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 (CHARS) 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 2019–20. 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 Canada

Contracting authority: Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)

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: Design: Budget 2010 provided $18 million over 4 years for the design of the CHARS. EVOQ architects and NFOE et associés architectes, operating as a joint venture, were awarded the design consultant contract through a competitive and transparent bidding process. The design phase of the CHARS began in 2011–12 and was completed in 2014–15.

In November 2015, the 2 Triplex accommodation buildings were completed and have since been in use by Polar Knowledge Canada. The Field and Maintenance Building was completed by March 2017 and Polar Knowledge Canada has been occupying the building since April 2017.

In 2018–19, work to complete construction involved resolving minor and major deficiencies revealed during performance inspections. Seasonal civil work, the completion of an outdoor storage shelter, and work on mechanical systems in the Main Research Building will continue in the first 2 quarters of 2019–20. With the completion of the laboratory areas of the Main Research Building, the CHARS campus is expected to be fully operational in fall 2019.

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 contract announced August 2012
RFP for construction management services tendered November 2012
RFP for construction management services closed December 2012
Site announced in Cambridge Bay February 2013
Construction management contract for advisory services awarded June 2013
Construction management contract for constructor services awarded May 2014
Begin site preparation June 2014
Begin construction August 2014
Complete design development January 2015
Complete land acquisition in Cambridge Bay March 2015
Complete Triplex Accommodation Buildings November 2015
Complete Field and Maintenance Building March 2017
Partial Substantial Completion of Public and Office Areas of the Main Research Building July 2018
Authority to Operate from Shared Services Canada October 2018
Performance Inspections Fall 2018 and ongoing
Completion of Deficiency Review Process Fall 2019
Partial Substantial Completion of Laboratories of the Main Research Building *Summer 2019
Completion of Civil Works *Fall 2019
Certificate for Completion of Construction *Winter 2019–20
*Anticipated milestones

Progress report and explanation of variances: CIRNAC is working with PSPC towards completing the construction of the Main Research Building of the CHARS campus and transferring ownership of all assets to Polar Knowledge Canada in 2019–20.

Progress in 2018–19 included:

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