Section 1—The Long Term Vision and Plan Annual Report 2014–15

Parliament Hill is the symbolic heart of Canada. It is central to the country's history as a nation and it is the home of our federal parliamentary system. These iconic heritage buildings and the extraordinary landscape are also important public spaces, the focal point for national celebrations and expressions of democracy.

The Parliamentary Precinct Branch (PPB) oversees the day to-day operations and care of these landmark buildings and grounds—for parliamentarians, the Government, and all Canadians—to ensure they are preserved as strong symbols of our history and capable of providing accommodations for continued parliamentary service in the 21st century.

1.1 What is the Long Term Vision and Plan?

Long term planning of the Parliamentary Precinct began in 1912 with the preparation of the Todd Plan. Over the years, several plans have been developed to address growing parliamentary requirements and establish a design framework for the buildings and landscape, and their relationship to the city south of Wellington Street.

As site conditions continue to change and parliamentary requirements evolve, long term planning of the Precinct is undertaken regularly to ensure that plans remain current, relevant and focused.

In 2001, the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) was developed as a guide for change in the Parliamentary Precinct. It was a 25-year program to upgrade deteriorated buildings and landscapes, and add needed accommodations for parliamentarians and others (including the Prime Minister's Office, Privy Council Office, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police). The LTVP defined the boundaries of the Parliamentary Precinct, outlined a set of eight guiding principles, and established the rehabilitation of the Parliamentary Triad (West Block, Centre Block, East Block) as the first priority.

The LTVP was updated in 2007, confirming the vision and guiding principles and underscoring the need to rehabilitate the Parliamentary Triad as the first priority since these buildings face serious deterioration and risk of critical failure. The updated LTVP also established a comprehensive Implementation Framework of “rolling” five-year programs of work to plan and deliver projects to meet parliamentary accommodation requirements and to create a secure and welcoming environment for parliamentarians, staff, and visitors.

The LTVP encompasses all lands on the north side of Wellington Street between the Rideau Canal and the Portage Bridge, including the Parliamentary Precinct, the Judicial Precinct, and the Library and Archives Canada site. The three blocks on the south side of Wellington between Bank Street and Confederation Square are also included in the LTVP.

PPB is responsible for the Parliamentary Precinct, which includes 34 Crown-owned buildings and associated lands, of which 28 are designated heritage properties. The branch also oversees 15 leased buildings, as well as special purpose facilities (including some properties outside the Parliamentary Precinct) that provide supporting functions for Parliament.

The boundary of the Parliamentary Precinct is outlined in Figure 1.01.

Figure 1.01 – Parliamentary Precinct boundary

Figure 1.01 – Parliamentary Precinct boundary - See image description below.
Image description

This map indicates the boundary of the Parliamentary Precinct, which includes all land north of Wellington Street between the Rideau Canal and Kent Street and the three blocks on the south side of Wellington Street to Sparks Street, between Bank Street and Elgin Street. The scale is in metres.

1.2 Why is the Long Term Vision and Plan important?

Parliament Hill is the focal point of Canadian political life and a symbol of the history and development of the country. The natural setting on an escarpment overlooking the Ottawa River provides a striking contrast for the magnificent gothic revival buildings positioned around a great lawn. The rich symbolism of a rugged, natural beauty combined with the formal, ceremonial aspects of Parliament is uniquely Canadian.

These historic buildings represent the history of the country, but also its future through the ongoing work of Canada's Parliament and the openness of the site as a meeting place where Canadians gather in times of celebration and democratic engagement. It is essential that these buildings and grounds be preserved and enhanced in support of the ongoing work of the country and for future generations of Canadians to appreciate.

The historic importance of the Parliament buildings and grounds has been formally recognized, first in 1976 when they were designated a national historic site, and again in 1987 when they were designated classified heritage buildings, the highest level of heritage designation in Canada.

Like the country, change has been a constant for the Parliamentary Precinct. The West and East Blocks were originally built as departmental offices for the public service. As the country grew, the need for parliamentary space increased and these buildings were repurposed for parliamentary functions.

Parliamentary requirements continue to evolve and today the LTVP provides the framework for responding to these changing needs in a balanced way—balancing the requirement for modern accommodations, while preserving the heritage character of the buildings; balancing the need to restore and renew these iconic heritage buildings, while ensuring that the investments are implemented responsibly and provide good value for Canadians; and balancing the need for a safe and secure place to work, while ensuring that Parliament remains open and accessible for business and visitors.

As LTVP projects to rehabilitate heritage buildings throughout the Parliamentary Precinct are completed, several additional objectives are also accomplished: sustainability is improved by upgrading energy systems; technological and communication systems are modernized for a more efficient and accessible Parliament; the visitor experience is enhanced, which deepens the appreciation of our collective history; and security features are enhanced, at a time when the global security environment is changing.

Through the work of the LTVP, the Parliament Buildings will continue to stand as proud symbols of Canadian heritage and the centre of a parliamentary system equipped to handle the demands of a growing, dynamic nation in a rapidly changing world.

Long Term Vision and Plan vision and guiding principles

The LTVP vision outlines the significance of the Parliamentary Precinct as one of the most important and enduring symbols for the country. It provides a thoughtful foundation for the LTVP and confirms that change must occur in a balanced and measured way to give Parliament a setting worthy of the important work undertaken there and to preserve these important national treasures for future generations.

The guiding principles establish the basis upon which change and renewal in the Precinct must occur. They offer guidance with respect to appropriate site development and identifiscal year the elements that are essential to the sound stewardship of the Precinct.

Together, the vision and guiding principles establish a context for project evaluation and decision making, and provide a framework for careful stewardship.

Vision

The Parliamentary Precinct is the home of Canada's parliamentary system and the physical expression of our commitment to democracy and the principle of freedom. The picturesque landscape and architectural style of the Precinct are enduring visual symbols of our country, while the openness, accessibility and security of the public spaces are representative of the values treasured and celebrated by all Canadians.

The Precinct provides the setting for the work of parliamentarians and staff in a secure and efficient manner, but it is also the preeminent gathering place for public expression and celebration, as well as a place of quiet reflection.

Change within the Parliamentary Precinct needs to occur in a way that balances the evolving functional needs of parliamentarians and other users with the overriding commitment to preserve the historic, environmental and symbolic primacy of the site.

Guiding principles

Symbolic primacy
Preserve and enhance the symbolic primacy and visual integrity of Parliament Hill.
Heritage value
Respect for the role and heritage value of the buildings, the landscape and the settings as a symbol of Canadian democracy.
Natural environment
Ensure that development is sensitive to the natural environment of the site.
Precinct boundary
Establish a clear physical boundary to accommodate all core parliamentary activities and essential services.
Accessibility
Ensure balance between openness, accessibility and security.
Patterns of use
Incorporate coherent and harmonious patterns of use within the site and surrounding community.
Interconnections
Ensure interconnections of functions, services and buildings.
Stewardship
Provide responsible stewardship of resources.

1.3 How is the Long Term Vision and Plan delivered?

Parliamentary Precinct Branch

The mandate of Public Works and Governments Services Canada (PWGSC) is to deliver high-quality facilities and services that meet the needs of federal organizations while ensuring sound stewardship on behalf of Canadians. PWGSC manages one of the largest and most diverse portfolios of real estate in the country and is the Government of Canada's real estate expert.

The Minister of PWGSC is the official custodian of the Parliament buildings and grounds, and PPB has a unique and important role to play in supporting this mandate.

PPB offers a single point of service delivery to the Parliament of Canada. In collaboration with its Parliamentary Partners— the Senate of Canada, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament—and other key stakeholders, PPB delivers consistent, high-quality accommodations and services for Parliament through a combination of:

As a knowledge-based learning organization, and to maintain its track record of delivering LTVP projects on time, on budget and on scope, PPB continuously strives to improve the planning and delivery of the LTVP program. By integrating industry leading practices, partnering with universities, leveraging lessons learned and actively seeking innovative ideas, the branch seeks to be recognized at the forefront of the industry. Its outreach program, with international governments, provides PPB with the opportunity to share its successes and learn from others with similar high profile, heritage, and legislative buildings and portfolios.

PPB recognizes that good governance provides the framework for effective decision-making by implementing processes for defining desired outcomes, addressing client issues, obtaining and managing resources, and establishing accountability relationships.

With this in mind, PPB is continuously adjusting its governance and organizational structure to improve integration, optimize the use of resources, strengthen the focus on performance, and enhance collaboration—all critical elements of the branch vision.

Parliamentary Precinct Branch vision

To provide client-centric, integrated, and cost effective real property services, based on sound management practices through a high performing workforce, so as to manage a safe, secure, efficient, modern and sustainable portfolio. We aim to establish PPB as an internationally renowned expert in the rehabilitation of key historical real property.

Program delivery

The LTVP implementation framework is composed of a series of “rolling” five-year programs of work. These programs of work establish shorter-term objectives in the context of longer-term priorities and the LTVP's overarching vision and guiding principles. The five-year cycles provide flexibility to respond to changing circumstances (e.g., government and parliamentary priorities, deteriorating building conditions) and allow greater accuracy in defining functional requirements and in establishing project costs and scheduling. This facilitates stronger project management and supports greater fiscal responsibility.

The first priority of the LTVP is the rehabilitation of the Parliamentary Triad. Given the nature and extent of this work, the buildings must be emptied and rehabilitated in sequence. This triggers the need for a substantial amount of suitable swing space all within close proximity of Parliament Hill. Figure 1.02 illustrates the extensive sequence of moves needed to allow Centre Block to be vacated and rehabilitated, identifying the numerous projects that have been completed, those underway, and those that are currently planned for the future.

Figure 1.02 – Long Term Vision and Plan move sequence

Figure 1.02 – LTVP move sequence - See image description below.
        Year of move
Occupants or functions moved from: Valour Building to Sun Life Financial Centre 2006
to C. D. Howe Building 2006
to 119 Queen 2007
Wellington Building to 131 Queen 2008
to 131 Queen 2010
to 155 Queen 2010
to Off-site 2010
to Confederation Building Not indicated
West Block to Offsite: Food Production Facility 2009
to Government Conference Centre 2010
to 1 Rideau 2010
to Valour Building 2010
Government Conference Centre to Sir John A. Macdonald Building 2015
Occupants or functions proposed to move from: Centre Block to Wellington Building 2018
to West Block 2018
to Government Conference Centre 2018
to 1 Rideau 2018
to Other 2018
East Block to Wellington Building Not indicated
to Other 2028

To deliver this vast and complex scope of work in a coordinated and integrated way—all while ensuring that the buildings yet to be rehabilitated remain functional and safe—PPB established four programs.

The Planning Program focuses on the development of strategic master plans, sector development plans, and enabling studies that guide investment decisions and the prioritization of future projects. This program ensures that all future work in the Precinct aligns with the overarching vision and guiding principles of the LTVP. The planning team prepares high level implementation strategies and cost estimates, makes recommendations for the initiation of new projects, and coordinates active projects to ensure they dovetail and contribute to the broader objectives of the LTVP. Once projects have been identified and the preplanning work is complete, projects are transferred to the Major Capital and Recapitalization Programs for delivery.

The Major Capital Program (MCP) manages the primary construction of new and rehabilitation projects necessary to advance the priority of restoring the main heritage buildings—West Block, Centre Block, and East Block. MCP is also responsible for the rehabilitation, construction and fit-up of all buildings in the Precinct for interim and permanent accommodations, as well as facilities outside the Precinct that provide supporting functions to Parliament.

The Recapitalization Program (RECAP) addresses projects in buildings that are occupied and operational but have not yet been fully rehabilitated. These projects preserve buildings, stop or reduce ongoing deterioration, respond to urgent building repair requirements, and address health and safety issues. They are permanent interventions that ensure the ongoing viability of buildings and make future rehabilitation less complicated and costly. These investments protect both the heritage value of the buildings and their important role in current and future operations of Parliament. The recapitalization program is also responsible for the restoration and rehabilitation of the heritage Parliament Hill grounds, an important element of the LTVP vision and guiding principles.

The Building Components and Connectivity Program (BCC) includes two elements: the delivery of building fixtures, furnishings and equipment needed for accommodations to be fully functional, and the modernization of Precinct-wide communications and IT. Projects include major modifications within the two centralized data centres, as well as interconnected service applications for more than 30 buildings in the Precinct. These IT projects are coordinated and integrated with LTVP construction projects as they roll out to ensure the efficient and cost-effective delivery of BCC elements.

All four programs are closely connected and interdependent. Sound management and effective oversight ensures that:

All programs work closely with the PPB Buildings in Transition (BiT) business unit to ensure a seamless transition from project to operations. The BiT team—which is the client representative for PPB property management throughout the project—provides advanced development of detailed forecasts for building operations and coordinates the sequence of hand-over activities from MCP to PPB property management.

Once projects are completed, buildings are returned to the PPB operations and accommodations sector for the ongoing care and maintenance of the buildings, ensuring that parliamentarians are equipped to conduct ongoing parliamentary business without interruption. operations and accommodations consistently outperforms its annual performance target, which limits the number of hours that essential property management services are not provided for ongoing operation of Parliament to no more than 48 hours per annum.

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