS was awarded, and on August 23, 2014, the Prime Minister participated in a ground-breaking ceremony, officially launching the construction of the facility.
CHARS will be operational by 2017 to coincide with Canada's 150th anniversary.