Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects
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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 project: $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. Commissioning will be completed by March 2018.
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 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.
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 is a fundamental component of construction-related procurement. Local and regional businesses will benefit from goods and services procurement, and an Inuit Benefits Plan that addresses the requirements of the land claim is being led by the construction manager.
The continued participation of Northerners in the planning and construction of CHARS will provide Northerners with new skills and career experience.
Sponsoring department: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Contracting authority: Public Services and Procurement Canada
Participating departments: Not Applicable
Prime contractor: The construction contractor for CHARS is the EllisDon Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) in joint venture with NCC Dowland Ltd. (Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada).
Major subcontractors: Subcontracting is managed by the EllisDon Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada).
Project phase: Construction: Two triplex accommodations are complete, and the Field and Maintenance Building will be completed in early 2017. The Main Research Building is currently under construction and will be operational by July 2017. Commissioning will be complete by March 2018.
Creation of a Canadian High Arctic Research Station announced
Speech from the Throne 2007
CHARS feasibility: $2 million over 2 years
CHARS design: $18 million over 4 years
Cambridge Bay location announced by Prime Minister
Request for proposal (RFP) for design consultant tendered
RFP for design consultant closed
Design consultant proposals evaluated — Phase 1
Seek decisions on construction funding
Design consultant proposals evaluated — Phase 2
Design consultant contract announced
RFP for construction management services tendered
RFP for construction management services closed
RFP for construction management services evaluated
Site announced in Cambridge Bay
Consultation with Cambridge Bay residents
February 2013 and ongoing
Construction management contract for advisory services awarded
Complete design development
Complete land acquisition in Cambridge Bay
Prepare construction drawings
Complete triplex accommodations
Complete Field and Maintenance Building
Main Research Building operational by 150th anniversary of Confederation
July 1, 2017
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 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.
Three of the four buildings on the CHARS campus will be completed in the 2016–2017 fiscal year.
The CHARS Major Crown Project is on scope and on schedule to be operational by July 2017. Commissioning will be completed by March 2018.