Ford announced he will keep his original promise to not touch the Greenbelt.
He called opening it up to development “a mistake” and noted that the development process was too fast.
The RCMP is currently considering wether or not to investigate the $8.28-billion Greenbelt land swap after the matter was referred to them by Ontario Provincial Police
The Whole Story:
After months of reports, staffing changes and pressure from the public, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has nixed plans to develop housing in the Greenbelt, a protected area of green space, farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds.
The announcement came after several days of meetings with caucus and cabinet.
“I want the people of Ontario to know I am listening. I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t touch the Greenbelt. I broke that promise. And for that I am very, very sorry.” said Ford. “It was a mistake to open the Greenbelt, it was a mistake to establish a process that moved too fast. This process left too much room for some to benefit over others. It caused people to question our motives. As a first step to earn back your trust, I will be reversing the changes we made and won’t make any changes to the Greenbelt in the future.”
Ford added that he still believes opening the Greenbelt could make a major impact in the province’s housing crisis by adding housing for a minimum of 150,000 people.
“But we moved too quickly, and made the wrong decision,” he said. “The truth remains that Ontario is growing at an unprecedented speed. And doing more of the same and accepting the status quo will only make the housing affordability crisis worse. We need to build homes, we need to change the way we build these homes, building more density in cities close to transit.”
He cited modular homes, cutting through red tape and holding builders accountable as ways they plan to tackle the crisis.
The announcement comes after a troubling few months for the province’s leadership. In August Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk released a blistering report that found the Greenbelt deal heavily favoured a small group of developers and did not consider environmental impacts. The report came with a list of recommendations that include revisiting the deal in a way that follows proper procedures.
Weeks later, Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake released his report on the Greenbelt deal, recommending that Housing Minister Steve Clark receive a reprimand for his role in the land swap. Earlier this month, Clark resigned, stating that it was his responsibility to adhere to the principles of ministerial accountability.
But the deal’s troubles aren’t over. The RCMP has confirmed that it is looking into investigating the Ford government’s Greenbelt land swap controversy after the matter was referred to them by Ontario Provincial Police.
The report found that delays and inefficiencies within the city of Toronto’s Committee of Adjustment (COA) process add $21,000 to $58,000 annually to the cost of renovations and infill building projects.
The study found that the total average decision timelines for typical COA applications, regardless of COA district, were 95 days
The report recommends delegating authority for minor variances to staff and fixing the underlying zoning issues that are creating increasing volumes of applications.
The Whole Story:
Delays and inefficiencies are adding tens of thousands of dollars to construction projects, a new study shows.
The study, commissioned on behalf of the professional renovation industry by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and conducted by Altus Group Economic Consulting, found that delays and inefficiencies within the city of Toronto’s Committee of Adjustment (COA) process add $21,000 to $58,000 annually to the cost of renovations and infill building projects. The study further identified that in order to meet the city’s goal of building 285,000 homes by 2031, the system must be overhauled.
“Toronto is a rapidly growing city, and the building of infill homes and renewal of existing housing stock add much-needed housing supply for current and future residents,” said Justin Sherwood, BILD’s senior vice president. “With the city recently adopting various zoning reforms such as four units per lot as of right, and looking to make additional changes in the near future, the need for a more efficient process that reduces strain on city resources has never been greater.”
Altus Group Economic Consulting was retained by BILD to undertake a study of the city of Toronto’s COA timelines for decisions on minor variances, as part of a broader examination of the factors contributing to housing affordability challenges. BILD stated that the Altus study reinforces the city’s own findings, through a study with KPMG, that process improvements and data transparency would support approval timelines and efficiency.
The Altus study looked at the timelines for minor variance applications for the last eight years (2015-2022), using data from the City of Toronto’s Open Data Catalog. It found that the volumes of applications to Toronto’s COA and TLAB processes have doubled over the last decade, resulting in lengthy delays. These delays can add 8% to 14% annually in additional construction-related costs, amounting to between $9 per square foot to $19 per square foot annually, or approximately $21,000 to $58,000.
Notably, the study found that the total average decision timelines for typical COA applications, regardless of COA district, were 95 days across the entirety of the 8-year period. This is 65 days longer than the 30-day service standard required by the Planning Act and 32 days longer than the 63-day target for service standards set by the city.
The report provides six major recommendations for action by the province and the city to successfully improve decision timelines for minor variances. Most notably, it recommends delegating authority for minor variances to staff and fixing the underlying zoning issues that are creating increasing volumes of applications. To see all of the recommendations, download the report.
“Renovators in Toronto have long been advocating for improvements to the COA process,” said Peter Di Scola, chair of BILD’s Renovator Executive Committee. “The current process sees a 93-95% approval rate of applications through the COA process, meaning it would be far more efficient for the City to update zoning bylaws to permit the most common types of COA applications.”
Earlier this year, Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd. was awarded a $204.8-million contract for the design and construction of the facility.
The collections and research building will house artifacts and facilitate learning.
The mass timber project is expected to open in 2026.
The Whole Story:
Construction has begun on the Royal BC Museum’s (RBCM) collections and research building (CRB) in Colwood.
The new 15,200 square-metre (164,000 square foot) building will be a state-of-the-art facility using mass timber that will house the province’s collections and BC Archives. It will improve access for the public as only 1% of the province’s vast collection is on display. It will also provide dedicated research labs and learning spaces.
In preparation for construction, Shaker Faith workers led a ceremonial land blessing to bless the site and workers.
“It’s an important day as we move forward on a new collections and archives building that will properly store and safeguard our province’s shared history, priceless artifacts and archives,” said Lana Popham, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport. “I was honoured to witness the Shaker Faith workers bless and prepare the land of the CRB prior to construction. I look forward to working with the Royal BC Museum, Maple Reinders, the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, and the City of Colwood on this important new building.”
Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd. was awarded a $204.8-million contract for the design and construction of the CRB in Colwood. Total capital project costs for the CRB are estimated at $270 million. Government expects substantial completion in fall 2025 and anticipates a public opening in 2026.
“The provincial collections and archives help us to share the stories of our cultures and communities. It’s vital to ensure they’re kept safe for future generations,” said Tracey Drake, acting CEO, Royal BC Museum. “This exceptional facility will also provide a window into the world of the museum, enabling visitors to see our paleontologists, entomologists, botanists, zoologists and more, engaged in active research projects.”
The $200 million facility is expected to have an annual production capacity of approximately 350 million board feet.
Planning, construction, and commissioning of the new facility is expected to take between 28 and 32 months depending on contractor availability and equipment lead times.
Earlier this year, Canfor announced plans to wind down operations at existing mills in Chetwynd, Houston and Prince George.
The Whole Story:
Canfor, a global forest products company, plans to spend $200 million on a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Houston, B.C.
Canfor officials stated that the low cost, high efficiency facility is expected to have an annual production capacity of approximately 350 million board feet.
The news comes after significant Canadian closures. The company, which has been based in B.C. for 85 years, announced earlier this year that it would wind down operations at mills in Chetwynd, Houston and Prince George.
Don Kayne, president and CEO of Canfor, explained that the decision to build the new facility came following a comprehensive evaluation of customer requirements and a careful evaluation of the availability of economic fibre in the region to support a successful investment.
“We believe we have the plan, the people and the know-how to build a best-in-class facility that showcases B.C. workers, suppliers and technology,” he said. “Today’s announcement underscores our ongoing commitment to British Columbia and the Houston community. It will strengthen our ability to provide our high-quality, sustainably produced forest products to the world, while providing good, family-supporting jobs here in B.C.”
He added that the project will be part of Canfor’s efforts to build strong, collaborative relationships with Indigenous Nations in the area.
Work will begin immediately on detailed project engineering and permitting requirements. Vendor and equipment selection will be finalized in early 2024 with demolition and site preparation scheduled for the spring. Planning, construction, and commissioning of the new facility is expected to take between 28 and 32 months depending on contractor availability and equipment lead times.
“We are very excited to be taking this important step to strengthen our manufacturing capacity and look forward to working with our partners to build a world class facility that will supply our valued customers with the high quality, low carbon products that are in demand around the world,” said Kayne.
Canada’s healthcare demand is increasing.
According to data released from the Canadian Institute for Health Information earlier this year, in 2021–2022, there were almost 2.9 million acute inpatient hospitalizations in Canada, up from 2.7 million visits in 2020–2021, the first year of the pandemic. After adjusting for differences in age, sex and population growth, the hospitalization rate was 6,983 per 100,000 population.
With more demand for care, comes a bigger need for hospital facilities. Here are a few major hospital projects creating new facilities or updating older ones.
St. Paul’s Hospital
Something massive is rising out of Vancouver’s False Creek Flats neighbourhood. The $2 billion new St. Paul’s Hospital aims to be an internationally renowned, full-service, acute-care hospital and integrated health campus. It will have capacity for up to 548 beds, which includes 115 net new beds. The site will be the home of several leading provincial programs and referral centres, including for heart and lung care, renal, eating disorders and specialty surgeries and transplants. PCL was awarded the design-build contract for the facility in 2021. It is scheduled to open in 2027. The current St. Paul’s Hospital first opened in the 1800s.
Peter Gilgan Mississauga Hospital
The new Peter Gilgan Mississauga Hospital project, led by EllisDon and PCL Healthcare Partners, is a full replacement of the existing hospital. At 22 storeys, it will almost triple the size of the current hospital in Mississauga, Ont. and will be approximately 2.8 million square feet. It will have over 950 beds, 23 operating rooms and a new emergency department. The new hospital will also include advanced diagnostic imaging facilities and a new pharmacy and clinical laboratory. Once complete, it will be the largest hospital in the country. Officials say it will be roughly a decade before the project is completed.
Shovels are in the ground for a second hospital in Surrey and new cancer centre. The groundbreaking comes despite massive cost escalations for the project due to inflation, supply-chain disruptions and labour shortages. Officials stated that despite high costs, the project is too critical to delay any longer. Construction of the new hospital and cancer centre is anticipated to be complete in 2029 and open in 2030. The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $2.88 billion. It is being built through a design-build Agreement with EllisDon Design Build Inc.
Ottawa Hospital’s New Campus Development project
Last March, the Government of Ontario announced the approval of The Ottawa Hospital’s (TOH) New Campus Development project, with a commitment to fund more than $2 billion in construction costs. The project is now into the implementation stage and when it opens in 2028, the new campus will be the largest and most modern teaching and research hospital in Canada. Construction is expected to begin next year with completion scheduled for 2028.
Cariboo Hospital redevelopment
Earlier this year, Interior Health signed a contract for the construction of the Cariboo Memorial Hospital redevelopment project in Williams Lake, B.C. with its preferred proponent, Graham Design Builders LP. The $366 million project includes an addition to the hospital as well as renovations. The addition will be three storeys, plus a basement, and approximately 9,300 square metres. The redevelopment will add 25 in-patient beds. Construction will happen in two phases. Phase 1, which includes the addition, will begin in spring 2023 and is expected to finish in fall 2026. Phase 2, which includes renovations to the existing hospital, will begin in fall 2026 and is scheduled to be complete in early 2029.
Burnaby Hospital expansion
A business plan has been approved for a new inpatient tower and integrated cancer centre, as part of $1.7 billion Phase 2 of the Burnaby Hospital redevelopment. The proposed 12-storey inpatient tower is expected to include 160 private rooms. The tower will also include general medicine, medical oncology, cardiac telemetry and intensive care and high-acuity units. Additionally, a new medical-imaging department, featuring space for two CT scanners, a spiritual care suite, public spaces and more. The new tower will also be home to a new BC Cancer Centre, which will include 54 ambulatory care rooms, 31 chemotherapy chairs, space for five linear accelerators, space for two PET/CT scanners, an oncology pharmacy, and clinical trials and research space.
Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital modernization
Quebec has announced plans to move forward with the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital modernization project. Health Minister Christian Dubé told reporters this month that the project should take eight to 10 years to complete and could cost as much as $4 billion. The project involves renovating and expanding multiple sections of the 1950s building and bumping up the number of beds to 720.
South Niagara Hospital
Earlier this year, crews broke ground on the 1.3-million-square-foot South Niagara Hospital in Ontario. The 12-storey structure will add more health capacity for the region, including 469 single patient bedrooms, eight operating suites, 42 hemodialysis stations, and two MRI machines. The hospital aspires to become the first WELL-certified hospital in Canada, with design features prioritizing the health and well-being of hospital users. EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare secured the $3.6-billion contract for designing, building, financing, and maintaining the hospital back in February. Excavation is scheduled to commence by the end of the summer, and the entire construction process is estimated to take five years, with the hospital slated to officially open its doors in the summer of 2028.
Shovels are in the ground for a new second hospital in Surrey and new cancer centre.
The groundbreaking comes despite massive cost escalations for the project due to inflation, supply-chain disruptions and labour shortages. Officials stated that the project is too critical to delay any longer.
“Surrey has been experiencing tremendous growth and people are struggling to get the health services they need while health-care workers are burning out,” said Premier David Eby. “We’re taking urgent action while carefully planning for the future. As we break ground on the new, state-of-the-art Surrey hospital and cancer centre, work continues on immediate actions to improve health services in the region, so everyone gets the timely, high-quality health care they need.”
Changing costs and timelines
Construction of this new hospital and cancer centre is anticipated to be complete in 2029 and open in 2030. The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $2.88 billion. Last year, officials announced the project would cost $1.72 billion. The timeline called for construction to begin this July and to wrap up in April 2027.
Fraser Health has executed a Design-Build Agreement with EllisDon Design Build Inc., which will be responsible for completing the design and construction of the new facility, making Surrey the first community in decades to get a second hospital.
“The new Surrey hospital and cancer centre gives us a rare opportunity to build a net-new hospital and cancer centre that will add much-needed capacity for health-care services in the community,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health. “The facts are the people of the fast-growing Surrey community need a second hospital and they need it as soon as soon as possible. So, despite significant cost escalation due to inflation, supply-chain disruptions and labour shortages, we are moving forward to deliver the new state-of-the-art hospital and cancer centre.”
The second hospital in Surrey will bring 168 more hospital beds, including medical/surgical beds, high acuity beds and medical oncology beds, and a second emergency department for the community with 55 treatment spaces and access to specialists through virtual technologies.
It will include a surgical/perioperative suite with five operating rooms, four procedure rooms and virtual care options in all clinical service areas, such as virtual intake, emergency followups, outpatient clinics and pre- and post-surgical care, as well as robotics, wearable technology and smart beds.
Adding a second hospital in Surrey will also bring a large medical-imaging department, including three CT scanners and two MRI machines, as well as a pharmacy, a full-service laboratory that can perform biochemistry, hematology and transfusions, and academic spaces. As well, a dedicated area for spiritual care and family gatherings will support cultural diversity and spiritual practices.
“The new hospital in Surrey will provide annual capacity for more than 28,000 surgical procedures, 280,000 additional medical-imaging exams and 120,000 emergency department visits with the addition of a second emergency department to serve the community,” Dix said.
In addition to building a second hospital in Surrey, the community will also have a BC Cancer Centre with a 50-room oncology ambulatory care unit. The new Surrey cancer centre will include 54 chemotherapy treatment spaces and room for six linear accelerators for radiation therapy to provide care and support for people diagnosed with cancer, two PET/CTs and a cyclotron. This new centre is expected to provide approximatley 105,000 ambulatory oncology care visits, 50,000 radiation therapy visits and 22,000 chemotherapy visits each year.
The cancer centre in Surrey is a part of B.C.’s 10-year B.C. cancer action plan, which outlines immediate steps to prevent, detect and treat cancers and deliver improved care for people facing cancer.
A new stand-alone 49-space child care centre will be built to support on-site health-care professionals, making it one of the first health-care capital projects to include on-site child care services.
It will also be a fully electric hospital, one of the first in Canada.
Ontario’s largest passive house multi-residential building has opened.
Meadowbrook Place, located at 3100 Meadowbrook Lane, is Ontario’s largest “passive house” multi-residential building and features 145 units of much needed housing for those of all income levels including individuals, small families and seniors. The Windsor complex features 46 accessible units, and includes both indoor and outdoor shared spaces, and outdoor fitness equipment. Construction on the project began in late November 2019 and began welcoming residents in the Summer of 2023.
The Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (WECHC) project saw $33.8 million in funding from the federal government, $13.3 million of which is a contribution, through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF).
This is in addition to the just over $5 million in funding announced for the project in September 2020 by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario through the Social Infrastructure Fund (SIF), the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) program, and the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI).
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Sean Fraser, minister of housing. “Through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, small families, individuals, and seniors in Windsor now have access to more housing options to raise their families or access to critical support services at a time of need. Meadowbrook Place will help increase the availability of affordable homes and support those in need in Windsor.”
FPInnovations has been testing asphalt mixes that use wood-derived products instead of petroleum-based ones.
The asphalt has already been tested in a variety of environments and will soon be tested in Quebec.
The technology could increase pavement preservation and extend service life for pavements and roads in the face of climate change.
The Whole Story:
Natural Resources Canada will contribute $1.5 million to FPInnovations for an innovative project that aims to develop asphalt that contains wood-derived products from Canada’s forest sector.
FPInnovations, in collaboration with the construction firm Eurovia and the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable du Québec, will conduct an on-road pilot in Ange-Gardien, Quebec. Pilots have also been conducted in other provinces to test the asphalt’s performance in the wide range of climate conditions.
“Canada is blessed with immense forest resources,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of energy and Natural Resources. “Finding innovative ways of managing and utilizing these resources can provide new pathways for low-carbon solutions. This means lower emissions and good, sustainable jobs for workers. This partnership with FPInnovations is paving the way for a more sustainable Canada.”
The new asphalt being tested contains a renewable bioproduct, lignin, which is intended to replace a portion of the petroleum-based bitumen currently found in the asphalt used in roads. This new product would increase pavement preservation and possibly extend service life for pavements and roads in the face of climate change.
The $1.5-million contribution is being delivered through the Forest Innovation Program (FIP), which supports the development of new technologies and practices that improve the environmental sustainability and economic productivity of Canada’s forest sector.
The $150 million will be dispersed as fully repayable low-interest loans through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi).
The loans will be used to build more than 364 purpose-built rental homes across three developments in Vancouver.
The 19 on the Greenway project has benefited from the loan program will be developed into two separate rental buildings and will offer 118 units for Vancouver residents.
The Whole Story:
The Government of Canada will provide $150 million in fully repayable low-interest loans through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi) to build more than 364 purpose-built rental homes across three developments in Vancouver.
“We are working with all levels of government, non-profit organizations and with the private sector to increase housing supply,” said Sean Fraser, minister of housing. “Through strategic investments, like the one announced today which will help build 364 purpose-built units in Vancouver, we are helping to increase housing supply across Canada so that all Canadians have a safe place that they are proud to call home.”
The announcement took place at Evolve, located near the University of British Columbia (UBC) at 3518 Wesbrook Mall.
The Evolve project offers 110 rental units for faculty and staff at the university. Evolve received Passive House Certification, an internationally recognized building certification that provides third-party verification and a stamp of quality assurance that a building meets the high performance and comfort levels of the Passive House standard.
The project received a $44.2 million RCFi low-interest loan from the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and $3.5 million from Natural Resources Canada. UBC contributed $15.1 million in land equity. Construction was completed in August 2022 and the project is fully leased.
Mundell House, also located near UBC at 6038 Birney Avenue, offers 136 rental units for faculty and staff at the university. The project received a $46.4 million RCFi low-interest loan from the federal government through CMHC. UBC contributed $23.6 million in land equity. Amenities for residents include a bicycle room, a communal courtyard and rooftop amenity space. Construction was completed in August 2020 and the project is fully leased.
Located at 3619 and 3681 Arbutus Street, 19 on the Greenway will be developed into two separate rental buildings and will offer 118 units for Vancouver residents. The project received a $59 million RCFi low-interest loan from the federal government through CMHC and PCI Developments contributed $30.7 million in cash equity.
The project is located across the street from the Arbutus Greenway which is well serviced by public transit through frequent bus service, as well as the future Broadway Transit line. Construction is expected to complete in March 2025.
Bird Construction has been selected as construction manager for the Vancouver Community College (VCC) Centre for Clean Energy and Automotive Innovation and the University of Victoria (UVIC) Engineering Expansion Project.
both facilities will extensively leverage mass timber structural elements, including columns, beams, and lateral bracing.
The interior spaces will be designed with the intentional selection of low-emitting materials and recycled contents.
The VCC Centre is an eight-storey, 343,832 sq. ft., LEED Gold and energy-efficient facility with elements of exposed mass timber. Bird stated that the facility will provide education and skills training for people in B.C. and Red-Seal-certified apprentices of modern automotive trades, including electric, hydrogen fuel cell, plug-in and autonomous vehicles. The facility will accommodate as many as 1,400 students annually.
The UVIC Engineering Expansion Project consists of two new state-of-the-art academic buildings: the Engineering Computer Science Building Expansion, a six-storey, 68,180 sq. ft. building, and the High Bay Research and Structures Laboratory Building, a two-storey, 20,900 sq. ft. building. The complete UVIC Engineering Expansion project will have a Net Zero Carbon Ready Design and will target LEED Gold.
To support reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint, both facilities will extensively leverage mass timber structural elements, including columns, beams, and lateral bracing, and the interior spaces will be designed with the intentional selection of low-emitting materials and recycled contents.
“We are excited to be part of these transformative projects that align well with Bird’s purpose of bringing life to vision and creating greatness together. With a focus on LEED Gold and Net Zero Carbon Ready Designs, these projects exemplify our innovative solutions that drive a lower carbon future,” said Teri McKibbon, president and CEO of Bird. “Our team in B.C. has a long history of strong execution on institutional projects and a solid track record in construction management project delivery. We are proud to be a part of shaping the future of education and research in British Columbia and beyond.”
Work building the dam portion of the Site C project in B.C. has wrapped up.
When signed in 2015, the civil works contract was worth $1.75 billion.
In total, more than 16 million cubic metres of material was used in its construction.
The entire project is expected to be completed in 2025.
The Whole Story:
ACCIONA and its partners in the Peace River Hydro Partners consortium (PRHP) have completed the construction of the Site C dam, in B.C. Awarded in 2015 for $1.75 billion, it is one of ACCIONA’s largest projects in Canada.
At 60 meters high and approximately 500 meters wide, the dam stretches more than one and a half kilometers along the Peace River. Officials say it is the largest dam of it’s kind in the country.
The dam fill works began in 2021. In total, more than 16 million cubic metres of material was used in its construction which was 100% self-performed by PRHP. Most of the material was obtained from the site while the remaining seven million tons was moved on a five-kilometer-long conveyor belt, avoiding CO2 emissions from vehicle haulage.
During construction, ACCIONA and its partners achieved records placing the roller-compacted concrete (RCC) foundation. The team reached daily RCC placement peaks of over 9,460 cubic metres per day.
To divert the river, the PRHP excavated two twin tunnels 800 meters long and 11 meters diameter with road-headers. The tunnels were then lined with concrete. In total, more than 100 cubic metres of earth was moved. In addition, half a million tons of rip-rap rock protection for the dam was produced and transported by rail from a local quarry.
The construction of the Site C dam was built in compliance with international and Canadian safety practices, enabling it to withstand natural disasters.
The PRHP construction of the earthen dam, the roller-compacted concrete dam and the diversion tunnels are part of the Site C Clean Energy Project, one of the largest infrastructure initiatives in Canada.
Once completed in 2025, the project will provide energy to a population equivalent to 450,000 homes or 1.7 million electric vehicles per year.
bp Gas Marketing has a total firm LNG offtake for the project of 1.95 million tonnes per annum.
Work on the project is scheduled to start this month and operations are expected to start in 2027.
Officials say it will be the world’s first LNG export facility targeting net-zero carbon emissions.
The Whole Story:
All of Woodfibre LNG’s offtake has been spoken for.
The B.C. LNG project, set to begin construction this month, announced it has now committed all of its offtake for sale to bp Gas Marketing Limited (BPGM), a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of bp p.l.c., with a total firm LNG offtake of 1.95 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and the remainder on a flexible basis.
Woodfibre LNG Limited Partnership has signed a third LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with BPGM for the delivery of LNG from the Woodfibre LNG export facility. Under the terms of this SPA, BPGM will receive an additional 0.45 MTPA of LNG over 15 years on a free on board (FOB) basis.
“Canada, and particularly British Columbia, is uniquely positioned to take the lead on exporting lower-carbon LNG overseas as part of the global energy transition. Today’s announcement demonstrates there is demand for lower-carbon energy today and well into the future,” said Christine Kennedy, president of Woodfibre LNG. “We look forward to working with BPGM as the offtaker from the Woodfibre LNG project to deliver Canadian LNG from one of the lowest carbon intensive LNG export facilities in the world. The global demand for lower carbon energy makes Woodfibre LNG a supplier of choice in the energy transition,” said Ratnesh Bedi, Pacific Energy president.
Woodfibre LNG is scheduled to begin construction this month in Squamish and operations are expected to begin in 2027. Officials say it will be the world’s first LNG export facility targeting net-zero carbon emissions.
“As a leader in the energy transition and partner in the Woodfibre LNG Project, Enbridge is pleased with today’s announcement. Woodfibre LNG will play an important role in providing global LNG markets with a safe, secure and sustainable source of natural gas produced by one of the lowest emission LNG facilities in the world,” said Cynthia Hansen, Enbridge Executive Vice President and President of Gas Transmission and Midstream.
The CHF is a $3.3-billion investment to build more than 20,000 affordable rental homes for people with moderate and low incomes by 2031-32.
Proposals for the CHF are managed by BC Housing and will be accepted until mid-November 2023.
Projects will be prioritized based on several criteria, including prioritized populations and the effect the project would have in addressing the community’s affordable rental housing need.
The Whole Story:
B.C. announced it will fund thousands of new homes through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund (CHF).
“We are in a housing crisis, and this new round of CHF funding will ensure more people have access to an affordable place to live by creating approximately 3,500 homes,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “This is a significant step toward our goal of 20,000 CHF-funded homes by 2032, as our province increases its housing stock faster than ever so people have the homes they need now and into the future. Together, with our many partners, we’re making progress, but we know there’s much more work to be done.”
Proposals for the CHF are managed by BC Housing and will be accepted until mid-November 2023. The project proposals will be evaluated and projects totalling approximately 3,500 units are expected to be announced in early 2024.
Non-profit organizations, housing co-operatives, municipalities, First Nations and Indigenous-led societies are encouraged to submit their housing proposals and apply for funding.
“We welcome this response to the desperate and growing need for more safe, secure, affordable housing for British Columbians,” said Thom Armstrong, CEO, Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia. “Help is on the way for 3,500 more households that are struggling to make ends meet in this overheated housing market. This government continues to lead the way in Canada by making new affordable housing supply a priority.”
Projects will be prioritized based on several criteria, including prioritized populations and the effect the project would have in addressing the community’s affordable rental housing need. Project-development funding will also be available for projects that require further development to prepare them for the next CHF funding call.
“The City of Vancouver is focused on delivering more affordable housing and will continue to do what it takes to lead the region in new housing approval and secure attainable housing in the city,” said Ken Sim, mayor of Vancouver. “We appreciate our partners in the provincial government who understand that we need more housing for the people who call this city home. We will continue to work hand in hand to build the housing Vancouverites need.”
The CHF is a $3.3-billion investment to build more than 20,000 affordable rental homes for people with moderate and low incomes by 2031-32. Approximately 9,000 of these homes are open or underway throughout the province. Additional CHF proposal calls will be issued during the next four years to allocate funding for the remaining units.
“With rents rising faster in B.C. than anywhere else in the country, the homes funded through the Community Housing Fund could not come at a more critical time,” said Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “Non-profit housing providers have been eagerly anticipating this call, and the affordable developments they bring forward will impact the lives of thousands of individuals and families for decades to come.”
The sites include Highway 97 at Cottonwood Hill north of Quesnel and Blackwater Road at Knickerbocker Road.
Crews at both sites are completing geotechnical investigations and environmental investigations to inform the ultimate project design.
Construction is scheduled to begin next year.
The Whole Story:
B.C. has approved $538 million worth of road improvement projects for the Cariboo.
Officials say the projects will improve highway safety and reliability with two restoration projects that will stabilize roads located on historic landslide sites.
“Restoring safe and reliable highways and roads in the Cariboo supports vital services and connections for people in the region,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “With weather patterns changing as part of our new climate reality, building infrastructure that withstands extreme weather in the long term will keep people safe and maintain critical goods movement corridors across the province.”
On Highway 97 at Cottonwood Hill north of Quesnel, a segment of highway affected by a significant slow-moving landslide will be stabilized. Highway 97 is a north-south artery that provides crucial access between communities in the region and is vital to the province’s economy.
On Blackwater Road at Knickerbocker Road, a road segment affected by landslides will undergo realignment and reinforcement, as well as measures to help prevent future slides in the project area.
Crews at both sites are completing work, such as geotechnical investigations, which includes collecting soil and water samples to inform the project designs, and environmental investigations. Construction is scheduled to begin next year.
These are the first two projects within the Cariboo Road Recovery Projects program to move to construction. Both are being designed with a focus on resilience to changing weather patterns while addressing stability issues and building infrastructure for the long term.
The province has approved $538 million in funding for these projects. This includes $334.6 million for the Highway 97 at Cottonwood Hill project and $203.4 million for the Blackwater Road at Knickerbocker Road project.
The federal government announced that $500 million in low-interest, repayable loans will help deliver more than 1,100 purpose-built rental homes in Vancouver. These loans were made possible by the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi).
“We must increase the supply of housing,” said Sean Fraser, minister of housing. “Doing so requires an all-hands-on-deck commitment from all levels of government. The federal government will continue to make strategic investments through programs like the RCFi and the Housing Accelerator Fund, while also working with our provincial and municipal partners so that all Canadians have a safe place that they are proud to call home.”
The loans were announced by Fraser at 5728 Gray Avenue, a project that will be providing residential housing to faculty, staff, and other campus community members of the University of British Columbia (UBC). There will be 150 residential homes within this six-storey building, offering a mix of studio, 1,2,3, and 4-bedroom units.
The project will also have easy access to public transit, car and bike share systems within the neighbourhood. In addition, a minimum of 10% of the project’s units will be prioritized for occupancy by the elderly, youths, students, individuals in need of assistance, or individuals whose eligibility is dependent on them being members of UBC’s faculty or staff.
Rogers Sugar plans to embark on a $200M expansion of its Montreal plant.
This will increase its capacity by roughly 20%
Work includes adding new equipment, building a new bulk rail loading section, and expanding logistics and storage capacity.
The Whole Story:
Quebec is about to get a lot sweeter.
Rogers Sugar announced it will increase the production capacity of its Montreal plant by approximately 20%, or 100,000 metric tonnes. The total investment for this project is estimated at approximately $200 million, and includes investments in sugar refining technology and equipment, as well as logistical infrastructure at Lantic’s Montreal sugar refinery and in the Greater Toronto Area to serve the Ontario market.
The Montreal component will take advantage of available space in the existing refinery buildings and site, allowing production to continue with minimal disruption. By using existing facilities, Rogers aims to minimize construction impacts to the surrounding community.
“This project is good for our customers, our shareholders and our communities, as we add
production to serve rising demand, invest in Canadian manufacturing and create jobs,” said Mike Walton, resident and CEO of Rogers Sugar and Lantic. “Our sugar volumes are steadily increasing, and these investments will enable us to serve future demand growth, support the domestic food-processing industry and improve efficiency within our operations.”
The project is made up of three key components:
Expansion of refining capacity with the addition of new sugar refining equipment at the Montreal plant.
Construction of a new bulk rail loading section in Montreal to serve increased shipments to the Ontario market.
Expansion of logistics and storage capacity in the GTA.
The company noted that the demand for industrial high-quality, reliable bulk sugar has steadily increased over the last few years, especially in Eastern Canada where the food-processing industry is expanding.
The growth in demand is directly associated with an increase in the production of sugar containing products in the food manufacturing sector. Rogers stated that investment will support such growth and further position the company to serve those food-processing customers and to benefit from additional long-term demand for bulk sugar.
Over the last few years, the demand for Canada’s refined sugar has steadily increased in Eastern Canada to meet growing production of sugar-containing food products for Canadian and export markets. The company currently meets the increasing demand of the industrial market by transporting bulk sugar produced at its Vancouver plant to its eastern-based customers. By expanding refining capacity closer to its customer base, Rogers says it will reduce freight costs, drive improved margins, and leave more Western Canadian capacity available for alternative sales opportunities, including export outside of Canada.
The company expects the incremental production and logistic capacity to be in service in approximately two years. The financing plan will include funding from debt and equity or equity like instruments sources. The project is expected to receive support from the Quebec Government in the form of loans from Investissement Quebec to the Company’s operating subsidiary, Lantic, for up to $65 million.
The project was made possible by a combined effort from stakeholders to raise $97M in funding.
It will be a mixed-use development across two concrete towers.
Construction on Ho’-kee-melh Kloshe Lum is expected to be complete in late 2025.
The Whole Story:
Construction is underway on an Indigenous-led and focused development in Vancouver that will bring nearly 170 mixed-use homes and 80 shelter beds to the Downtown Eastside.
Government and industry stakeholders announced a combined investment of more than $97 million to fund the 248 new spaces.
“This expansive new development will provide a variety of housing options that will help meet the diverse needs of the Downtown Eastside community,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “I look forward to seeing the lasting positive impacts I know these homes will have for so many residents, including families and elders. Our government will continue to work to build projects like this to provide new opportunities, security and peace of mind for British Columbians.”
Located at 1015 East Hastings St., the building is named Ho’-kee-melh Kloshe Lum, which means “to gather, good spirits.” It will be a mixed-use development across two concrete towers and will include 143 low- to moderate-income rentals, 25 supportive housing units and 80 shelter beds. All the homes and shelter spaces will be operated by VAFCS.
The development will prioritize Indigenous residents and will incorporate design elements to foster culture and community. This will include larger family-oriented homes, gathering and ceremonial areas, and space allotted for Indigenous artwork and installations.
Two social enterprise spaces are being planned and will feature a café and Klatawa Bike Shop, both of which will be operated by the VAFCS. The project will also include courtyard access, a rooftop multi-purpose room with a shared kitchen and landscaped area, and a multi-level day centre with a range of services available, such as lounge areas, a library, an art studio and counselling spaces.
The project is a result of a partnership between the province, through BC Housing, the federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indigenous Services Canada, the city of Vancouver, the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, and VAFCS. Development support has also been provided by Western Canadian Properties Group and M’akola Development Services.
“I would like to thank our many project partners, including the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, the City of Vancouver and the federal government for coming together on such a diverse new building,” said Joan Phillip, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “I look forward to seeing the doors open on these new homes so Indigenous families, elders and individuals can stay close to their community where their families and friends surround them.”
Construction on Ho’-kee-melh Kloshe Lum is expected to be complete in late 2025.
The objects were discovered during work on the southern half of Sea Island.
A certified archaeology and heritage lab is assessing them.
As part of its Sustainability and Friendship Agreement, Musqueam and YVR identify and protect archeological resources.
The Whole Story:
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has voluntarily suspended construction activities on the southern half of Sea Island, encompassing its South Airfield, following the discovery of what are believed to be Musqueam artifacts on the site.
At the time of finding, YVR suspended further work and notified Musqueam Indian Band. The artifacts have been sent to a certified archaeology and heritage lab for technical assessments.
“YVR is located on Sea Island, which is the traditional, unceded, and continuously occupied territory of Musqueam. This archaeological discovery demonstrates the longstanding and continued tie between Musqueam people and their ancestral territories,” said Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO at Vancouver Airport Authority. “For this reason, finding these artifacts is not unexpected and something we plan for together with Musqueam. We are committed to the protection of these artifacts and will continue to work with Musqueam to inform our current and future actions.”
As part of its Sustainability and Friendship Agreement, Musqueam and YVR identify and protect archeological resources. This includes using historic and recent maps of Sea Island to safeguard key areas of archaeological interest and outline protocols for chance finds and how they will be handled.
“Musqueam – our elders, knowledge holders, and staff – will work together with YVR to do the right thing. We recognize this is an important process and are committed to continuing to walk this path together with YVR,” said yəχʷyaχʷələq, (Chief Wayne Sparrow), Musqueam Indian Band.
The 12-storey structure will add more health capacity for the region, including 469 single patient bedrooms.
EDIH (EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare) secured the $3.6-billion contract to design, build, finance, and maintain the hospital.
Work is expected to wrap up in 2028.
The Whole Story:
Crews have broken ground on 1.3-million-square-foot South Niagara Hospital in Ontario.
“Today’s groundbreaking event for the new South Niagara hospital brings us one step closer to connecting the people of the growing Niagara region to more convenient care close to home for generations to come,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Right across the province, we’re investing nearly $50 billion over the next 10 years to support more than 50 major hospital projects. When it comes to your health, we’re building a healthcare system that all Ontarians deserve.”
The South Niagara hospital, strategically located at the intersection of Montrose and Biggar roads, is poised to bolster regional healthcare capacity. Its design aims to meet the burgeoning demands of Niagara’s aging population, encompassing centers of excellence dedicated to complex care, aging wellness, and stroke care.
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones called it a “historic milestone” for the residents of the Niagara Region.
Lynn Guerriero, president and CEO of Niagara Health had this to say: “Niagara residents have been planning, wishing, and waiting for this hospital for more than 10 years. I am thrilled that today we have officially broken ground on this exciting new facility. The hard work, planning, fundraising, and dedication from our teams and the community is making this dream a reality. We are one step closer to building a state-of-the-art hospital that will transform how we deliver healthcare in the region and allow Niagara residents to get the care they need right in our own community.”
The 12-storey structure will add more health capacity for the region, including 469 single patient bedrooms, eight operating suites, 42 hemodialysis stations, and two MRI machines. Its services will span emergency, critical care, diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical domains.
The South Niagara hospital aspires to become the first WELL-certified hospital in Canada, with design features prioritizing the health and well-being of hospital users, including staff and physicians. This approach aims to create a more positive workplace environment.
Additionally, the hospital will feature an Indigenous healing space and garden, designed with input from Indigenous partners to foster culturally safe and welcoming areas for Indigenous Peoples.
EDIH (EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare) secured the $3.6-billion contract for designing, building, financing, and maintaining the hospital back in February. Teams have been collaborating with Niagara Health staff, physicians, and patient and community partners to ensure the hospital design addresses the complex requirements of this state-of-the-art healthcare facility.
The project team has chosen to prioritize the engagement of local sub-contractors and workers to bolster the local economy, generating multi-year economic benefits and fostering employment and community growth in the Niagara region. EDIH has already been awarding early sub-contracts to local entities and labor unions.
Decew Construction (Rankin Construction) has commenced site work, preparing for the installation of the construction trailer complex, which is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. Excavation is scheduled to commence by the end of the summer, and the entire construction process is estimated to take five years, with the hospital slated to officially open its doors in the summer of 2028.
The RFP is expected to launch in September.
The project would connect Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa, Montréal, Trois-Rivières and Québec City with electrified and dedicated tracks that extend over 1,000 km.
The procurement process is being overseen by a fairness monitor.
The Whole Story:
The Government of Canada has announced the next stage of its High Frequency Rail project, the country’s largest infrastructure project.
Following the the launch of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in February, officials have invited following groups to move to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage:
Intercity Rail Developers (Intercity Development Partners, EllisDon Capital, Kilmer Transportation, First Rail Holdings, Jacobs, Hatch, CIMA+, First Group, RATP Dev Canada, Renfe Operadora)
QConnexiON Rail Partners (Fengate, John Laing, Bechtel, WSP Canada, Deutsche Bahn)
The project aims to connect Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa, Montréal, Trois-Rivières and Québec City with electrified and dedicated tracks that extend over 1,000 km. Travelling speeds could eventually reach 200 km per hour.
Once the RFP launches this September, participants will be asked to present their proposal, including a technically and commercially feasible solution, a business plan and a management plan for the co-development, construction, and operations phases of the project. Officials say that this approach will incentivize respondents to identify and prioritize the benefits to Canadians in their proposals, while also providing them with the flexibility to take innovative approaches to meet or exceed the desired project outcomes.
Budget 2022 provided Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada with close to $400 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to continue advancing key project activities and undertake the procurement phase of the project.
The entire procurement process is being overseen by a fairness monitor. This fairness monitor is an independent consultant that acts as an objective, third-party observer, who monitors the procurement process and ensures that it is conducted in a fair manner.
Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a priority for Ottawa, and officials stated that this is why early engagement with Indigenous communities is already underway. As part of the RFQ process, respondents were required to demonstrate their capacity to work with the government to create mutually beneficial, socio-economic development opportunities for Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous reconciliation is critical to the success of the HFR project and will be integrated in all phases of the project.
National security and related risks will also be assessed throughout the project, along with measures to address such risks. Selection of the chosen private developer partner will depend on several conditions, including national security.
High Frequency Rail is expected to change how Canadians travel in southern Ontario and Québec.
“I am thrilled that High Frequency Rail — the largest infrastructure project —is advancing to the next stage of the procurement process,” said Omar Alghabra, minister of transport. “This exciting initiative will require strong collaboration between Transport Canada, VIA HFR, and the selected private developer partner to create a sustainable foundation for the design and development of the project. I look forward to the next phase of this project.”
Currently, passenger rail service represents only 2% of all trips in the region; cars account for 94%.