Parliamentary Precinct: Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates—March 24, 2021

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Status of the Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct


Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is implementing the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP)—a multi-decade strategy to restore and modernize the Parliamentary Precinct.


Questions related to a national space for Indigenous Peoples should be directed to the minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs as the federal lead on this initiative.

Suggested response

If pressed on Centre Block interpretive panels:

If pressed on the Parliament Hill escarpment:

If pressed on continuing work during COVID:

If pressed on governance and costs for the Centre Block:

If pressed on specific cost increases for the Centre Block in recent media reports and in the house:

If pressed on preserving bullet holes:

If pressed on redevelopment of block 2:

If pressed on 100 Wellington:

If pressed on Indigenous involvement in the precinct:

If pressed on parliamentary engagement:


Parliament Hill escarpment

The slope behind the Parliamentary triad has deteriorated over time as invasive (non-native) species have increasingly displaced the healthy mixed forest. As a result of this unbalance, barren slopes have destabilized and, if not rehabilitated soon, could pose health and safety concerns.

Working with experts in forestry, geology and environmental biology, PSPC carried out a successful pilot project in 2015 to reforest the eastern section of the escarpment. PSPC is now extending the work up to the west side of the escarpment. The new planting will consist of seedlings and small shrubs to anchor the slope. Of the 70,000 plants, approximately 4,100 are deciduous trees, 2,650 are coniferous trees, 3,000 are large shrubs and the balance are small shrubs and plants. Of the trees, a few varieties may be as tall as 1m, but most will be 1 foot or less when they go in the ground.

Parliamentary engagement

Parliament is being actively engaged on the future of the Parliamentary Precinct and in particular, the Centre Block. The Senate has established a subcommittee to the Committee of Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, The House of Commons has established a working group of MPs that provides advice and recommendations to the Board of Internal Economy. PSPC officials have appeared regularly before these bodies since the spring of 2020, helping drive forward key decisions on the Centre Block.

During the fall of 2020, over 40 parliamentarians toured the Centre Block and Parliament Welcome Centre construction site. This involved more than 10 coordinated site visits to survey the progress of the project. Overall, reactions to the project have been positive regardless of party affiliation.

Parliamentarians have raised questions concerning the construction on the project. These questions centered on issues such as the quantity and type of hazardous material removed from the site, the number of workers on site, and the impact of COVID-19 on the progress of construction. Programmatic questions such as governance, schedule and cost of the overall program are also raised routinely.

Parliamentarians remain interested in understanding the design evolution of parliamentary functions. These include the chamber and associated lobbies, committee rooms, and parliamentary offices.

Background of the Long Term Vision and Plan

The LTVP was first approved in 2001 for the restoration and modernization of Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct. All major projects continue to track on time and budget.

PSPC has invested approximately $3.5 billion in the Parliamentary Precinct to date. This has created over 25,000 jobs in local and national economies in, for example, engineering, architecture, construction, manufacturing and skilled trades sectors.

The restored West Block and Senate of Canada Building and the new Parliament Welcome Centre (phase 1), were transferred to Parliament in fall 2018. These projects followed the completion of the 21 key projects since the Library of Parliament in 2006, including the 180 Wellington Building (2016) and the Sir John A Macdonald Building (2015).

Efforts are now focused on restoring and modernizing the Centre Block and leveraging the remaining 23 assets in the Parliamentary Precinct to create an integrated parliamentary campus that addresses Parliament’s long-term requirements, including material handling, the movement of people and goods, accessibility, sustainability, and security.

Restoring the Centre Block is a core objective of the LTVP. It will be the largest project of its kind in Canadian history. Since the building was successfully de-commissioned in fall 2019, significant progress has been made:

PSPC is working with the parliamentary partners (Senate, House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, and the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council) to finalize their functional and design requirements. Several key decisions, such as the size of the Parliament Welcome Centre and the approach for the House of Commons Chamber and associated lobbies, have been made. PSPC continues to work in collaboration with the partners on remaining decisions, including the entry sequence to Parliament, the use of the East Courtyard and lightwell. The outcomes of these decisions will directly support the design efforts of the building rehabilitation and will inform the baseline scope and schedule.

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to renew relationships with Indigenous Peoples and advance reconciliation, the Prime Minister announced on June 21, 2017—National Indigenous Peoples Day—that 100 Wellington Street would become a national space for Indigenous Peoples. The project also includes the re-development of the former CIBC building located at 119 Sparks Street and an infill space between the 2 buildings.

In June 2019, while planning continued on the long-term development, a short-term use project at 100 Wellington was completed by PSPC that was co-developed with the National Indigenous Organizations (Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council), the Algonquin, CIRNA and PSPC. However, the space did not open as planned due to a lack of consensus amongst the national Indigenous organizations on governance, and a request by the Algonquin Nation (represented by the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council (AANTC)) for equal and full partnership.

Parliament Hill draws millions of visitors annually and is a key driver of tourism that contributes significantly to the Ottawa economy. PSPC is committed to ensuring that a positive visitor and parliamentary experience resumes post-pandemic during the rehabilitation program.

PSPC has leveraged the LTVP to create opportunities for Canadians, including youth and Indigenous Peoples. We have committed to include provisions in all of our major projects’ contracts that would subcontract at least 5% of work to Indigenous firms.

The LTVP is reducing the government’s carbon footprint. PSPC has already reduced greenhouse gas levels in the Parliamentary Precinct by 60% from 2005 levels and is on track for reductions of 80% by 2030 while also diverting more than 90% of demolition materials from landfills.

The Parliamentary Precinct is a model for accessibility. It will achieve, and in some cases exceed, accessibility standards. The West Block and Senate of Canada Building include barrier-free access and improved accessibility features in the chambers, public galleries, offices, meeting places, washrooms and corridors.

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