Government of Canada awards facility management services contract for Canadian High Arctic Research Station, providing opportunities for Inuit businesses

By griffith - May 26, 2021

CAMBRIDGE BAY, NU, May 25, 2021 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, where research and science programs will be conducted for decades to come, and to ensuring economic development of Inuit in Nunavut through procurement opportunities.

Today, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced a $33.4-million contract for facility management services that was awarded on April 30, 2021, to Nunavut Arctic Services, in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, operating as a joint venture. Under the contract, the firm will take on the role of facility management service provider, delivering an extensive suite of services to support the wide range of unique and specialized operational needs of the CHARS campus.

The competitive process was limited to Registered Inuit Firms, as required under the Agreement Between the Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (the Nunavut Agreement). As part of their proposal, Nunavut Arctic Services provided an Inuit Benefits Plan committing to employ Inuit labour, engage Inuit professional services, use Inuit suppliers, and provide on-the-job training or skills development to Inuit staff. The firm will also 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.

Work to transition facility management services to the new service provider will take place through the spring and summer of 2021 and will be complete by September 30, 2021.


“This contract was designed to ensure full participation of Registered Inuit Firms, in line with the Nunavut Agreement and the government’s directive for procurements conducted in the territory. The services provided under this new contract further contribute to economic development and capacity building of Inuit firms and individuals.”

The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting Inuit firms and employees in awarding contracts that will generate regional economic development as well as training and employment opportunities for Nunavummiut. This facility maintenance contract will ensure that the local economy benefits from the investment and that the CHARS campus continues to provide state-of-the-art facilities and services in the years ahead.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

“This contract provides the Canadian High Arctic Research Station campus with the stable, high-quality facilities management needed for cutting-edge Arctic research year-round. At POLAR, we’re looking forward to more research collaborations with Indigenous knowledge holders and researchers across Canada and abroad.”

Jennifer C. Hubbard
President and Chief Executive Officer, Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR)

Quick facts

  • This new contract was the result of a competitive procurement process that was conducted according to the Nunavut Agreement and the Government of Canada’s directive for procurements conducted in the territory. The contract was limited to Registered Inuit Firms to ensure their full participation in the process. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is committed to ensuring that the services provided under this contract by the new provider and their subcontractors will contribute to economic development and capacity building of Inuit firms and individuals.
  • PSPC is working with Indigenous Services Canada and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to increase opportunities for Indigenous businesses to bid on and win government contracts. Our objective is to award at least 5% of federal contracts to businesses that are owned or led by Indigenous Peoples. The federal government spends about $22 billion per year; therefore, achieving this target will provide significant economic benefits to Indigenous businesses.
  • The CHARS campus serves as the headquarters for Polar Knowledge Canada. It includes offices, research labs, spaces for knowledge sharing and community engagement, a maintenance garage, equipment storage space, as well as accommodations for visiting scientists and researchers.
  • The campus was designed for gold-level certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Work is proceeding to achieve certification in spring 2022.
  • Inuit culture and traditions played a central role in the design of the campus.
  • A fairness monitor was engaged to provide objective, third-party and expert oversight to all stages of the procurement process.

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Link to Backgrounder
Link to News Release in Inuktitut
Link to News Release in Inuinnaqtun
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Associated links

Canadian High Arctic Research Station (Polar Knowledge Canada)

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SOURCE Public Services and Procurement Canada