Government of Canada

Government of Canada

May 11, 2009 16:16 ET

Creating Jobs and Benefitting Science - Government of Canada Invests in Modernizing Federal Laboratories in Nunavut

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 11, 2009) - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Nunavut, today announced more than $1.8 million in funding, over the next two years, to modernize the Polar Continental Shelf Program facility in Resolute and the Dr. Neil Trivett Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory in Alert.

In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government committed to an accelerated investment program to provide $250 million, over the next two years, to modernize federal laboratories. The funding, one of the many job-creating investments in the Economic Action Plan, will improve these facilities while providing economic stimulus in regions across the country.

"This program is addressing important maintenance issues at this facility and will quickly bring economic stimulus to this region," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This funding will provide jobs for workers ranging from replacing electrical cables and plumbing pumps to modernizing existing structures. With this funding, our scientists and researchers will have a more modern work environment, which will support research and development leading to better health and safety outcomes for Canadians."

The facilities being modernized in the region are:

- The Polar Continental Shelf Program (Natural Resources Canada) - $1,008,764

- Dr. Neill Trivett Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory (Environment Canada) - $836,000

"Our Government's Economic Action Plan is making important investments in communities across Canada," said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. "Canada's science labs are engaged in world-class research that contributes to Canada's economic performance. Today's investment will create jobs immediately and will contribute to improved competitiveness in the natural resources sector in the years ahead."

"The project at Alert will help maintain and further the excellence of Environment Canada's world-class scientific activities," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan visit .





Maintenance and modernization of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW)



Environment Canada


Alert, Nunavut

Name and function of Laboratory/ Facility

The Dr. Neil Trivett Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory was opened in 1986. Two people work for Environment Canada there. The observatory is Canada's most northerly Arctic research station, where Environment Canada monitors background concentrations of trace gases and aerosols to identify trends in the composition of the Earth's atmosphere. Located at the Department of National Defence's Canadian Forces Station Alert, the Observatory is an official World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch station.

Funding amount

Amount of funding received through the Modernizing Laboratories Initiative:

Amount to be spent in 2009-10: $673,000

Amount to be spent in 2010-11: $163,000

Project description

Work will be done to replace the electrical system and fibre optic cable for data streams, and to upgrade a 10-metre measurements platform tower. This work will increase the Observatory's operating capacity.


Project: Arctic Research Facilities

Department: NRCAN-RNCAN

Location: Resolute, Nunavut

Name and function of Laboratory/Facility: Arctic Research Facilities

The Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP) is an organization within Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) that provides cost-effective logistics and support services to about 130 research projects annually throughout the Canadian Arctic. The only federal land/air logistic provider in the Arctic, the PCSP has a longstanding excellent reputation among the national and international scientific community. The implementation of UNCLOS and other recent initiatives identified under the Arctic Agenda relies heavily on thePCSP and thus has significantly increased the demand for logistics support and the use of PCSP facilities.

The PCSP lab in Resolute, Nunavut, supports science that enables the Government of Canada and all three territorial partners to meet their regulatory responsibilities in Canada's North. Scientists at the facility conduct research on infrastructure safety, land management, resource development and climate change impacts and adaptation. Researchers from NRCan and other departments and agencies - Fisheries and Oceans, National Defence, Environment Canada, the Canadian Space Agency - use the facility to gather data in order to deliver core regulatory activities.

The PCSP facilities serve as both a laboratory for research and as a staging area for research conducted across the Canadian Arctic. The research facilities can accommodate up to 41 clients simultaneously and provide work stations, sample storage facilities and shipping services.

Funding amount

2009-10 and
2009-10 2010-11 2010-11
$684,049 $324,715 $1,008,764

Project description

This project addresses deferred maintenance as identified in the 2008 asset assessment (building condition report) and includes such items as replacing plumbing pumps and interior and exterior doors and upgrading storage tanks to ensure the integrity of the facilities and the safety of PCSP clients.

Deferred maintenance on the facility totals $1,008,764 over two years. Jobs created by the delivery of this program will be in the construction sector and in supporting services and industries. Direct jobs are created in the construction sector, from construction workers to experts in advanced building retrofits and energy efficiency, indirect jobs are created in industries serving the construction material supply chain, from resource extraction to manufacturing.

Prepared by: Geoff Munro, Chief Scientist and Associate Deputy Minister, Innovation and Energy Technology Sector, 613-947-1435 and Dr. Richard Tobin, Associate Deputy Minister, Corporate Management and Services Sector (613) 995-4252 with the Earth Sciences Sector.

Contact Information

  • Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    Natural Resources Canada
    Media Relations
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