Canadian Surface Combatant Land-Based Testing Facility: Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Where exactly will this facility be built at Hartlen Point?

This facility will be built on a portion of Department of National Defence (DND) land at Hartlen Point in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. The exact location of the facility has yet to be determined and will depend on the outcome of the ongoing environmental impact studies. Preliminary work is underway to determine the building’s specifications; this work will take place throughout the rest of 2022 and the design phase will continue well into 2023, after which construction is expected to begin. We expect to know more about the specifics of the facility in late 2022/early 2023, but the design depends heavily on the design of the Canadian Surface Combatant ships themselves, which is also currently underway.

It is expected that the new facility will be approximately 9000 square metres across 2-3 floors and it is anticipated that only a small portion of the Hartlen Point area (i.e. less than 1 hectare of the 15 hectares) will be occupied by the new facility. The majority of the Hartlen Point area, including the existing Hartlen Point Golf Course, will not be impacted by the project during construction.

The exact location and footprint of the building on Hartlen Point will not be finalized until environmental impact studies and building specification and design work is further developed. Studies and design work are ongoing and are expected to be completed in mid to late 2023.

Why is this being built at Hartlen Point?

Five potential sites were evaluated and Hartlen Point was found to be the most appropriate location because, unlike the other sites, it met all essential requirements for the project, including:

  • Close proximity to Canadian Forces Base Halifax and to ship building facilities and management centres;
  • Adequate space to house all personnel, equipment and systems in one location;
  • Directly on the coastline with line of sight to the ocean;
  • Allows for 130-degree live transmission of safe, government-regulated radio frequency emissions constrained out over the ocean, not unlike cell phone or television signal towers (essential for CSC testing requirements); and
  • Ability to properly secure the facility.

How much will this project cost?

The estimated cost for this project is $129 million (including all elements required to deliver the project, not only the construction). This estimate is included in the $56 to $60 billion budget for the full CSC program.

Will there be any negative impacts on the environment?

The Department of National Defence (DND) is committed to doing its part to leave a healthy environment for future generations of Canadians and to meet the targets set in the Greening Government Strategy and the Defence Energy and Environment Strategy (DEES). This project at Hartlen Point will follow DND’s Green Building Directive which targets net-zero carbon emissions and will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

We are in the process of completing a number of environmental studies. Once completed, we will have a better idea of the necessary steps required to mitigate and offset any impacts as a result of the project.

Will residents still be able to access Hartlen Point?

Hartlen Point is Department of National Defence (DND) property and has been since 1940. As a community partner and neighbour to many in the Halifax region, DND has allowed residents to use the lands at Hartlen Point for birdwatching, hiking and other activities. 

At this point in the project, it is too early to determine what future access to the site will look like. That said, Land-Based Testing Facility (LBTF) project staff are assessing ways in which residents can continue to have access to areas of Hartlen Point while ensuring all of DND’s safety, security and operational requirements are met. 

Once the construction of the facility begins, access to the immediate area of the construction zone will be fenced for safety and operational and security reasons.

Are there any health risks from this facility?

The health and safety of Canadians is DND’s foremost priority. As such, DND will be working closely with Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada to ensure the Land-Based Testing Facility (LBTF) has all necessary licenses and authorities to operate safely at Hartlen Point, and will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of all, including the general public and defence team personnel, while building and operating the LBTF.

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