Question Period Note: Status of the Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct


Reference number:
Date received:
Jun 22, 2021
Public Services and Procurement Canada
Name of Minister:
Anand, Anita (Hon.)
Title of Minister:
Minister of Public Services and Procurement


Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is implementing the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) – a multi-decade strategy to restore and modernize the Parliamentary Precinct.

Note: Questions related to the Indigenous People’s Space should be directed to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs as the federal lead on this initiative.

Suggested Response:

  • In partnership with Parliament, we are restoring the Parliamentary Precinct for future generations of Canadians, and making it modern, safer, greener and more accessible
    • Our focus is on restoring the Centre Block and transforming the Parliamentary Precinct into an integrated parliamentary campus
    • The Centre Block is the most iconic heritage building in Canada—we are committed to preserving it for Canadians and modernizing it to support 21st century parliamentary requirements

If pressed on the National Press Building:

  • The Long Term Vision and Plan is a framework designed to support the accommodation needs of its clients while preserving Canada’s architectural heritage
  • PSPC is working with the Press Gallery, to ensure that their needs will be addressed through the restoration and modernization of the National Press Building

If pressed on continuing work during COVID:

  • The health and safety of Canadians is our number one priority
  • From the beginning of the pandemic, PSPC worked directly with the construction industry to develop the highest health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 onsite, including the use of rapid testing. To date, 3,200 rapid tests have been conducted

If pressed on costs and governance for the Centre Block Rehabilitation Program:

  • The cost of rehabilitating Centre Block is driven primarily by the essential work required to meet building codes, ensure the health and safety of Parliament and restore the heritage elements of the space, as well as to modernize the building to meet Parliament’s functional requirements
  • The Parliament Welcome Centre will provide an enhanced experience for visitors and school groups, allowing more Canadians to visit the Parliament Buildings and engage in Canada’s parliamentary traditions and democracy, while also providing necessary space for parliamentary functions that cannot fit into Centre Block
  • For the first time ever, Canadians and visitors will be able to travel a universally accessible path from the Centennial Flame to the Senate and House of Commons Chamber Galleries to view democracy in action
  • Key decisions continue to be made in collaboration with Parliament have enabled us to establish a baseline scope, cost and schedule

If pressed on Parliamentary engagement:

  • The LTVP is delivered by PSPC on behalf of Parliament
  • PSPC engages Parliament through its administration, and is working closely with a Senate sub-committee and an Working Group of Members of Parliament, each responsible to Parliament’s administrative Boards
  • Recent engagements have helped drive forward key decisions in our collective efforts to restore and modernize the Centre Block. For example, the House of Commons’ Board of Internal Economy unanimously endorsed the conceptual design for a central entry to the new Parliament Welcome Centre
  • PSPC will continue to engage with parliamentarians as this important work continues

If pressed on redevelopment of Block 2:

  • A design competition was launched in May of 2021 to transform aging and underutilized Crown-buildings into a sustainable and integrated campus that supports a 21st century Parliament, respectful of and complementary to their place in Canada’s capital
  • A design competition will bolster innovative ideas and promote design excellence, all of which reflect the significance of the site. In fact, the original Parliament Buildings were the result of a design competition held in 1859
  • A balanced jury of design professionals, members of civil society and Parliamentarians is in place to review and recommend a design that reflects the needs of Parliament and showcases the significance of this site at the heart of the Parliamentary Precinct
  • 12 teams—all of which include a Canadian partner—have prequalified to participate in the Design Competition, which is expected to be finalized in the summer of 2022
  • The public will be engaged throughout the process

If pressed on the media reports about Victoria Building:

  • The Long Term Vision and Plan is a flexible strategy to restore and modernize Canada’s parliamentary precinct
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada is always working in collaboration with Parliament to assess opportunities to improve outcomes for Parliament and Canadians.
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada recently presented options to the Senate that would reduce overall costs by over $65M. This cost savings option would see Senators relocated from the Victoria Building to nearby leased space so that the Victoria could be modernized as part of the broader Block 2 redevelopment
  • To support decision making, the Senate requested cost comparisons of multiple scenarios. The $28M cited in recent media reports is an estimate of the future costs associated with keeping the Victoria Building, a building at the end of its lifecycle, online for an additional decade
  • No decision has been made on the matter

If pressed on 100 Wellington:

  • As planned in June 2019, PSPC completed a short-term project focused on making 100 Wellington Street a useable space. The department continues to support Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, the National Indigenous Organizations and the Algonquin Nation in developing a national space for Indigenous Peoples’ in the Parliamentary Precinct
  • Indigenous People are being engaged in the LTVP and will play a lead role in transforming 100 Wellington Street into the Indigenous Peoples’ Space

If pressed on Indigenous Involvement in the Precinct:

  • SPAC is proud to contribute to Canada’s reconciliation with Indigenous peoples by working to increase the socio-economic participation of Indigenous people in the federal procurement process for projects in the Parliamentary Precinct
  • The department is working with our partners to develop broader strategies to increase skills development, as well as apprenticeship and employment opportunities for Indigenous People and firms

If pressed on the Parliament Hill Escarpment:

  • PSPC is restoring the natural forested landscape of the historic escarpment to provide a safe environment for all Parliament Hill visitors that will be more resilient to climate change
  • Over time, invasive plants with large canopies have filled the escarpment, preventing local trees and shrubs from flourishing. This mix is not climate resilient, and the plants and soil will give way over time, leaving exposed rock if not restored to its natural state
  • PSPC will prune or remove about 245 trees that are in poor health or are invasive species and plant about 70 000 new indigenous plans, shrubs and bushes that will have both structural and ecological benefits to the escarpment—an approach that exceeds the National Capital Commission’s recommendation of a 2 to 1 replacement ratio


The LTVP was first approved in 2001 for the restoration and modernization of Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct. All major projects continue to track on time and budget.

PSPC has invested approximately $3.5 billion in the Parliamentary Precinct to date. This has created over 50,000 jobs in local and national economies in, for example, engineering, architecture, construction, manufacturing and skilled trades sectors.

The restored West Block and Senate of Canada Building and the new Parliament Welcome Centre (Phase 1), were transferred to Parliament in fall 2018. These projects followed the completion of the 21 key projects since the Library of Parliament in 2006, including the 180 Wellington Building (2016) and the Sir John A Macdonald Building (2015).

Efforts are now focused on restoring and modernizing the Centre Block and leveraging the remaining 23 assets in the Parliamentary Precinct to create an integrated parliamentary campus that addresses Parliament’s long-term requirements, including material handling, the movement of people and goods, accessibility, sustainability, and security.

Restoring the Centre Block is a core objective of the LTVP. Since the building was successfully de-commissioned in Fall 2019, significant progress has been made:

  • Completion of the comprehensive assessment program and all enabling projects to facilitate the commencement of major construction activities
  • Demolition and abatement of hazardous materials inside the Centre Block is over 30% completed, excavation of the new Parliament Welcome Centre is over one-third complete, and masonry work on the north façade has also begun

Parliament is being actively engaged on the future of the Parliamentary Precinct and in particular, the Centre Block. The Senate has established a subcommittee to the Committee of Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, The House of Commons has established a Working Group of MPs that provides advice and recommendations to the Board of Internal Economy. PSPC officials have appeared regularly before these bodies since the spring of 2020, helping drive forward key decisions on the Centre Block.

During the Fall of 2020, over 40 parliamentarians toured the Centre Block and Parliament Welcome Centre construction site through 10 site visits to survey the progress of the project. Overall, reactions to the project have been positive regardless of party affiliation.

Parliamentarians have raised questions on the construction including on the quantity and type of hazardous material removed from the site, the number of workers on site, and the impact of COVID-19 on the progress of construction. Programmatic questions such as governance, schedule and cost of the overall program are also raised routinely.

In May 2021, a Design Competition was launched as part of the Block 2 Redevelopment project. The competition will leverage innovative ideas and promote design excellence. An independent jury will review and recommend a design that reflects the needs of Parliament.

Long Term Vision and Plan, and diversity

In June 2019, while planning continued on the long-term development, a short-term use project at 100 Wellington was completed by PSPC that was co-developed with the National Indigenous Organizations (Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council), the Algonquin, CIRNA and PSPC. However, the space did not open as planned due to a lack of consensus amongst the National Indigenous Organizations on governance, and a request by the Algonquin Nation (represented by the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council (AANTC)) for equal and full partnership.

On June 21, 2017 — National Indigenous Peoples Day — the Prime Minister announced that 100 Wellington Street would become the Indigenous Peoples’ Space. The project also includes the re-development of the former CIBC building located at 119 Sparks Street and an infill space between the two buildings.

PSPC has leveraged the LTVP to create opportunities for Canadians, including youth and Indigenous Peoples.

PSPC will continue to make the Parliamentary Precinct a model for universal accessibility excellence. It will achieve, and in some cases exceed, accessibility standards. The West Block and Senate of Canada Building include barrier-free access and improved accessibility features in the Chambers, public galleries, offices, meeting places, washrooms and corridors.

Long Term Vision and Plan, and the environment

The LTVP is reducing the Government’s carbon footprint. PSPC has already reduced greenhouse gas levels in the Precinct by 60% from 2005 levels and is on track for reductions of 80% by 2030 while also diverting more than 90% of demolition materials from landfills.

The slope behind the Parliament has deteriorated over time as invasive (non-native) species have increasingly displaced the healthy mixed forest. As a result of this unbalance, barren slopes have destabilized and, if not rehabilitated soon, could pose health and safety concerns. Working with experts in forestry, geology and environmental biology, PSPC carried out a successful pilot project in 2015 to reforest the eastern section of the escarpment. PSPC is now extending the work up to the west side of the escarpment. The new planting will consist of seedlings and small shrubs to anchor the slope. Of the 70,000 plants, approximately 4,100 are deciduous trees, 2,650 are coniferous trees, 3,000 are large shrubs and the balance are small shrubs and plants. Of the trees, a few varieties may be as tall as 1m, but most will be 1 foot or less when they go in the ground.

Additional Information: