Infrastructure and Environment

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • As the Government’s largest owner and operator of equipment and infrastructure, 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, by investments in green infrastructure and new technology.
  • For example, we now require all new constructions to meet industry standards for green buildings.
  • We are also on track to transition 30% of our light duty commercial fleet to greener vehicles by March 2020.
  • National Defence will continue to play its part in our collective effort to fight climate change.

Key Facts

  • National Defence produces about half of the Government of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory.
  • National Defence has invested $165M in green infrastructure.
  • Since 2017, 10 new buildings meet the Silver Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standard, including the Willow Park Armoury at CFB Halifax.
  • National Defence has transitioned 27% of its light duty commercial fleet to hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and/or electric.

Details

  • The Government of Canada outlined its targets for a low-carbon government in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
  • In line with this strategy, Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE) commits to reducing National Defence’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions for infrastructure and non-military vehicle fleets by 40% from 2005 levels by 2030. SSE also commits the Defence Team to ensure that Canadian environmental standards are adhered to in all procurement projects, and stipulates that National Defence will examine alternative energy options and their potential use for operations.
  • National Defence has a path to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions before 2030, and is already 32% below 2005 levels as a result of efforts in disposing and divesting of inefficient infrastructure and in reducing energy consumption cross wings and bases. For example, 90% of electricity consumption at bases and wings in Alberta now comes from green or renewable sources.
  • In addition, the 2018 Green Building Directive identifies specific operating principles for the development and management of new infrastructure, and the Green Power Purchase Agreement programme enables National Defence to work with energy suppliers to develop 100% clean electricity options.

Version 5; 2020-02-24 – Source: QP Note on National Defence Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, CoW National Defence Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Indigenous Relations

  • National Defence advances reconciliation efforts by engaging with Indigenous communities across Canada through a variety of programs and activities.
  • This includes grassroots consultation with Indigenous groups, promoting economic development, environmental remediation, land access, major construction projects, domestic operations, and land transactions.
  • 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.
  • This includes deepening our relations with remote and isolated communities across Canada through the Canadian Rangers and the Junior Canadian Rangers Program.
  • In fact, the Junior Canadian Rangers Program incorporates the traditional knowledge and culture of their communities, including skills related to hunting, local languages and spiritual ceremonies.
  • We will continue to strengthen our genuine long term relationship by further supporting and investing in Indigenous priorities and by collaborating with our Indigenous partners.

Key Facts

  • National Defence is currently engaged in consultations with Indigenous communities, including on:
    • Royal Roads Lands disposal
    • Former Sainte-Foy military housing area lands disposal
    • Mary Hill disposal
  • National Defence is promoting the economic development of Indigenous communities through the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business.
  • Indigenous recruitment and Service to Canada programs:
    • “Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year”
    •  Indigenous summer programs (“Bold Eagle, Raven, Black Bear, Carcajou, Grey Wolf”)
    • “Canadian Armed Forces Aboriginal Entry Program”
    • “Eagle’s Nest”

Details

Indigenous Relations

  • National Defence has a legal duty to consult with Indigenous groups and provide appropriate accommodation when contemplating activities that may have an impact on Aboriginal or treaty rights.
  • Activities that could trigger the duty to consult include military operations, exercises off base, real property transactions, construction, demolition, environmental remediation, and procurement. National Defence is currently engaged in three consultations with Indigenous communities. For example:
    • Royal Roads Lands disposal: Royal Roads University operates on lands owned by National Defence that became surplus. These discussions 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. National Defence is consulting with Indigenous groups about the future use of the land.
    • Mary Hill Land Disposal: National Defence declared as surplus 178 hectares of land and eight buildings in the Mary Hill area of Metchosin, and is consulting with Indigenous groups on the disposal of the land.

Supporting Reconciliation

  • National Defence also supports broader reconciliation with Indigenous groups by:
    • Participating, as required, in federal treaty negotiations with Indigenous groups;
    • Working directly with Indigenous groups to address issues;
    • Cooperating with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, provincial and municipal partners;
    • Engaging in Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination tables;
    • Implementing obligations agreed to in treaties with Indigenous groups;
    • Supporting the economic development of Indigenous communities through the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business;
    • Undertaking UXO clearance on Indigenous lands under the Legacy Sites Program; and
    • Providing UXO training support to some Indigenous communities to allow for employment and economic development opportunities.

Version: 5, 2020-02-24 – Source: QP Diversity in the CAF; CoW Indigenous relations

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Contaminated Sites

  • The protection of human health and the environment continues to be a priority for National Defence.
  • This is why we are investing resources to clean up historical contamination and minimize future environmental impact on Defence operations. For example:
    • At Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, National Defence invested $162.4 million to remediate contamination at Esquimalt Harbour.
    • In Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, National Defence invested $118.2 million towards the Goose Bay remediation project.
  • Furthermore, for the year 2019-2020, we are projecting that we will remediate 112 sites and reduce our environmental liability by 7%.
  • Great progress has been achieved in remediating sites formerly contaminated by military activities.
  • We continue to proactively mitigate the environmental impacts of future activities.

Key Facts

  • 2018-19 Outcomes:
    • 26 site assessments and 95 sites remediated
    • 39 site closures
    • Environmental liability reduced by 19.8%
  • Projected 2019-20 Outcomes:
    • 15 site assessments and 112 sites remediated
    • 50 site closures
    • Environmental liability reduced by at least 7%

Details

  • 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, National Defence is cleaning up its highest risk sites.
  • Since 2005-06, National Defence has received over $657 million in the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan remediation funds, including:
  • $118.2 million for the Goose Bay Remediation Project, Happy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • At 8 Wing Trenton:
  • $2.2 million on the Fire Fighting Training Area/Hazardous Materials Storage remediation project;
  • $2.6 million on the Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron Refinishing Facility remediation project;
  • $3.4 million on the Hangers 5 and 6 remediation project;
  • $105.9 million on the Distant Early Warning Line site DYE-Main, Cape Dyer, Nunavut and;
  • $29.8 million on the A/B Jetty Remediation Project, Esquimalt Harbour, British Columbia.
  • National Defence has identified seven high priority sites for 2020-21 with an environmental liability greater than $10M in the following table:

Class 1 Contaminated Sites by Name and Province

1 Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Project BC
2 Assessing polyfluoroalkyl substances at 19 Wing Comox BC
3 TCE (Trichloroethylene) Valcartier Project QC
4 3 Wing Bagotville fire Hall Building 85 QC
5 3 Bing Backville Firefighter Training Area QC
6 Brevoort Island, BAF-3 Petroleum Oil & Lubricants (POL) Storage Facility NU
7 Canadian Forces Base Borden Firefighter Training Area ON

Version: 5, 2020-02-24 – Source: CoW Notes on Contaminated Sites (May and December 2019)

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National Defence Headquarters – Carling

  • National Defence is proud to be moving to a renovated, state-of-the-art facility, which offers a secure and green workplace.
  • When complete by spring 2020, the move will bring 9,300 defence professionals together in a modern and collaborative environment.
  • The consolidation will also see National Defence moving from over 40 locations to approximately 28 locations, achieving $750 million in net savings in accommodations costs over 25 years.

If pressed on parking situation at National Defence Headquarters – Carling:

  • National Defence is taking important steps to improve the parking situation at Carling.
  • We have already secured an additional 1262 spots offsite as of January 1, 2020.
  • We have determined that better bus service to the campus is also needed and we are in talks with OC Transpo to improve it.

Key Facts

  • The move began in early 2017, and is planned to end on March 31st 2020.
  • The move takes place over 3 Phases:
  • Phase one moves (complete): 3,500 persons
  • Phase two moves (began in spring 2019): 4,400 persons
  • Phase three moves (2019-20): 1,400 persons
  • The Carling Campus move will produce net savings over the next 25 years:
    • $750M by releasing high-cost third-party lease agreements; and
    • $160M in cost avoidance and efficiencies as a result of the Carling Campus consolidation.
  • There are currently 4962 parking spots at NDHQ (Carling), and National Defence is planning to create 1500 more spots onsite.

Details

  • The relocation of National Defence Headquarters and other National Defence offices to Carling Campus will reduce the number of defence property locations in the National Capital Region from 40 to 28. As part of a federal commitment to maintain a 25% footprint in Quebec, some buildings will be retained.
  • Approximately 9,300 members of the Defence Team, both civilian and military, will move to the Campus. Some units which have unique security, technical or strategic requirements will not move to the Campus.
  • The Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff will be able to work from both downtown and Carling Campus.
  • Organizations within the Minister of National Defence’s portfolio, which operate at arms-length, will also remain in off-site locations.

Version 5; 2020-02-24 – Source: QP Note and CoW note on Move to National Defence Headquarters to New Location

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Response to the Discovery of Unexploded Ordnance

  • Unexploded ordnance are still present at former military sites across Canada that were used for training and weapons testing during conflicts such as the World Wars.
  • That is why our Unexploded Explosive Ordnance Program is cataloguing these legacy sites, assessing risks, and conducting clearance operations.
  • Many of our largest clearance operations are taking place on Indigenous lands, including the lands of the Tsuut’ina Nation in Alberta, and the Okanagan Indian Band in British Columbia.
  • In 2019-20, National Defence is expecting to spend approximately $11.4 million on Program activities and conducted 6 clearance operations.
  • When an item is located, National Defence communicates with all relevant stakeholders about the potential risks, as well as the mitigation actions being taken to ensure public safety.

Key Facts

  • There are 512 suspected or confirmed munition sites across Canada.
  • Since 2005, National Defence has committed $133.5M to the Unexploded Explosive Ordnance Program. The Program budget for fiscal year 2019-20 is $11.4M.
  • 6 projects were identified for funding in fiscal year 2019-20:
    • Stony Point (Kettle and Stony Point First Nation), Ontario
    • Tsuut’ina First Nation, Alberta
    • Okanagan Indian Band, British Columbia
    • Tracadie, New-Brunswick
    • Utopia, New-Brunswick
    • Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labroador

Details

  • In 2005, National Defence established the Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO) Legacy Sites Program to manage risks associated with these sites. Program activities include:
    • gathering, cataloguing and maintaining information on all legacy sites;
    • assessing risks associated with legacy sites;
    • mitigating UXO risk through communications, public outreach, providing expert advice, clearance and avoidance; and
    • property controls.
  • To date, National Defence has committed $133.5 million to the Program. National Defence conducts thorough site surveys where the presence of unexploded ordnance is suspected using a variety of technologies capable of detecting ordnance on land and under water.
  • The Program also delivers presentations to students in specific communities where children have an elevated probability of encountering unexploded ordnance.
  • In June 2019, Royal Canadian Navy divers recovered 82 unexploded ordnance following a sweep of four submerged vessels off the coast of Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Version 5; 2020-02-24 – Source: QP Note and CoW note on Move to National Defence Headquarters to New Location

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Joint Task Force 2 Relocation

  • Canada's defence policy emphasizes the critical importance of our Special Operations Forces.
  • These highly trained personnel are often employed in situations that pose an imminent threat to our national interests.
  • In 2007, the previous Government announced that Joint Task Force 2 would relocate to Canadian Forces Base Trenton.
  • The global security environment has changed significantly since then and we must ensure that the Special Forces are able to respond to these new challenges.
  • That is why I recently announced that this Government has no plans to move Joint Task Force 2 out of Ottawa.
  • This will ensure that Joint Task Force 2 remains rapidly deployable and ready to answer the call.

If pressed on Canadian Forces Base Trenton:

  • National Defence is currently assessing options on what to do with the land in Trenton.

Key Facts

  • Announcement by Minister of National Defence on February 10, 2020:
    • “I want to assure those who are serving with JTF2 and their families that we have no plans to move this facility out of Ottawa.”

Details

  • Joint Task Force 2 was created in 1993. Prior to that, the federal responsibility for hostage rescue and counterterrorism in Canada was with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Special Emergency Response Team.
  • Joint Task Force 2 is an extremely high-readiness and precise special operations forces unit. The unit exists to protect Canadian national interests and combat terrorism and threats to Canadians at home and abroad.
  • After the events of September 11, 2001, the unit was committed to the United States-led special operations forces coalition in Afghanistan. This deployment was the first time Joint Task Force 2 was used in a major combat role outside Canada.
  • In 2007, the Government announced that Joint Task Force 2 would relocate the Dwyer Hill Training Centre to 8 Wing in Trenton, Ontario.
  • The Government negotiated with all the landowners, whose land was expropriated on May 29, 2012.
  • The global security environment has changed considerably over the past decade, and the readiness and posture of the Special Forces must evolve to deal with these changing threats. Many of Canada’s allies have responded by relocating their top-tier Special Forces units their national capitals.

Version 5; 2020-02-24 – Source: CoW Note Note on JTF2

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