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ARCHIVED - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and Canadian Polar Commission - Supplementary Tables

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Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects

This table applies to all Major Crown Projects and Transformational Projects in accordance with Treasury Board policies. Please see the policy on Management of Major Crown Projects and the Policy on the Management of Projects.


In the 2007 Speech from the Throne, the Government outlined that there are both new opportunities and new challenges in the North, and indicated it would bring forward an integrated Northern Strategy focused on strengthening Canada's sovereignty, protecting environmental heritage, promoting economic and social development, and improving and devolving governance. As a signature deliverable of this new commitment, the Government also promised 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." The Prime Minister announced Cambridge Bay, Nunavut as the location for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in August 2010. CHARS is scheduled to open on July 1, 2017, Canada's 150th anniversary.

Project Phase:

Design. Budget 2010 provided $18 million over four years for the design of CHARS. The selection of a design consultant is currently underway.

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies
Lead Department Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
Contracting Authority Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)
Participating Departments AANDC and PWGSC

Prime and Major Subcontractor(s)
Prime Contractor A Construction Manager will be identified in 2012
Major Subcontractor(s) Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014

Major Milestones
List of Major Milestone Date
Creation of a Canadian High Arctic Research Station announced Speech from the Throne 2007
CHARS Feasibility: $2M over 2 years Budget 2009
CHARS Design: $18M 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
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
Tender for Construction Manager Spring 2012
Award Design Consultant Contract August 2012
Recommend Site in Cambridge Bay December 2012
Award Construction Manager Contract January 2013
Announce Design Concept Spring 2013
Provide Class 'B' Estimate for Construction November 2013
Complete Land Acquisition in Cambridge Bay December 2013
Attain Effective Project Approval for Construction April 2014
Begin Construction Fall 2014
Finalize Design 2014/15
Open on 150th Anniversary of Confederation July 1, 2017
Commissioning Complete March 2018

Project Outcomes

  • 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 the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS). Performance indicators will be developed with the Business Case to confirm this objective has been reached.

  • Beneficiaries of this project include scientists, Northerners, and all Canadians.

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

  • In March 2011, Treasury Board granted Preliminary Project Approval for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Major Crown Project at an indicative cost of $208,734,100 inclusive of Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of $23,210,975.

  • Also in February 2011, Expenditure Authority for the Project Definition Phase was granted at a substantive cost estimate of $19,862,959, inclusive of HST of $1,862,959, to proceed with the design phase for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station.

  • The Canadian High Arctic Research Station Major Crown Project is currently running on budget.

  • The Canadian High Arctic Research Station Major Crown Project is to be completed by July 1, 2017.

Industrial Benefits

  • Design and construction of CHARS 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, and where possible exceeded, in the implementation of the CHARS initiative. Inuit and Northern participation in CHARS construction will be a fundamental component of the construction bidding process. Local and regional businesses will benefit from goods and services procurement, and an Inuit training and capacity- building plan is being developed for CHARS that addresses the requirements of the land claim.

  • The continued participation of Northerners in the planning and construction of CHARS, and in future science and technology programming, internships, and employment at the Station, will provide Northerners with new skills and career experience. It is expected that employment of Northerners in a wide range of sectors from mining and energy, through natural resources and wildlife management, to health and life sciences will be increased.