The Department of National Defence (DND) will be building a Land-Based Testing Facility on a portion of DND-owned land at Hartlen Point in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia.
Frequently Asked Questions
↓ Public Update (May 15, 2023)
Site Selection Bulletin
A site selection bulletin has been developed to explain the process behind choosing a site for this particular project. The bulletin can be found in the Studies, reports and other documentation section below.
Current project activity: Early site preparation update
The first phase of site preparation, brush clearing and tree removal, occurred at Hartlen Point from early March 2023 to April 15, 2023. Work was conducted within this time period to ensure that these particular site preparation activities avoided the bird and bat breeding and migratory windows, as per the recommendation outlined in Canadian British Consulting Limited’s (CBCL) Bird and Bat Assessment report. This early site work took place within the designated project area which includes the area within the future Land-Based Testing Facility (LBTF) fence line as well as the roadway leading to the site. See the most recent map below (Figure 1) for reference.
The second phase of site preparation will take place between April 15, 2023 and the end of Summer 2023. Work is being conducted in cleared areas only in alignment with the CBCL Bird and Bat Assessment report; no additional brush clearing or tree removal will occur during this time. The second phase of site work consists of laying gravel for roadway access, extension of site services, and delineating of the construction zone for security and safety purposes. Site grading may also begin in late Summer 2023, however timing is subject to design progress.
Safety reminder: We ask that members of the public avoid any areas where site preparation activities are underway for their safety and that of the work crews. Signage, snow fencing and rope lines have been placed to indicate the construction zone perimeter. Safety teams will monitor all activities.
Osprey nest relocation: In partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR) and the Nova Scotia Bird Society, the osprey nest was successfully relocated to a more suitable location on Hartlen Point ahead of the nesting season in April.
The nest and its existing platform were moved to a site located closer to the water and farther from potential disturbances from site work and future LBTF operations. The Department of National Defence acknowledges and respects the thriving biodiversity and ecosystem at Hartlen Point, and completed this task as swiftly and carefully as possible to minimize disturbances to the osprey. After an initial period of transition when the osprey may attempt to rebuild at the previous location, it is expected that the pair will favour their old nest at the new location, as the DNRR has observed in the past for similar projects. If you have any questions, we kindly request that you reach out to us via the contact details listed below.
Studies, reports and other documentation
- Environmental Effects Determination – click here for the full-length report (English only)
- Soil Characterization by SNC Lavalin (SNCL) – click here for the full-length report (English only)
- Wetland Assessment by Canadian British Consulting Limited (CBCL) – click here for the full-length report (English only)
- Bird and Bat Assessment by Canadian British Consulting Limited (CBCL) – click here for the full-length report (English only)
- Traffic Impact Statement (Stantec) – click here for the full-length report (English only)
- The presentation from the first community engagement session held on March 3, 2022 can be found here.
- The presentation from the second community engagement session held on January 31, 2023 can be found here. A transcript of this session is available here.
- Land-Based Testing Facility site selection bulletin – click here.
Contact us! We welcome questions on this project at: CFBHalifaxPublicAffairs@forces.gc.ca
About the Canadian Surface Combatant Project
The Government of Canada is procuring 15 new Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) ships for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). This new fleet will upgrade and replace the capabilities of the current Halifax-class frigates and retired Iroquois-class destroyers.
The new CSC ships will be built in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Irving Shipbuilding.
Lockheed Martin Canada will lead the team that will design the ships and integrate the combat management system.
The new CSC ships will be tested and trialed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
About the Land-Based Testing Facility
To help bring the new CSC ships into service and support them throughout their lifecycle, the Department of National Defence (DND) will be building a Land-Based Testing Facility (LBTF) on a portion of DND-owned land at Hartlen Point in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. This project will test and integrate the ships’ capability systems before being installed on the actual vessels. The LBTF is critical to ensuring the new ships are ready to support members of the Canadian Armed Forces as they protect the sovereignty and security of Canadian waters and contribute to international operations on behalf of all Canadians.
Canada is a maritime nation, and the LBTF is an important, one-of-a-kind facility that will foster innovation and support sustainable growth in Canada’s marine industry. During construction and operation, the LBTF will contribute to the economy and to jobs and growth in the region. It is estimated that more than 10,000 Canadian jobs will be created or maintained throughout the 25-year construction period of the CSC ships, and the LBTF project is expected to sustain almost 350 jobs in the Halifax region throughout the various construction phases. Once complete, the facility will accommodate 120 full-time staff, including members of the RCN, DND employees and contractors.
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). The LBTF project at Hartlen Point will also follow DND’s Green Building Directive which targets net-zero carbon emissions.
DND is committed to ensuring stakeholders and the community are kept informed about this important project as it progresses.
|Design-Build procurement process launched||June 2021|
|Design contract awarded to PCL Construction||September 2021|
|First community engagement session||March 2022|
|Completion of environmental and traffic studies||March 2023|
|Second community engagement session||January 2023|
|Future Community engagement sessions||2023 onwards|
|Building design||2022 – 2023|
|Building construction||Late 2023 – 2026|