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.
- This project will give researchers a world-class science and technology platform in Canada’s Arctic. The business case will use performance indicators to determine if this goal has been reached.
- Project beneficiaries will include scientists, Northerners, and all Canadians.
- The station’s design and construction will create jobs in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region, throughout the North, and in specialized sectors in southern Canada.
- The initiative will meet Canada’s consultation and procurement requirements under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, including Inuit and northern involvement in its construction. Demand for goods and services will benefit local and regional businesses, and the construction manager will offer an Inuit Benefits Plan that respects land claim requirements.
- Through involvement in the station’s planning and construction, Northerners will gain new skills and career experience.
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.
|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|
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:
- Performance inspections, including those for the mechanical and electrical systems of the Main Research Building continued throughout the fiscal year.
- Partial substantial completion and occupancy of the Main Research Building was granted in July 2018. The final phase of construction is focused on outstanding items, including aspects of the mechanical systems and civil works (i.e. outside road and landscaping) over summer/fall 2019. CIRNAC anticipates the Certificate for Completion of Construction in early 2020.
- Amendments to the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018, allowing the transfer of all real property associated with the station to Polar Knowledge Canada. The transfer of title through Order in Council by March 31, 2020 will mark CIRNAC’s last step in establishing Polar Knowledge Canada as the owner and custodian of the CHARS campus.
- To meet the CHARS campus’ fire safety requirements and improve the Hamlet’s ability to respond to emergencies, support was provided to the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay for a new fire truck.