Modernization of parliament (Parliament Precinct): Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates—March 4, 2022

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

Key messages

The Centre Block rehabilitation program

Parliamentary engagement, governance and Senate decisions

Truck protest

Block 2 redevelopment

Indigenous peoples space

Key data points


The Long Term Vision and Plan (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.

With a goal of reaching of 5% of procurement with Indigenous businesses, Public Services and Procurement Canada has established agreements with organizations such as the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, and others, to assist with fulfilling that target as it pertains to the Parliamentary Precinct.

The restored West Block and Senate of Canada Building and the new Parliament Welcome Centre, were transferred to parliament in fall 2018. Efforts are now focused on restoring and modernizing Centre Block and transforming the Precinct into an integrated parliamentary campus that addresses parliament’s long-term requirements, including material handling, the movement of people and goods, accessibility, sustainability, and security.

Centre Block rehabilitation project

The Centre Block work is the largest and most complex heritage rehabilitation ever undertaken in Canada. Work is well underway including careful demolition work on certain components and the abatement of hazardous materials inside the Centre Block, as well as excavation work for the Parliament Welcome Centre. The interior demolition and exterior excavation work is nearly 65% completed. Design work is also well advanced, with the final schematic design submission to the authorities scheduled for April 2022.

Block 2 redevelopment

PSPC is redeveloping the 3 city blocks (Blocks 1, 2 and 3) facing Parliament Hill to establish a modern integrated campus. The redesigned block will provide office space for the Senate and the House of Commons and will allow for the future consolidation of parliamentary accommodations, including space for the Library of Parliament. The decade-long transformation will begin with block 2 and is a key priority of the LTVP.

In May 2021, PSPC launched an international design competition for the site. In fall 2021, an independent jury selected 6 out of 12 prequalified teams to move onto the next phase of the international design competition for the redevelopment of block 2. These teams will present their advanced design and the jury will select a first, second, and third place winner. The design competition is expected to be completed in 2022.

Indigenous peoples space at 100 Wellington

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to renew relationships with Indigenous peoples and advance reconciliation, in 2017 the Prime Minister announced that 100 Wellington street (the former United States Embassy) would be transformed into 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. These are both federally designated heritage buildings.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is the project lead on the development of the space. PSPC will continue to support CIRNA as it works with the Algonquin Nation and the National Indigenous organizations to develop this national space for Indigenous peoples in the Parliamentary Precinct.

Advancing accessibility and sustainability

PSPC is committed to making the Parliamentary Precinct a model for universal accessibility excellence. 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. The LTVP is reducing the government’s carbon footprint. PSPC has reduced greenhouse gas levels in the Precinct by 66% from 2005 levels and is on track for reductions of 80% by 2030 and 95% by 2040, while also currently diverting more than 90% of demolition materials from landfills.

Parliamentary budget officer studies Centre Block rehabilitation project

Key messages

Key data points


The Centre Block rehabilitation project is part of the Long Term Vision and Plan—a strategy for the complete restoration and modernization of the Parliamentary Precinct. Public Services and Procurement Canada has been working with its partners in parliament, including the Senate and House of Commons, to develop a functional program for the existing Centre Block and the new Parliament Welcome Centre. This program considers opportunities for accommodating functions in the broader campus, since space within the existing building and the new Parliament Welcome Centre is limited.

PSPC is committed to meeting parliament’s requirements and to working in partnership to assess how these requirements can best be satisfied. PSPC officials continue to work with the Senate administration to develop and assess options on how best to meet Senate requirements within the Parliamentary Precinct. During the collaborative planning process for the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre, PSPC officials raised concerns that all of the scope elements brought forward by the parliamentary entities could not be achieved within the available space. Impacts to the preservation of the building’s heritage fabric and cost effectiveness were also raised as concerns.

In May 2021, Minister Anand wrote to the speakers of the Senate and House of Commons, as well as the chair of the Senate Standing Committee of Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, to request that the Senate and House of Commons review their functional requirements. This letter also advised that the 3 Senate requirements that became the subject of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) request and which total approximately $100 million, would be initially excluded from the program scope and cost estimate due to the need to balance the requirements of parliament with space, heritage and cost considerations.

PBO wrote to PSPC on August 5, 2021, to request a cost breakdown of the 3 Senate requirements for parliament’s Centre Block rehabilitation project in question:

PSPC has leveraged independent experts such as Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and Price Waterhouse Cooper; they provided certified clean financial audits for the construction management contracts for the West Block, Wellington and Sir John A. Macdonald projects. This information was sent to the PBO in response to their request.

This costing methodology used for Parliamentary Precinct projects, including the management of risks and contingencies, has been recognized by independent parties. The Auditor General of Canada found in 2010 that sound project management practices were in place for the rehabilitation of the Parliament buildings, and that the department had in place a costing methodology for developing estimates based on lessons learned from other projects.

Rehabilitation of the Supreme Court of Canada and the West Memorial Building

Key messages

Key data points


The West Memorial Building has been vacant since 2008 and requires major rehabilitation in order to meet the standards of the National Building Code of Canada. This includes upgrades to meet current building standards for sustainability, health and safety, and accessibility, while at the same time conserving its heritage character. Demolition and enabling work started in fall 2019, and construction started in April 2020.

The contract award to Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. for design and architectural services was announced on February 23, 2018, and the contract to EllisDon Corporation for construction management services was announced on October 26, 2018.

The Supreme Court of Canada Building rehabilitation project is progressing, with the request for qualification (RFQ) for architect/engineer services published on August 19, 2020, and the one for construction manager on August 31, 2020. The occupants are scheduled to move into the West Memorial Building in summer 2024, allowing the Supreme Court of Canada Building’s rehabilitation to start in fall 2024.

Indigenous involvement

West Memorial Building
Supreme Court of Canada Building


The rehabilitation projects will reduce the buildings’ impact on the environment by producing less greenhouse gas and using less energy. The renovated buildings will offer a healthy workspace that are more accessible and that supports the wellbeing of employees.


The renovated buildings will be fully accessible by providing solutions such as a ramp at the entrance, elevators, electric adjustable tables, power doors and tactile signage for people with visual and physical disabilities. The projects will also address changes in the Canadian standards for accessibility to accommodate a full range of wheeled mobility devices.

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