The Long Term Vision and Plan—The Long Term Vision and Plan Annual Report 2017 to 2018

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The Minister of Public Services and Procurement is the official custodian of the Parliament buildings and grounds. In 2008, the Parliamentary Precinct Branch (PPB) was established to provide a single point of service delivery to the Parliament of Canada, evolving from a directorate of the Real Property Branch. In collaboration with its Parliamentary Partners – the Senate of Canada, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, and the Parliamentary Protective Service – and other key stakeholders, PPB is responsible for the overall management and day-to-day operations and care of the buildings and grounds within the Parliamentary Precinct campus.

PPB is responsible for the development and advancement of the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP), a comprehensive strategy to:

Developed in 2001, the LTVP created a vision and set of guiding principles for the future of the Precinct. It was built upon a solid foundation of years of planning studies and initiatives, including the 1992 Long Term Capital Plan. In 2006, working closely with the Parliamentary Partners, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) updated the LTVP. This review underscored the need to rehabilitate the Parliamentary Triad (West Block, Centre Block, and East Block) as the first priority since these buildings faced serious deterioration.

The 2006 update to the LTVP provided a broad assessment of the Precinct, setting out overall capacity for new development and coordinating future planning considerations. It did this in ways that allowed the operational requirements of the institutions to be met, the heritage character of the buildings to be preserved, the degraded elements to be repaired, and the magnificent qualities and potential of the site to be explored.

Now, the LTVP is undergoing a second review and update that will incorporate the evolving conditions and requirements of the Parliamentary Precinct, taking advantage of new opportunities to ensure that the LTVP, as a tool to guide decision-makers and future designers, reflects current government and parliamentary priorities. The LTVP Update will take a campus approach for a modern parliament, considering all buildings and lands north of Wellington Street, as well as the three blocks south of Wellington (between Elgin Street, Bank Street, and north of Sparks Street) as a single, inclusive campus to facilitate more effective planning and development, and to support efficient Parliamentary operations.

Long Term Vision and Plan boundary

The boundary of the Parliamentary Precinct encompasses all lands south of the Ottawa River and north of Wellington Street from the Rideau Canal to Kent Street and all lands north of Sparks Street and south of Wellington Street from Elgin Street to Bank Street. This campus is illustrated on Figure 3. There are also buildings just outside of this boundary, including the Government Conference Centre and the committee rooms at 1 Rideau Street.

PPB is responsible for the Parliamentary Precinct, which includes 34 Crown-owned buildings, of which 28 are designated heritage properties. The Branch also manages several leases on its client's behalf, as well as special purpose facilities (including some properties outside the Parliamentary Precinct) that provide supporting functions for Parliament.

Figure 3: Boundaries of the Parliamentary Precinct

Figure 3: Boundaries of the Parliamentary Precinct – Text description below.
Image description of figure 3: Boundaries of the Parliamentary Precinct

This map indicates the boundary of the Parliamentary Precinct which encompasses all lands south of the Ottawa River and north of Wellington Street from the Rideau Canal to Kent Street and all lands north of Sparks Street and south of Wellington Street from Elgin Street to Bank Street.

Delivering the Long Term Vision and Plan

The implementation of the LTVP is based on a series of rolling programs of work. These shorter cycles establish a structured framework for working towards the longer-term priorities and provide flexibility to respond to changing circumstances (e.g. government and parliamentary priorities, deteriorating building conditions, etc.). The five-year cycles also allow greater accuracy in defining functional requirements and establishing project costs and scheduling. This facilitates stronger project management and supports greater fiscal responsibility and integrity.

To deliver this complex scope of work in a coordinated and integrated way – all while ensuring that the buildings yet to be rehabilitated remain safe and functional – PPB has established 5 closely connected and interdependent programs:

  • the Major Capital Program (MCP) manages the rehabilitation and new construction projects, including construction and fit-up of all buildings in the Precinct for interim and permanent accommodations
  • the Recapitalization Program (RECAP) includes necessary repairs and upgrades in buildings that are occupied and operational but have not yet been fully rehabilitated. Projects address immediate health and safety risks to occupants, preserve buildings, reduce ongoing deterioration and make future rehabilitation less complicated and costly
  • the Building Components and Connectivity Program (BCC) includes the campus-wide delivery of building fixtures, furnishings and equipment, and modernization of multimedia communication and information technology
  • the Planning Program includes strategic master plans, development plans, and enabling studies to guide investment decisions and the prioritization of future projects
  • the Security Infrastructure Program includes the delivery of security measures in the Precinct

At the core of all this work is a strong PPB team with the skills and expertise to manage multiple and complex projects concurrently. PPB leverages over 15 years of lessons learned through a registry that is maintained for project teams to monitor and apply as appropriate to the delivery of projects. Also supporting the successful delivery of program work are employees working in operations, client relationship management, financial management, people management, business management, Cabinet affairs, and corporate reporting.

In addition, third parties specializing in areas such as project and construction management, architecture and engineering, costing, scheduling, and heritage are engaged as required to ensure that projects have the right people, with the right skills, at the right time.

Key partnerships with the private sector and academic institutions, as well as relationships with international organizations doing similar work, allow PPB to integrate industry-leading practices, leverage lessons learned, and find innovative ways to approach the unique challenges of rehabilitating heritage buildings. In this way, PPB is able to deliver projects in a timely and cost-effective way, and provide Parliament with the facilities and services it needs to operate effectively in the 21st century.

In concert with a strong team, good governance and stewardship provide the framework for effective decision-making. PPB continually looks for ways to improve integration, optimize the use of resources, strengthen focus on performance, and enhance collaboration. In addition, through rigorous program performance standards and the careful monitoring of results and expenditures, PPB ensures the public funds dedicated to the implementation of the LTVP are used prudently, with integrity, and deliver the results that Canadians expect. The delivery of a program as complex and multifaceted as the LTVP also requires rigorous risk management. PPB has put in place its own processes and also seeks third party oversight by both government and private sector specialists to ensure the risks associated with the LTVP are well managed (Annex A).

Long Term Vision and Plan update

The last major update of the LTVP was made in 2006. A new update is now required to incorporate evolving conditions and requirements, to take advantage of arising opportunities, and to ensure the LTVP reflects current government and parliamentary priorities. From 2016 to 2017, PPB initiated Phase 1 of the new LTVP Update with the Parliamentary Partners and stakeholders. The result was a set of five Strategic Directions that will provide a framework to guide the update to the LTVP (see Annex B).

Among these strategic directions is the shift to a campus approach which will better support the safe and efficient operations of Parliament, as well as the Prime Minister's and Privy Council Offices. The campus approach will allow for a comprehensive view of important areas of project delivery, including security, information technology, sustainability, accessibility, and material handling.

The next phase of work (Phase 2) will encompass collaborative work between the PPB project team, a consulting team, the Parliamentary Partners, and stakeholder working groups over the course of the coming months. This collective work will identify functional, flexible, integrated, and creative approaches to realize the full potential of the Precinct campus and its important role in the nation's capital.

Shifting to a campus approach will permit a new generation of Canadians and Parliamentarians to be engaged with their thoughts and aspirations on an integrated parliamentary campus. Engagement with Indigenous Peoples is also a priority in the evolution to a campus approach, and the redevelopment of the former United States embassy, located at 100 Wellington, is one such project in which the National Indigenous Organizations (NIOs) are already actively partnered.

The LTVP Update will address certain areas of concern which present opportunities for enhancement, such as accessibility and sustainability of the Precinct campus. For instance, new accessibility standards, guidelines, and best practices will be developed to enrich the visitor experience, including identification of designated universally accessible routes for the campus grounds. Further, the LTVP Update will support PPB's efforts to be a leader in environmental sustainability. A comprehensive campus-wide sustainability strategy, complete with measurable and achievable targets that support government programs and commitments, is a key component of the LTVP Update. The Update will also explore opportunities to reduce Parliament's ecological footprint, evaluating the use of clean energy sources, reviewing space standards, and identifying transportation demand strategies.

To assist in the delivery of the LTVP Update and other pre-development services, PSPC intends to retain an experienced multi-disciplinary team to provide a broad range of services. It is expected that this team will include professionals ranging from architects, engineers, and urban planners to other specialized experts.

A Historical transition: Moving Parliament

When the original Centre Block went up in flames in February 1916, parliamentary functions were relocated to the Victoria Memorial Museum Building, now known as the Museum of Nature. The Senate of Canada and House of Commons operated there while the Centre Block was rebuilt from the ashes, a monumental undertaking considering Canada was actively involved in the First World War at the time.

Four years and one peace armistice later, the unfinished building re-opened with great ceremony, welcoming back the parliamentary functions for which it had been designed. With the inauguration of the Peace Tower in 1927, the historic construction project was finally complete.

Now, after roughly 100 years, this heritage building has deteriorated significantly and parliamentary functions are once again transitioning out of the Centre Block to allow the building to undergo a major rehabilitation. Some of the deterioration affecting the Centre Block includes crumbling mortar, aging water pipes and outdated mechanical, electrical and safety systems. In addition, technology and security demands have outpaced the nearly century-old building. In order for the renovations to proceed, the Senate of Canada and the House of Commons are vacating the Centre Block and relocating to the newly renovated Government Conference Centre and West Block.

Transitioning parliamentary operations from the Centre Block is a key ministerial commitment and a core objective of the LTVP for the Parliamentary Precinct. As of March 31, 2018, the West Block, Visitor Welcome Centre Phase 1, and Government Conference Centre are almost ready to host full parliamentary operations. This will allow the Centre Block to be vacated and its restoration to begin. Planning is well underway to ensure a seamless transition and that parliamentary operations are maintained.

All LTVP projects to date have centred on establishing temporary accommodations to initiate the Centre Block rehabilitation. Throughout 2017 to 2018, PPB has been focused on preparing the West Block and Government Conference Centre for this next historic transition. With the major construction activities coming to completion in spring 2018, attention is being focused to ensure operational readiness of the buildings for a phased move to begin in the summer of 2018 and be completed in the winter of 2019.

Although PPB has much experience in working hand-in-hand with Parliament, such a move and transition remains extremely complex. As such, PPB and its partners have been concentrating their efforts around operational readiness and functionality. A clear strategy and mitigations are in place and leverage lessons learned from previously completed major projects in the Precinct. To facilitate the transition, PPB began executing a phased turnover of priority areas, such as the Chambers, committee rooms and offices, in full concert with Parliament to provide as much time as possible for the integration of information technology, multi-media and security devices, as well as testing and training. PPB has also been collaborating with Parliamentary Partners on advanced testing activities to accelerate work and help ensure a smooth transition. Testing of major systems started in 2017 and has been key to assuring quality and identifying issues needing to be addressed before the transition of Parliamentary operations.

The 2017 to 2018 projects and efforts have positioned the transition for success in 2018 to 2019, marking the advent of Parliament's second historic move out of the Centre Block. On June 14, 2018, the Board of Internal Economy (BOIE) and the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (CIBA) approved a phased move approach of Parliamentary operations, which begun following the rise of Parliament and will be completed at the end of 2018, with the relocation of the Chambers and leadership offices over the winter recess.

Beyond the Long Term Vision and Plan

In addition to advancing the LTVP, PPB also delivers many other projects within the Precinct. These projects have a wide variety of objectives ranging from supporting other governmental initiatives such as Canada 150 celebrations, conducting base building upgrades to certain assets, to collaborating and sharing information about heritage preservation on the international scene. For instance, some of the projects PPB delivered in 2017 to 2018 include:

Smooth Operations: Operational integration in support of the transition

With the many planning, investigative, testing, and enabling activities going on for the major rehabilitation projects in the Parliamentary Precinct, the buildings continue to be operated and maintained on a day-to-day basis with minimal impact to occupants. The probing and exploratory project activities start early in the project lifecycle and can overlap with clients' occupancy, 'normal operation' of the buildings for extended periods of time leading up to building closure – 1 to 2 years. Special support is provided to Major Crown Projects to ensure smooth implementation of major rehabilitations.

The Project Delivery and Property and Facility Management (PFM) teams at PPB have achieved a level of collaboration to coordinate activities to optimize occupant comfort and ensure that Parliamentary operations remain uninterrupted. Property and Facilities Managers lend their expertise to provide extensive technical asset information and history as well as operational functional programs at the front end of project development. They partner with project teams at the implementation stage to ensure operational procedures and protocols are respected during occupancy to avoid creating unexpected building system interruptions or adverse client impacts. PPB has achieved success in partnering throughout 2017 to 18 on the West Block Visitor Welcome Centre Phase 1 and Government Conference Centre projects as buildings are preparing to come back online, and with the Centre Block project team as preparations began for that next major rehabilitation.

With a new focus on transition success, the PFM team was expanded in 2017 to 2018 to better align with the expected surge of transitioning assets. A growing dedicated team is specializing in transition success, and as a result of this growth, the Branch is better poised for the coming volume of transitioning pressure.

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