Ground breaking ceremony marks start of construction at the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre

News release

World-class research centre will promote science excellence, environmental leadership and support local communities

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

July 19, 2023 - Moncton, New Brunswick - Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada, through the Laboratories Canada Strategy, is providing federal scientists world-class, innovative and collaborative facilities to pursue leading-edge scientific research that will lead to better evidence-based decision making.

Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, kicked off the start of major construction activities at the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre (ASEC) in Moncton by participating in a ceremonial ground breaking and sign unveiling.

The Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre is being built in three phases to allow for the continued use of the existing building during construction. The site preparation work is currently underway as part of the first phase. The construction of the new science wing to the north of the existing building will begin in 2024.

The final phase, scheduled to start in 2027, will see scientists moving into the newly built science wing, while the redevelopment of the Gulf Fisheries Centre and construction of the remainder of the centre begins. This step will include carefully rebuilding the façade to commemorate the history of the original building.

When it is fully occupied in 2031, the centre will be equipped with modern laboratory spaces and technology tailored to scientists’ needs, as well as offices and work spaces for over 700 employees from four federal organizations, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the National Research Council Canada. The Canadian Space Agency will participate in ASEC as a virtual partner.


“Under the Laboratories Canada strategy, the Government of Canada is strengthening federal science infrastructure across the country. Today’s ceremony marks the first visible step towards building a state-of-the-art research facility in Atlantic Canada that will empower and enhance scientific communities by providing them with modern facilities and tools to conduct world-class research.”

The Honourable Helena Jaczek
Minister of Public Services and Procurement 

“By bringing scientists from different fields and organizations all under one roof, the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre will transform the way research is done on one of Atlantic Canada’s most important and complex ecosystems – the Atlantic Ocean. So many people in our region rely on the continued health of the Atlantic Ocean to earn their living, and the research that will take place here will be crucial to gaining a better understanding of the impact climate change is having on it. I am thrilled to see construction get underway on this project.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

“I’m proud to see the progress on this project to support science research in the Atlantic region. The coastal ecosystems and waterways that surround us play such a major role in the lives of many Canadians who live and work here. Today’s milestone is the result of the hard work of many people, including local Indigenous businesses and communities who will continue to participate in a meaningful way to the successful outcome of this project.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“Today’s ground-breaking ceremony marks an important milestone in the construction of the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre. This future science hub will serve as a crucial center for understanding, protecting, and sustaining Atlantic freshwater and coastal ecosystems. It will foster collaborative scientific endeavours among partners, promote community engagement, enhance ocean literacy, and further our commitment to learning from and partnering with Indigenous communities.”

The Honourable Joyce Murray
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • Laboratories Canada is a long-term strategy that will deliver on its vision to strengthen federal science in Canada. Launched in 2018, the first phase of this strategy received an investment of $2.8 billion to provide scientists with leading-edge, accessible, green facilities and modern Information Management and Information Technology systems. It will also provide greater access to scientific equipment and support scientific collaboration.

  • The Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre is one of five Laboratories Canada science hubs across the country. The construction project is one of the most significant federal investments in Atlantic Canada since the construction of the Confederation Bridge.

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is leading on project delivery and construction of the facility.

  • In October 2021, PSPC awarded a construction management contract to Pomerleau, Inc. and an architecture and engineering services contract to Diamond Schmitt Architects.

  • Both contracts combined include Indigenous Participation Plans (IPPs) that will see over $60 million flowing through to Indigenous businesses and communities.

  • The conceptual design was presented in November 2022. The project is currently in the Detailed Design phase which is expected to be completed this fall. 

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Olivier Pilon
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Helena Jaczek

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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