Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects

Notice

This website will change as a result of the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and the creation of Indigenous Services Canada and the eventual creation of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. During this transformation, you may also wish to consult the updated Indigenous and Northern Affairs home page.

Project Name: Canadian High Arctic Research Station

Description

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.

Project Outcomes

  • The objective of this project is to provide researchers with access to a world-class arctic science and technology platform in the Canadian North by establishing the CHARS. Performance indicators will be developed as part of the business case to confirm this objective has been reached.
  • Beneficiaries of this project include scientists, Northerners and all Canadians.

Industrial Benefits

  • Design and construction of the research station will provide jobs in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, across the North, and in specialized sectors in southern Canada.
  • Canada's consultation and procurement obligations as specified in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act will be respected in the implementation of the CHARS initiative. Inuit and Northern participation in the construction of the research station will be a fundamental component of the bidding process. Local and regional businesses will benefit from goods and services procurement, and an Inuit training and capacity-building plan that addresses the requirements of the land claim is being developed.
  • The continued participation of Northerners in the planning and construction of the CHARS, and in future science and technology programming, internships, and employment at the station, will provide Northerners with new skills and career experience.

Sponsoring Department

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Contracting Authority

Public Works and Government Services Canada

Participating Departments

Not Applicable

Prime Contractor

The contract for advisory services during the design of CHARS was awarded to the EllisDon Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) in joint venture with NCC Dowland Ltd. (Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada).

Major Subcontractors

Subcontracting managed by the EllisDon Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada).

Project Phase

Construction: On August 23, 2014, the Prime Minister participated in a ground-breaking ceremony, officially launching the construction of the facility.

Major Milestones Dates
Creation of a Canadian High Arctic Research Station announced 2007 Speech from the Throne
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 Science.gc.ca 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
Construction Management contract for Construction Management Services awarded May 2014
Prepare construction drawings Spring 2014
Site preparation Summer 2014
Ground breaking to launch construction August 2014
Complete land acquisition in Cambridge Bay Fall 2014
Finalize design 2014–2015
Operational by 150th anniversary of Confederation July 1, 2017
Commissioning complete 2018

Progress report and explanation of variances

  • On August 23, 2012, the Prime Minister announced funding of $142.4 million over six years (beginning in 2012) for the construction, equipment, and fit-up of CHARS. The design firm that was awarded the project was also announced.
  • In June 2013, the EllisDon Corporation in joint venture with NCC Dowland Construction Ltd. was awarded with the contract to provide advisory services throughout the design and construction of CHARS.
  • In August 2014, the Prime Minister participated in a ground-breaking ceremony, officially launching the construction of the facility.
  • The CHARS Major Crown Project is currently on budget and is expected to be operational by 2017.
Date modified: