Status report on transformational and major Crown projects

Canadian High Arctic Research Station

Description: The Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act, which came into force on June 1, 2015, established Polar Knowledge Canada, a new federal research organization that combines the mandate and functions of the Canadian Polar Commission and the Canadian High Arctic Research Station program. The new organization is responsible for advancing Canada's knowledge of the Arctic and strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology.

The new research facility in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut will attract Canadian and international scientists to work on science and technology issues in Canada's North and provide a technology development centre, traditional knowledge centre and advanced laboratories. This station is being built by Canadians to serve the world, and engage Northerners in cutting-edge science and technology. The management of the station's construction will remain with the Department until it is complete. Funding authorities for the construction of the station are set to expire in 2018–2019. This profile and funding covers the capital investment and construction period only. The formal management arrangement and program development will be undertaken as of April 2019 by Polar Knowledge Canada.

Project outcomes:

Industrial benefits:

Sponsoring department: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

Contracting authority: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Participating departments: Not applicable

Prime contractor: The construction contractor 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 buildings and the Field and Maintenance Building are complete. The Main Research Building is currently under construction. Commissioning will be complete in 2018.

Major milestones Date
Creation of CHARS 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 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
Begin construction Fall 2014
Finalize design 2014–2015
Complete triplex accommodations Fall 2015
Complete field and maintenance building Spring 2017
Complete main research building Summer 2017
Commissioning complete 2018
Transfer assets To be determined

Progress report and explanation of variances:

By April 2018, Polar Knowledge Canada will operate the station and oversee the program at an estimated cost of $26.5 million per year.

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