Infrastructure and environment

Major infrastructure projects

  • Through Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government is making investments to modernize existing military infrastructure and to build new facilities at bases and wings across the country.
  • For example, we have completed major jetty upgrades in Halifax to provide berthing space for naval ships, with further upgrades to be completed at CFB Esquimalt.
  • We have also completed a new armoury at the Saint-Hubert Garrison to house and provide a training facility for reserve units, and are constructing a fitness center at the Saint-Jean Garrison.
  • Additionally, National Defence will be building new fighter jet facilities at 4 Wing Cold Lake and 3 Wing Bagotville to operate, maintain and store the 88 future fighters, once delivered.
  • These significant investments will help ensure that our women and men in uniform have access to safe and modern facilities in which to work, train, and live.
  • They will also help to create jobs and provide economic opportunities for local businesses across the country.

If pressed on healthcare facility at CFB Petawawa:

  • We continue to advance the construction of a Health Services Centre at CFB Petawawa that will expand, integrate and relocate existing health services into a modern new facility.
  • While the project has faced some delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to the completion of this Centre in September.

Key Facts

  • National Defence’s $26B infrastructure portfolio includes:
    • 20,000 buildings;
    • 2.1 million hectares of land; 
    • 5,500 km of roads; and,
    • 3,000 km of water works.
  • Maintenance and operation accounts for about 10% of the defence budget in any given year.
  • Since 2015, National Defence has invested over $3.8B in maintaining, repairing, replacing and building its infrastructure.
  • COVID-19: It is too soon to predict the impact of the pandemic on the implementation of infrastructure projects for 2020-21.

Details

  • National Defence manages the largest infrastructure portfolio in the federal government, which includes:
    • 20,000 buildings (including 8,800 military housing buildings); and,
    • 20,000 works (such as jetties, runways, roads, and training areas).
  • In 2016, National Defence centralized its approach to infrastructure management, going from nine individual operators to one under the authority of Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment). This approach has improved National Defence’s visibility of the overall portfolio and reduced administrative costs.
  • National Defence’s internal target for investments in maintenance and repair is 1.4% of the value of the overall infrastructure portfolio. However, recent spending has fallen short of this internal target. Since 2015-2016, National Defence has invested:
    • 2015-2016: 1.19% ($309.4 million);
    • 2016-2017: 1.31% ($340.6 million);
    • 2017-2018: 1.1% ($286 million);
    • 2018-2019: 1.05% ($273 million); and
    • 2019-2020: 1.01% ($234 million).
  • National Defence’s decisions on the maintenance and repairs of existing infrastructure are based on three main priorities: health and safety, compliance; and military operations.

Version 1 – 2020-06-12 – Source: QP note on Infrastructure and Environment (9 March 2020).

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Divestment Program

  • Buildings and sites that no longer meet the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces are disposed of to help reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Through the divestment of these properties, National Defence is able to reduce its footprint so that our infrastructure portfolio remains affordable, operationally effective, and sustainable.
  • For 2020-21, National Defence is working closely with Public Services and Procurement Canada to move forward with the divestment of 41 properties.
  • Of the 41 properties, 9 are targeted for divestment this year.
  • These properties are currently at various stages of the divestment process.
  • National Defence is expecting $25.1 million of revenues for the sale of these properties and armouries in 2020-21. 
  • We will reinvest these savings into the infrastructure portfolio to help ensure that the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces have the facilities they need.

Key Facts

  • National Defence manages the largest infrastructure portfolio in the federal government, worth roughly $26B, or one-tenth of defence spending every year.
  • National Defence owns approximately 20,000 buildings, 11,800 military housing units, 5,500 km of roads, 3,000 km of water works, and over 2.2 million hectares of land.
  • COVID-19: Delays are expected due to COVID-19-related issues. However, it is too soon to predict the full impact on program delivery for 2020-21.
  • Main Estimates 2020-2021 request: $1.0M to advance the divestment of 41 properties.

Details

  • National Defence is continually assessing its real property portfolio to identify surplus properties. If the property is no longer required to support the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations or has no operational value to military members and families (e.g. morale and welfare), the site will be declared surplus. Once a site has been identified as surplus, the property enters the divestment process. 
  • The three types of disposals are routine, strategic, and transfers:
    • Routine disposals: Generally deal with lower value property and are typically sold “as is”, without substantial investment;
    • Strategic disposals: Tend to be properties that have the potential for significantly higher values or complexities; and,
    • Transfers: Involve transferring custody and administration.
  • National Defence takes a responsible and responsive approach when considering the transfer or sale of real property. This includes multiple site assessments (heritage, security, environmental, and market-value reviews), as well as consultations with local communities, other levels of government, and Indigenous groups.

Version 4 – 2020-06-10 – Source: ADM(Fin) Note on Divestment Financials; QP Note on Divestment of Mary Hill [01-23-2019], QP Note on DND Lands in Sainte-Foy [01-29-2019], 2018-19 Supps B Note [01-21-2019], 2019 Main Estimates Note on Divestment Program [2019-05-13]

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Greening Defence

  • As one of the largest landowners and users of energy in Canada, National Defence has a key role to play in the Government’s commitment to protecting the environment.
  • This is why National Defence is taking concrete steps to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • To date, National Defence has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 32% from 2005 levels, and is on track to reach its goal of 40% by 2030.
  • This has been achieved, in part, through $165 million worth of investments in green infrastructure and clean technology.
  • We have also transitioned 30% of our light duty commercial fleet to greener vehicles.
  • Although timelines for some of our ongoing environmental efforts may shift due to COVID-19, we will continue to play our part in the collective effort to fight climate change.

Key Facts

  • As of May 2020, National Defence has invested $236M in a range of infrastructure projects, including:
    • $144.6M in green upgrades to military residential housing;
    • $50.8M in improving the energy performance of real property assets;
    • $28.1M in demolishing obsolete buildings;
    • $7.0M in the planned replacement of two heating plants at CFB Halifax; and  
    • $6.0M for infrastructure projects undertaken as part of the former Infra 2016 stimulus package.
  • Main Estimates 2020-21 request: $26.1M. Funds will be used for:
    • Seeking out opportunities to purchase clean power;  
    • Investing in Energy Performance Contracts such as lighting retrofits, modernized central heating plants, building upgrades; and,
    • Improving operating practices.

Details

Greening Defence

  • The Government of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions online inventory reports that National Defence accounts for about 52% of the Government of Canada’s emissions from buildings and commercial vehicles for 2017-18.
  • National Defence is implementing greenhouse gas reduction measures in its real property portfolio through energy performance contracts at Defence installations across the country, by purchasing clean electricity through Green Power Purchase Agreement initiatives, and by improving energy management.
    • Most recently, CFB Edmonton TAPV and FME have achieved the LEED Silver standard.
  • The Defence Energy and Environment Strategy, first published in 2016-17, has 18 targets. At the end of FY 19-20, 15 of the targets were on track or met.
  • National Defence is taking practical steps, consistent with the waste management elements of the Greening Government Strategy and the Policy on Green Procurement to better manage the use and disposal of plastics in operations by increasing the diversion rate of plastic waste, reducing unnecessary use of single-use plastics and procuring more sustainable plastics products.
  • National Defence works closely with Indigenous communities to mitigate the environmental impact of operations, and leverage Indigenous business capacity to supply clean electricity to our bases and wings.

Version 4 – 2020-06-10 –Sources: 2019 Main Estimate note [2019-05-15]; ADM(Fin) Note on Greening Defence

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Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP)

  • The protection of human health and the environment remains a priority for National Defence.
  • This is why we are investing resources to clean up historical contamination and minimize future environmental impacts from our operations. For example:
    • At CFB Esquimalt, National Defence is investing $162.4 million to clean up the contaminated seabed at Esquimalt Harbour.
    • In Happy Valley Newfoundland and Labrador, National Defence invested $127.6 million for decontamination activities that were completed at Goose Bay as of March 31, 2020.
  • We have made great progress to date in remediating sites formerly contaminated by military activities.
  • While we have had to temporarily pause work on these sites due to COVID-19, we remain fully committed to proactively mitigating the environmental impacts of our defence activities.

Key Facts

  • 2019-20 Outcomes:
    • 7 site assessments;
    • 86 sites remediated; and,
    • 55 site closures.
  • There was a 16.5% reduction in contaminated sites liability in 2019-20.
  • COVID-19: Delays in assessing and remediating sites are expected due to work-related restrictions imposed by COVID-19 public health measures. A full evaluation of delays will be assessed once the current pandemic situation has stabilized.
  • Main Estimates 2020-21 request: $70.2M. Funds will be used for assessments at 49 sites and remediation activities at 183 sites.

Details

  • National Defence is funding the following high priority sites with an environmental liability greater than $10 million in fiscal year 2020-21:
Project Province FY 2020-21 funding
Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Project BC $13M
19 Wing PFAS BC $1.6M
TCE (Trichloroethylene) Valcartier Project QC $1.5M
3 Wing Bagotville Fire Hall Building 85 QC $0.4M
3 Wing Bagotville Firefighter Training Area QC $0.3M
Brevoort Island, BAF-3 Petroleum Oil & Lubricants Storage Facility NU $0.4M
CFB Borden Firefighter Training Area ON $15.4M
  • Historical activities at many Canadian Armed Forces’ bases and wings have left a legacy of environmental contamination. With support from the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP), National Defence is cleaning up its highest risk sites.
  • Since 2005-06, National Defence has sought over $657 million in FCSAP remediation funds, including:
    • $127.6 million for Goose Bay Remediation Project, Happy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador
    • At 8 Wing Trenton:
      • $2.5 million on the Fire Fighting Training Area/Hazardous Materials Storage remediation project
      • $4.5 million on the Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) Refinishing Facility remediation project
      • $3.64 million on the Hangers 5 and 6 remediation project
    • $106.3 million on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line site DYE-Main, Cape Dyer, Nunavut and,
    • $30.9 million on the A/B Jetty Remediation Project at Esquimalt Harbour, BC (out of the $162.4 million total for Esquimalt Harbour, seabed contamination clean up).

Version 3 – 2020-06-10 – Sources: ADM(Fin) note on Contaminated Sites Program

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Indigenous relations

  • National Defence is committed to strengthening its relations with Indigenous groups, in addition to fulfilling its legal obligations to Indigenous peoples.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we paid particular attention to the unique needs of northern, remote and Indigenous communities during our planning.
  • Since March 2020, approximately 1,200 Rangers have been providing critical support to these communities, including wellness checks, delivery of supplies, and help to health care professionals.
  • More broadly, National Defence advances reconciliation by engaging with Indigenous communities across Canada through a variety of programs and activities.
  • This includes engagement with Indigenous groups on activities such as environmental remediation, land access, construction projects, and domestic operations.
  • We are also actively offering training opportunities to Indigenous communities, and have created several recruitment programs that aim to increase Indigenous representation in the military.
  • We will continue to strengthen our long term relationship by further supporting and investing in Indigenous priorities and by collaborating with our Indigenous partners.

Key Facts

  • COVID-19: 100 Rangers in Nunavik, Quebec; 85  Rangers in Basse Cote-Nord, Quebec; and 1180  Rangers supporting local communities across Canada.
  • The following Indigenous recruitment programs are currently on hold due to COVID-19:
    • “Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year”
    • Indigenous summer programs (“Bold Eagle, Raven, Black  Bear, Carcajou, Grey Wolf, Eagle’s Nest”)
    • “Canadian Armed Forces Aboriginal Entry Program”
  • National Defence is currently engaged in consultations with Indigenous groups on three land disposal cases: Royal Roads, Sainte Foy, and Mary Hill

Details

Indigenous relations

  • National Defence has a legal duty to consult with Indigenous groups and provide accommodation where appropriate when contemplating activities that may have an adverse impact on asserted or established Aboriginal or treaty rights.
  • Activities that could trigger the duty to consult include real property transactions, exercises off DND lands, construction, demolition, environmental remediation, military operations, and procurement. National Defence is currently engaged in various consultations, including:
    • Royal Roads Lands disposal: Royal Roads University operates on surplus lands owned by National Defence. Discussions on land disposal involve National Defence, the Songhees Nation, the Esquimalt Nation, Royal Roads University and other interested parties.
    • Former Sainte-Foy military housing land disposal: Consolidating the military housing in the Valcartier area made the former military housing units in Sainte-Foy unsuitable. Although it was determined that there is no legal duty to consult in this disposal, in the spirit of reconciliation, National Defence chose to consult with Indigenous groups on the future use of the land.
    • Mary Hill Land Disposal: National Defence declared 178 hectares of land and eight buildings in the Mary Hill area of Metchosin as surplus, and is consulting with Indigenous groups on the disposal of the land.

Supporting reconciliation

  • National Defence also supports broader reconciliation with Indigenous groups by:
    • Supporting the economic development of Indigenous communities through the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business;
    • Undertaking Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO) clearance on Indigenous lands, First Nation reserves, and former reserve lands that were used by National Defence for military training under the Legacy Sites Program; and,
    • Providing UXO training support to some First Nations to allow for employment and economic development opportunities.

Version: 1 – 2020-06-10 – Source: Supps Note on indigeneous issues; QP Diversity in the CAF; CoW Indigenous relations

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