Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

September 25, 2011 09:00 ET

Harper Government Announces Major Milestone on the Development of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), a Major Hub for Northern Science and Technology

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister for Public Works and Government Services, today announced the publication of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a design consultant for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS).

The development of this facility, which will be a significant hub for Arctic science and technology, is a cornerstone of the Government of Canada's Northern Strategy.

"This is a major milestone for construction of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station," said Minister Duncan. "This facility will advance Arctic scientific research, support positive economic development in Canada's North and contribute to strong and healthy communities in the North."

Based in Cambridge Bay, the station will enhance Canada's presence in the North. It will contribute to the sound stewardship of the North's abundant natural resources, and be a venue for studies of the impacts of climate change.

"Our Government is moving forward on the design and construction of CHARS. Once operational this station will lead on Arctic science within the international scientific community," said Minister Aglukkaq.

Key features of the facility include the use of green technologies and integration with the host community. The facility will create a welcoming environment that acknowledges Aboriginal peoples' knowledge and experience in the North and supports partnerships between western science and traditional knowledge.

"Through its presence in Cambridge Bay, this world class research facility will contribute to strong and healthy communities in the North," said Minister Ambrose. "It will enhance Canada's presence and sovereignty in the region and support the sound stewardship of its abundant natural resources."

The competitive process will be open and fair and consist of two stages. The first stage will evaluate the proponents' professional experience and expertise in consultancy work for complex, high profile projects (such as CHARS) that involve multiple stakeholders. The second stage will involve the evaluation of conceptual approaches for the design of CHARS.

To ensure socioeconomic benefits in the North, CHARS procurement will respect relevant articles of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. During this design phase, bidding firms that include Nunavut representation – such as Inuit employment, offices and facilities located in Nunavut, or that provide for Inuit on-the-job training and skills development – will have their price proposal adjusted downwards for bid evaluation purposes. This creates a significant incentive for bidding firms to ensure their proposals generate economic benefits to Nunavut.

The final selection of the design consultant and the awarding of a contract are anticipated for the summer of 2012. According to the project schedule, the consultant would deliver a final design for the facility (estimated between 6500 m2 and 8500m2) in the summer of 2014.

The design of the CHARS is expected to consist of laboratory space, offices, workshops, accommodations, dining and food preparation facilities, and a recreation area. Completion of all construction activities and commissioning is anticipated for the fall of 2017.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Moira Wolstenholme
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    819-997-0002

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
    Development Canada
    819-953-1160

    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    819-956-2315