Facility management services contract for Canadian High Arctic Research Station


The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) campus is a world-class Arctic research facility that brings an enhanced level of research and analytical capability to Canada’s North. The state-of-the-art research labs and technological facilities provide the necessary space, equipment and analytical capability for researchers and visiting scientists to conduct science in the North, as a complement to the diverse network of existing research facilities.

CHARS is a sophisticated facility in a remote, unpredictable and challenging northern environment. The CHARS campus consists of 3 main components:

  • the Main Research Building, which includes research labs, centres for technology development and knowledge sharing, office space, and spaces for teaching, training and community engagement
  • the Field and Maintenance Building, which serves as a technical support building and includes spaces such as a maintenance garage and equipment storage
  • on-campus accommodations, which consists of 2 triplex buildings used by Polar Knowledge Canada to accommodate visiting scientists and researchers from across Canada and around the world

The campus officially opened in August 2019.

New long-term facility management services contract

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) provided project management and procurement services to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Polar Knowledge Canada for the design and construction of CHARS. In addition, PSPC has overseen facility management services provided to the campus to date. This new long-term contract ensures that these services will continue to support the operations of the campus.

A wide range of services will be delivered under the new contract, including building operations and maintenance; management of service calls and incidents; emergency work services; warranty-related services; janitorial requirements; accommodation management; fume hood maintenance; environmental management; management of utilities; inventory management; building management planning; building performance reviews; and minor repairs. The contract is from June 1, 2021, to September 30, 2026, plus 3 option periods of 2 years each, which is a typical approach for contracts for facility management services.

Procurement process

PSPC managed the procurement process, in line with its mandate to procure goods and services on behalf of federal departments and agencies at the best value for Canadians. We ensure contractual opportunities are managed fairly through an open, fair and transparent process, so that Canadians receive best value for the money spent on their behalf.

As the services provided under this contract will be delivered in Nunavut, the procurement process was subject to the Agreement Between the Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (the Nunavut Agreement) and the Directive on Government Contracts, Including Real Property Leases, in the Nunavut Settlement Area. As a result, the competitive process was limited to Registered Inuit Firms, Inuit businesses that are registered with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

Nunavut Arctic Services is the winning bidder. In the Request for Proposals phase of the procurement process, they submitted an Inuit Benefits Plan demonstrating how they would employ Inuit labour, engage Inuit professional services, use Inuit suppliers, and provide on the job training or skills development to Inuit staff. Also in their proposal, they outlined how they would meet the Nunavut Benefits Criteria, including the presence of their head offices, staffed administrative offices or other facilities, as well as any offices or subcontractors, within the Nunavut Settlement Area.

PSPC also engaged a fairness monitor to provide objective, third-party oversight to the procurement process. To date, no fairness issues have been identified, and the final report will be complete and publicly released after the debriefings of unsuccessful bidders are completed.

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