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Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects

Long-Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct


PWGSC is the custodian of the buildings and grounds within the area surrounding Parliament Hill, known as the Parliamentary Precinct. Part of this important mandate is to maintain the historical and architectural integrity of these assets.

In 2007, in conjunction with the Parliamentary Partners-the Senate, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament–PWGSC updated the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP). The updated LTVP provides a co ordinated long term approach to rehabilitating the heritage buildings in the Parliamentary Precinct (including the Parliament Buildings), meeting the accommodation requirements of Parliament, and providing a secure and welcoming environment for parliamentarians, staff and visitors.

The LTVP confirms the Vision and Guiding Principles for future development in the Parliamentary Precinct. The Vision ensures that changes within the Precinct meet the evolving functional needs of parliamentarians and other stakeholders while keeping in mind the historic, environmental and symbolic primacy of the site. The Guiding Principles are expressions of values and attitudes towards development within the Precinct and they set out essential areas for consideration when change is contemplated. Together with the Vision, the Guiding Principles establish a qualitative context for project evaluation and decision making.

The LTVP includes an Implementation Framework designed to provide greater flexibility in planning and implementation and support more accurate costing and project timelines. This Framework established a strategy, consisting of a series of cyclical five-year programs. Each five-year program is composed of four components: the Major Capital Program, the Recapitalization Program, the Planning Program, and the Building Components and Connectivity Program. The current focus of the programs is as follows:

  1. The Major Capital Program of the current five-year program of work focuses on advancing the restoration of the main Parliament Buildings, beginning with the West Block. The Major Capital Program includes:

    1. Restoration and adaptation for the Wellington building (180 Wellington), the Sir John A. Macdonald Building(144 Wellington) and the initiation of work for the East Block; and

    2. The West Block's major rehabilitation and the construction of an infill in the building's courtyard to accommodate a Parliamentary Chamber, so that the Centre Block can be emptied and restored.

  2. The Recapitalization Program is designed to address urgent work required to preserve the buildings and address health and safety issues critical to reducing overall expenditures and to limit the potential closure of occupied buildings. Projects in the Recapitalization Program are not stop-gap measures but rather permanent interventions to stop or reduce continued deterioration - investing in sustaining the building well beyond future major renovations. The Recapitalization Program may also include urgent building repairs required to ensure the ongoing viability of buildings and address health and safety issues. The major focus of this Recapitalization Program for the first five years includes:

    1. Centre Block – rehabilitation of portions of the pavilions and ventilation towers;

    2. East Block – exterior envelope repair of the 1867 wing with initial focus on the rehabilitation of the Northwest Tower and the Southeast corner;

    3. Confederation Building – repairs to the entire building envelope (masonry, windows and roof) and upgrade of elevators and domestic water/storm drainage system;

    4. Emergency work – such as the West Block water main; and

    5. Parliamentary Grounds work such as the North perimeter wall and slope stabilization.

  3. The Planning Program focuses on the development of a number of Master Plans that guide project planning as well as the preparatory work for future projects, including the development of plans and cost estimates for projects in the next five-year Program, providing overall coordination between active projects to ensure they dovetail and contribute to the broader objectives of the LTVP Vision and Guiding Principles.

    Master Plans in the coming years will address the three blocks opposite Parliament Hill between Bank and Elgin Streets; Material Handling and Transportation; Landscape; underground Infrastructure and the West Sector Area. Other Planning studies will focus on the Centre Block Rehabilitation Program of Works; Interim Vehicle Screening Facilities; the Visitor Welcome Centre; Underground Tunnel Connections and other foundation studies to support future projects.

  4. The Building Components and Connectivity (BCC) Program is both precinct-wide (across Parliamentary Precinct) and building specific. Components are building fixtures, furnishings and equipment. Connectivity includes interconnected systems for networking, security, multimedia and other electronic communications. BCC is installed as part of each building project. The BCC Program delivers precinct-wide projects to provide the infrastructure and services to implement the connectivity requirements for the Precinct. The current priority projects for the Precinct include:

    1. Integrated Security System (ISS) Upgrade and Expansion - To upgrade and expand the ISS to meet the needs associated with changing technology and growth during implementation of the LTVP;

    2. Trunked Radio Communications System (TRCS) - - To replace the existing 30 year old TRCS to meet the communications needs of security and operational groups;

    3. Core Network Infrastructure Revision - To select and install network equipment and infrastructure to meet the needs of changing technology, new systems and growth during implementation of the LTVP; and

    4. Wireless Signal Reinforcement and Wireless Network - To improve cell phone signal reception and provide wireless internet connectivity to meet the needs of Parliamentarians.

Project Phase:

The LTVP encompasses numerous and varied individual major capital, recapitalization and planning projects at different project phases at any one time. The Major Capital Projects are detailed below.

West Block Program

The West Block is the oldest of the Parliament Buildings located on the "Hill". This three-storey building was built in three phases starting in 1859 and was completed in 1906. Prior to being closed for renovations, the West Block provided accommodations for Members of Parliament MPs), and for parliamentary functions and support services.

Renovations of the building are required for health and safety and asset integrity reasons. In order to implement the renovations, the building had to be completely vacated, thus requiring the provision of alternate accommodations for the MPs, parliamentary functions and support services. Consequently, the program of work is being undertaken in two phases. Phase 1 of the West Block program is now completed and the Phase 2 has begun.

Phase 1 involved:
  • Emergency stabilization of towers;

  • Repairs of the exterior masonry;

  • Establishing alternate accommodations for parliamentary use in the Clarica, C.D. Howe, and 1 Wellington for committee rooms and the La Promenade facility for MP offices, support services and committee rooms; and

  • The permanent relocation of the Food Production Facility for Parliament Hill to a remote site.

Phase 2 involves:
  • Restoration and adaptation for Parliamentary use of space in the Sir John A. Macdonald Building (144 Wellington) to relocate Confederation room (Ceremonial Room 200);

  • Hazardous materials removal, interior demolition, and general rehabilitation of the West Block building; and

  • Constructing facilities critical to the continued functioning of Parliament during the renovation of the Centre Block, including an infill in the courtyard of the West Block to accommodate the House of Commons' chamber activities.

  • Construction of Phase 1 of the Visitor Welcome Centre and Security Screening Facility which will be the entry point for visitors, provide interpretive programming services as well as visitor screening.

Sir John A. Macdonald Building(144 Wellington)

The Sir John A. Macdonald Building is located at 144 Wellington Street, directly across from Parliament Hill. The building was originally constructed in 1932 to accommodate the Bank of Montreal's Main Ottawa Branch location. In 1973, the Crown expropriated the three blocks facing Parliament Hill between Elgin and Bank, which included the former Bank of Montreal Building, to accommodate Parliamentary and general functions.

In 2003, a highest and best use study was commissioned and the subsequent report recommended that the former Bank of Montreal Building be rehabilitated to permanently house the West Block's Confederation Room (Room 200). Acting on this recommendation, PWGSC is rehabilitating the former Bank of Montreal Building to house two multi-purpose rooms and associated functional meeting and ceremonial space for the House of Commons. On January 11,2012, the former Bank of Montreal Building was re-named the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in honour of Canada's first prime minister.

The Sir John A. Macdonald Building Rehabilitation involves an extensive renovation and adoptive re-use of a classified heritage asset and an addition in an empty lot to the west side of the building. The rehabilitation of the existing building will include removal of hazardous substances, refurbishment of the exterior masonry facades, refurbishment of windows and structural seismic upgrading, replacement of mechanical, electrical and life safety systems, and interior fit-up to meet the functional program requirements of the former Confederation Room (Room 200) functions.

The building addition is necessary to house the support functions that compliment the Room 200 functions. These include emergency exists, washrooms, security screening areas, loading and storage facilities and barrier free access. It will also provide an associated multi-purpose room with full translation and broadcasting capabilities. The building addition will be designed and constructed to respect and compliment the heritage character of the Sir John A. Macdonald Building.

180 Wellington Building

The Wellington Building is located at 180 Wellington Street, across from Parliament Hill. It is a six-storey structure first built in 1925 and later enlarged in the 1950s by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The House of Commons has been the major occupant since the Crown expropriated the building in 1973 for government and parliamentary use. Renovations of the building are required to address health and safety issues, replace obsolete building systems and meet building code requirements, including seismic reinforcement. The building has been completely vacated for renovations. This project is a key enabler of the LTVP for the Parliamentary Precinct, as it will provide interim accommodations for Senate and House of Commons Committee Rooms and offices for Parliamentarians during the restoration of the East and Centre Blocks. The work will be completed in two phases to expedite project delivery.

Phase 1 construction started, as planned, in spring 2010 and includes interior demolition, hazardous materials abatement and seismic reinforcement work which is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2013.

Phase 2 will include the restoration of the exterior envelope, renovation of the base building and interior space. The Wellington Building is targeted for completion in 2015. The current total cost estimate is $425.2 million (GST and HST excluded).

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies

Prime Contractors and Major Sub-Contractors

Major Milestones

* Subject to additional funding

Project Outcomes

The Long Term Vision and Plan provides clear direction for the renewal of Canada's seat of government over a long-term planning horizon. It focuses on achieving three key objectives:

  • Ensuring that the physical and heritage integrity of the existing buildings serve Parliament's needs now and into the future;

  • Ensuring that Parliamentary accommodations meet changing requirements; and

  • Ensuring that the overall design of the Precinct is exemplary in terms of its urban and environmental capacity.

The benefits of a well conceived and executed LTVP will be substantial. When the work envisioned is complete, the Parliament Buildings will stand not only as proud symbols of Canadian heritage, but as the hub of a parliamentary system of government equipped to handle the demands of a dynamic nation in a rapidly changing world.

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

Progress Report

By March 31, 2011, all major projects were all on schedule and on budget. Successfully completed and fully operational projects included: the Food Production Facility, 1 Wellington (Rideau Committee Rooms), and the La Promenade Building. As well, the West Block North Towers project was completed. Other achievements include the relocation of the Parliamentary Security Service Communication to the Confederation Building; the relocation of the Trade Shops and the re-location and consolidation of printing services. Additional smaller relocations have been successfully completed for security administration, curatorial services, laundry services, the health unit, communications, the Ethics Commissioner, and the maintenance support services unit. Most recently, the West Block was vacated, on schedule, in January 2011 in preparation for its major restoration by PWGSC.

The completion of 1 Wellington and the La Promenade Building are part of PWGSC's LTVP strategy for relocating parliamentarians, their staff and other functions to interim accommodation off Parliament Hill while their building is being restored. Under this strategy, construction of interim accommodation is completed prior to moving occupants from their building in order to allow for major restoration. With the completion of 1 Wellington and La Promenade Buildings, PWGSC added seven committee rooms and 63 parliamentary offices, which enabled PWGSC to empty the West Block Building, while ensuring ongoing parliamentary operations for parliamentarians and their staff.

The restoration of the West Block, which officially began in February 2011, is regarded as the actual start date for the major renovation of the Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill. Prior to this date, PWGSC's major construction work was focused on projects located off Parliament Hill as part of the LTVP's relocation strategy. Restoration work continued on 180 Wellington which, when completed, will add 69 parliamentary offices and 10 committee rooms to parliamentary operations, enabling PWGSC to vacate and restore the East Block. As well, design work continued on the Sir John A. Macdonald Building (144 Wellington) to provide a permanent replacement for the West Block's former Confederation Room (Room 200). In addition to its restoration of buildings in the Precinct, PWGSC began work on several projects to restore the landscape of Parliament Hill.

Variances of the Major Milestones

There are currently no variances to the major milestones, with the positive exception of advancing the complete emptying of the West Block by four years and advancing the planned completion of the West Block Project by three years from the planned completion date set as part of the 2007 revised LTVP. An active management approach has been instituted to avoid project delays, and lessons learned have been captured and are being applied to subsequent projects of the LTVP Program.

Industrial Benefits

Several multi-million dollar contracts will be awarded over a multi-year period for building construction, information technology systems, multimedia systems, furniture and other equipment.

It is expected that in excess of 20,000 direct and indirect private sector jobs will be generated.

Government of Canada Pension Modernization Project


The Government of Canada Pension Modernization Project (GCPMP) has been initiated to renew PWGSC's pension administration systems and business processes in order to ensure the sustainability of the pension administration and improve services to employees, employers and pensioners. The pension administration processes and system infrastructure being replaced are more than 40 years old. They depend on outdated technology that is expensive to maintain, limits the Government's ability to provide modern services such as web-based self-service, and rely on inefficient and error prone manual processes. The GCPMP will replace existing systems with commercial off-the-shelf software products, streamline business processes, and introduce broader, more flexible service delivery methods. Although the project is focused on the Public Service Superannuation Act administration, the project will implement a multi-plan solution that will provide for other pension plans within the public service.

Project Phase:

The GCPMP's Implementation Phase began in July 2007, following receipt of Effective Project Approval from the Treasury Board and will be completed within five and a half years.

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies

Major Milestones

Project Outcomes

  • Sustainability of the federal public service pension administration services and systems
  • Increased quality, responsiveness and reliability of client service (advice and information)
  • Increased client satisfaction (target of 90% satisfaction across public service pension plan members by one year after project completion)
  • Increased accuracy and quality of information / records
  • 10% reduction in cost of total administration target
  • Increased take-up rate of self-service by public service pension plan members

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

Project Definition Phase (completed June 2007):
  • In May 2004, the Treasury Board granted preliminary project approval for the completion of the Project Definition Phase and funding in the amount of $18.74 million (excluding GST).
  • The GCPMP completed this phase within the approved budget, although there was a delay of approximately six months in obtaining Effective Project Approval.
Implementation Phase (in progress):
  • In June 2007, the Treasury Board granted Effective Project Approval for the implementation of the GCPMP and funding in the amount of $184.75 million.
  • The amount budgeted from June 2007 to March 31, 2011, was $171,256,412. Project is presently forecasting to be completed by December 31, 2012, a variance of 11 months on an overall project duration of 55 months, with no change in scope and within budget. The unused contingency, as well as project management efficiencies have allowed remaining within budget despite the 11 months delay.

Industrial Benefits:

A multi-million dollar contract has been awarded for the COTS products, as well as for the professional services to implement the new systems, and for support services and ongoing maintenance. The implementation is being conducted in several phases over a five and a half year period (2007-2012). During that time, some temporary positions have been required to support the system implementation and business transformation activities. In the long term, the project will provide the infrastructure and processes essential to the sustainability of current pension administration operations, and the workforce retention of more than 600 employees in Shediac, New Brunswick.

PWGSC's Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative


Public Works Government Services Canada's Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative consists of two projects, the Pay Modernization and Consolidation of Pay Services that were initiated to replace the Government of Canada's outdated pay administration system and renew business processes and services. These projects will ensure the sustainability of pay administration and contribute to a more effective and efficient public service, offering better value for hard-earned Canadians' tax dollars.

The Pay Modernization Project is intended to replace the 40-year-old Regional Pay System (RPS). The current system depends on outdated technology that is expensive to maintain, limits the Government's ability to provide modern services, such as web-based self-service, and relies on inefficient and error prone manual processes. The Pay Modernization Project will replace existing systems with commercial off-the-shelf software products, establishing a platform for more efficient compensation processes with extensive Web capabilities.

The Consolidation of Pay Services Project will gradually transfer pay administration services to a Centre of Expertise located in Miramichi, New Brunswick. The current decentralized model provides inconsistent service and is unable to respond to high attrition and turnover rates in the compensation community. Starting in 2011-12 departments and agencies using the endorsed Government of Canada Human Resources Management System (PeopleSoft) will have pay services consolidated, contributing to a more consistent service delivery and ensuring continued sustainability of pay services.

Project Phase:

After receiving Treasury Board Minister's approval in October 2009, the Pay Modernization Project began its Project Definition Phase. The Project Definition Phase was planned for completion in April 2012 and is now scheduled to be completed in June 2012.

The Consolidation of Pay Services Project also began its Project Definition Phase in October 2009 and this phase was completed in December 2011. Implementation will be completed by 2015.

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies

Prime and Major Subcontractor(s)

Major Milestones - Pay Modernization Project

Major Milestones - Consolidation of Pay Services Project

Project Outcomes

The main expected project outcomes for the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative are as follows:

  • Increased quality, responsiveness and reliability of systems and services.
  • Improved efficiency for the Government of Canada pay administration allowing Compensation Advisors to increase the number of accounts that they can process from 180 to 400 accounts as a result of pay consolidation and modernization.
  • Decreased training time for compensation staff to become fully operational from 18 to 12 months.

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

On July 30, 2009, the Treasury Board approved the "Initiative to Fix the Pay System" (Transformation of Pay Administration) which included the Pay Modernization Project and the Consolidation of Pay Services Project.

Consolidation of Pay Services Project (in progress):

  • The Consolidation of Pay Services project is achieving defined performance objectives. It completed its Project Definition Phase and its Treasury Board submission for project approval to implement the Project within budget.
  • On December 8, 2011, Treasury Board Ministers granted project authority and expenditure authority for $118.8M to implement the Project.
  • The Project Implementation Phase of the Consolidation of Pay Services project is scheduled to be completed by December 2015.

Pay Modernization Project (in progress):

  • The Treasury Board approved the Pay Modernization Project, a component of the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative, with an estimated cost of $192.1M (including GST).
  • The Pay Modernization Project is achieving defined performance objectives. In 2011-12, the contract was awarded to IBM Canada LTD. for the Systems Integrator and selection of the software. The business transformation strategy was completed; the pay solution architecture and the detailed project implementation planning and costing were developed. A Fit-Gap analysis was completed to evaluate the proposed new pay solution against the Government of Canada pay requirements.
  • The Project Definition Phase is expected to be completed in June 2012.
  • The Pay Modernization Project is to be completed in July 2015.

Industrial Benefits

Pay Modernization Project: A multi-million dollar contract has been awarded to IBM Canada Ltd. at an estimated cost of $5,775,000 for the provision of Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software licenses and professional services for the design and implementation of the new pay system.

During the course of the project, it is expected that there will be some temporary positions required in IBM Canada and PWGSC offices located in the National Capital Area to support the solution implementation and business transformation activities.

Consolidation of Pay Services Project: The Initiative will create 550 new jobs in a Centre of Expertise located in Miramichi, New Brunswick.