Archived - 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.

Project outcomes:

Industrial benefits:

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.

Major milestone Date
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 and ongoing
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 2014–2015
Complete triplex accommodations Fall 2015
Complete Field and Maintenance Building Early 2017
Main Research Building operational by 150th anniversary of Confederation July 1, 2017
Commissioning complete March 2018
Transfer assets March 2018

Progress report and explanation of variances:

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