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Results: 1 - 15 of 134
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
Good morning, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
Fellow members, good morning.
I'm here today as chair of the working group on the long term vision and plan, or LTVP, to update the board on the work that's been done since our last meeting and to seek endorsement of our recommendation regarding parliamentarians' involvement in the jury for the architectural design competition being organized by Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC, for the redevelopment of Block 2.
Before I discuss the recommendation regarding Block 2, I'd like to provide a brief update on our last meeting, which was held on August 13.
First, PSPC presented its public engagement strategy for the LTVP, encompassing the development and launch of a public survey. The working group is in overall agreement on the proposed strategy to engage Canadians on Parliament and asked PSPC to get back to the group with more detailed information.
Second, the House of Commons administration presented high-level options for the Parliament Welcome Centre entrance and answered questions. Stakeholders will need to review the options in detail, and the working group will continue to be involved in the review before making a recommendation to the board.
Next is the third item we dealt with. We heard from the House with respect to updates and had some schematic designs and proposals for the chamber, lobbies and galleries in Centre Block. PSPC answered some questions around that. There will be further discussions at our next meeting with regard to lobbies and galleries. Once we've had a chance to look at those a little further, we'll be back to the board with some recommendations and something more detailed for you to look at.
As a final point before I get into the issue of Block 2, all members of the working group have now received complete detailed briefings on the schematic designs for the entirety of Centre Block and the welcome centre. We're looking forward to having further discussions on how the parliamentary requirements fit into all that. I would say that after two meetings, we're making some great progress and we're anticipating getting back together later this month. After we see what comes from that, we'll have some further things for you to discuss.
The only real issue on which we need to hear from you today is with respect to a design competition. What's happening here is that the PSPC briefed the working group on their approach to procuring an architectural design consultant team for the Block 2 new buildings, which will accommodate parliamentary space in the future.
Now, you may not know where Block 2 is. We didn't either. That's the space bound by Wellington Street, Sparks Street, Metcalfe Street and O'Connor Street. It's immediately across Wellington Street from Centre Block. Currently in the planning phase for this Block 2, PSPC is proceeding with a competitive process—it's a major undertaking—and launching an architectural design competition for that. It's a competition that will allow them to choose a team that has the right kind of capability and that is appropriate for a project of this scale and significance.
PSPC has also brought in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, RAIC, to oversee this competition process. I'm sure their role will be greatly valued. The institute and PSPC will together select an independent qualified professional jury for this competition process. The jury will look at all of the proposals submitted and will come down to first-, second- and third-place proposals. As part of that jury composition, the working group was pitched the idea of having parliamentarian participation in that jury process. We looked at three different scenarios as to how that might work. After some discussion, it was agreed that the working group recommend to you that in relation to this whole process, the chair of the working group—I, in this case—be designated as a juror representing the House of Commons in that jury process.
That's really what you have in front of you today. The idea was to make sure we have continuity with parliamentarian voices through the working group and into that process for Block 2. I'm therefore seeking your approval that in relation to this design competition for Block 2, the chair of the working group be designated as the juror representing the House of Commons.
I would be pleased to answer any questions you have and to provide more details on what I've just discussed.
Thank you.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Stanton, thank you very much for the report.
Of course, I'm in favour of designating the chair of the working group to sit on the jury.
The coronavirus has had an impact on a lot of projects across the country, so I'm wondering if there are any updated figures that you could give us or if you can let us know when you think the working group would be able to do that.
Thank you.
My question is very simple: Are there any updated budget figures around the overall projects?
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Julian.
I think we didn't get into budget elements with respect to Block 2. I will look to Michel Patrice. He may have some insights on it that he could share with us. At this point we were only taken up with the proposals around a design competition. As you may well know, this is part of a much more long-term.... So many of these parts of the long-term vision plan are so integrated that these things do come before us as a working group as well.
Michel, I wonder if you have any further insights that we could share with Mr. Julian on that question.
Rob Wright
View Rob Wright Profile
Rob Wright
2020-10-08 11:29
It's Rob Wright here with PSPC. Maybe I'll jump [Inaudible—Editor] information.
With regard to costing of the Centre Block and Parliament's welcome centre, what we have done so far is to provide some cost estimates for different options around specific large components of the project.
If you remember the decisions around the chamber and different options around the chamber, we provided costing around different options for that, as well as different size options for the welcome centre. On some specific options around elements that the Senate of Canada is considering with regard to potential infills in the east courtyard, for example, we gave different costings around that. Those elements are now coming together, and as we move forward through the areas....
Rob Wright
View Rob Wright Profile
Rob Wright
2020-10-08 11:31
Okay, great.
We're coming at this in what I would call component parts. As we're moving through the decisions and the options that are being put forward to Parliament, those decisions are kind of big boulders that have a really material impact on the baseline cost for the Centre Block and the welcome centre. As we proceed through those this fall, we'll be able to come back with a baseline budget as well as a schedule. That will set us up in a really good situation.
As for the impacts of the COVID situation on the Centre Block, I think we've been able to absorb those really well. At the beginning of COVID in mid-March, we worked really hard to put in place what I would call best health and safety practices on the site. We worked with the Canadian Construction Association, and those became best practices for construction activity across the country.
I would say that we had to make a few adjustments, but it really has not impacted the schedule, as we've been able to move forward. From a cost perspective, that is probably the most important element on a project of this scale. Time is money, so being able to adhere to the schedule has benefited us very much from a budgetary perspective. We've been able to keep track and hit all of the milestones, and as we continue to work with the working group and the Senate LTVP subcommittee on these major decisions that will be recommended back to the Board of Internal Economy as well as to CIBA, that will position us to have a baseline budget and schedule.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
When do you think you will be able to bring that to the BOIE?
Rob Wright
View Rob Wright Profile
Rob Wright
2020-10-08 11:33
As soon as the board makes some of these final determinations on the options, we will be able to come back with the budget.
It's important to note that there are thousands of decisions that form the scope for this project, but even a handful can swing the project price in hundreds of millions of dollars. It will be difficult to come back to you with a budget without having inputs on those decisions. They have a tremendous impact on the budget.
On the size of the Chamber, we have that. That was an important decision. On the size of the parliamentary welcome centre, we have that. That was an extremely important decision. There are probably another 10 to 15 critical decisions that will really allow us to have a base. There will be more decisions to come. Once we have those big boulder decisions behind us, we'll be able to establish that baseline budget. Our hope would be to move through that by the Christmastime period.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
I had some questions similar to Mr. Julian's, but I'll add a couple of brief questions.
With regard to the recommendations in terms of the design for the chamber, etc., will those recommendations include various seating options? Will there be scenarios for various seating options? Will there be one that's brought forward? Will it have that kind of detail? Will seating options be included as part of those recommendations?
Rob Wright
View Rob Wright Profile
Rob Wright
2020-10-08 11:36
Mr. Richards, our first look at this was very preliminary. We looked at different options extending out to 2050. The notions around this planning, especially for galleries and space for members in the galleries in the House itself, are all impacted by the trajectory of population growth and therefore the growth in the number of parliamentarians as well, over literally decades. We just had a first look at that.
You may know that a while back the decision was taken to ensure that the footprint of the House of Commons chamber itself would not be changed. We're going to stay with the existing footprint that's there. Once the working group has had some further discussion on this, we will bring it back to the board with suggestions. We'll see what the working group decides, but we'll bring our best suggestions and we'll let the board take a look at it at that time.
Suffice it to say that as we go forward, the demands and requirements on this space are certainly going to increase.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
I would like to follow up on that.
Is the understanding that you're going to bring forward one recommendation instead of a set of options? Is that the intention? I also understood that it was indicated in March that the board really wanted to see the chamber remain as close as it is to its current format. Perhaps you can answer both of those in concert.
Also, I'll just throw one more in and let you answer all three.
In terms of the galleries themselves, is there contemplation to ensuring they are more secure? Obviously, we've seen things dropped over, and things like that in the past. Is there thought being given to how those will look going forward?
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
On the last point on security, we didn't deal specifically with that point. I think it's certainly a valid one. We did look at some comparisons in terms of the size of the gallery in relation to the number of members in the chamber, and certainly Canada was blessed as we were in the old House of Commons, in Centre Block House of Commons. We had considerably higher numbers of gallery visitors than many other chambers in the Westminster system.
Going forward, certainly there will likely be impacts there. You're right about one of your three points, exactly right. The current footprint of the chambers in terms of the beautiful Gothic revival design and structure is all going to stay put. We have to work within the confines of that existing footprint.
As we look at accommodating more members, it has to be done in favour of a layout that will be in keeping with this board's direction around.... Of course, the ideal preference was to continue with the centre aisle and have government and opposition members opposing one another across that common aisle. That was a preference that has been expressed to our working group, and we'll certainly keep that in mind.
As to whether we'll have just one recommendation for you, I honestly don't feel comfortable speaking for the working group at this early stage. I'm taking a cue from your comments. I suggest that we might want to consider more than one. I'll certainly be guided by the working group and what we think is probably our best preference, but leave open.... I think this is an area that obviously needs vigorous discussion and consideration. We want to make sure we get this right.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Mr. Stanton.
It's always nice to talk to you, in any circumstance, but this is a first for me.
I think I know the answer, but I'm wondering whether we could safely have a guided tour of the Centre Block to see the work under way.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Deltell. Welcome to the Board of Internal Economy.
All the working group members toured the Centre Block. For the time being, we aren't planning another tour, but I think it's a good idea. We'll look into arranging one for the members of the board, if possible, in the coming weeks or months.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll look into that, then, and try to arrange another tour, in the hope that everyone is available. I know it's worthwhile to see the work that's happening.
Are there any other questions?
Mr. Stanton was seeking approval from the board in relation to the architectural design competition for Block 2 and to the chair of the working group, Mr. Stanton, being designated as the juror representing the House of Commons. Is everyone in favour of that?
Good. It's unanimous. Congratulations or condolences, Mr. Stanton; I'm not sure which, but I'm sure you'll do an excellent job.
We'll now move on to item 5, the 48th annual session of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, taking place in Montreal from July 7 to 12, 2022.
Once again, it's over to you, Mr. Stanton.
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