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In the News
May 2008

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Advanced light rapid transit technology recommended for BC’s Evergreen Line

In February 2008, the Province of British Columbia and TransLink released a business case that confirmed advanced light rapid transit (ALRT or SkyTrain-like technology) as the recommended technology for the rapid transit Evergreen Line, which will serve the northeast sector of Metro Vancouver. ALRT is automated and grade-separated, on tracks above, below or segregated from the street. The report is available at www.th.gov.bc.ca/evergreen_line/.

BC plans to increase its funding commitment to $400 million and will seek matching funds from the federal government. The province is also exploring whether a public private partnership may be the best model for delivery of the project. 

According to the news release, “ALRT technology on the Evergreen Line has higher construction costs than LRT, but significantly lower annual operating costs, significantly shorter travel times for commuters, and two and a half times more ridership by 2021.”

Alberta P3 school procurement underway

In mid-November 2007, the Alberta government invited construction industry applicants to submit their qualifications for the public-private partnership (P3) new schools pilot project, which was announced last June. If the project goes forward, Edmonton and Calgary will see 18 new schools.

Under the request for qualifications (RFQ), industry had until the end of November to submit documents supporting their qualifications, which will then be evaluated/scored by a government committee. Based on the scores, the committee planned to select the top three proponents who would then participate in the request for proposals stage of the procurement. The most competitive bid that demonstrates cost savings will be awarded the project. The award is expected to be made in mid-2008. Construction would begin fall 2008 and completion is expected by fall of 2010. More information on the P3 pilot project, including school site locations and a P3 Q&A, is available at www.education.gov.ab.ca/P3Project/ or by contacting Tim Chamberlin, Alberta Education at 780-644-6821.  

Nova Scotia contracts for road paving

In late December 2007, the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal released four paving tenders including projects that “spread over four counties and involve 26.6 kilometres of paving.”

At the end of January 2008, the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Cumberland awarded Cumberland Paving and Contracting Ltd. a $1,397,050 road-paving contract “to repave Barronsfield Road from the intersection of Route 242 in River Hebert, north for six kilometres toward Minudie. The project is scheduled for completion this summer.”

Kelowna water pump station being built in a green manner

Construction began on January 24 using sustainable practices in the construction of the new $7 million Cedar Creek Water Pump Station in Kelwona, BC.

According to the news release, “the design calls for the pump station to be constructed with rammed earth walls created by using existing soil from the area to form dense, stone-like walls. The eco-friendly walls provide a high insulation value and avoid waste and transportation costs associated with typical construction materials.

Further energy savings will come with the installation of a green roof where vegetation will help insulate the building, provide storm water management, extend the life of the roof as well as clean the air.

Inside the station, the ventilation system will be designed to recover heat rather than vent it outside. High efficiency motors will run the vertical turbine water pumps.

The eco-design extends to the building site with the addition of drought tolerant landscaping and shoreline protection to prevent bank erosion.

Once operational, water will be drawn from the existing intake in Okanagan Lake, treated with a new sodium hypochlorite disinfection system and then pumped to the Adams reservoir. The next phase of the project, installation of the ultraviolet (UV) water treatment facility connected to the reservoir, will be ready for tendering in the spring.”

Trail’s telerenal service a first in BC

Dr. Chi Zhang, a kidney specialist at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, BC, has introduced a virtual renal patient program to save patients time and travel on treacherous roads in the Kootenays. According to the news release in late January 2007, Dr Zhang “now conducts virtual office visits with rural patients from Kimberley to Grand Forks. There are between 300-400 renal patients in the East and West Kootenay, of which 70 are on dialysis and 50 have had kidney transplants. Trail is the first of 147 renal units in the province to establish the telerenal program. An additional bonus to the telerenal program is the same technology can be used to train nurses in a broader area without them all having to be at the same location.

Since the program’s introduction in April, participating patients have been surveyed on the new service. Approximately 95 percent of patients have reported “great satisfaction.”

For more information visit www.kbrh.ca.  

Windsor, Ontario introduces 311 online

In late January 2008, the City of Windsor announced 311 online, a service that “offers residents a quick and easy way to request a wide range of city services any time of day from the comfort of their home, office or workstation. …For everyday issues like potholes and trees, or big picture items like the official plan review, 311 online will complement the 311 call centre’s existing services, helping to ensure residents can communicate with the city easily and efficiently, when and where it is most convenient for them. Once a service request is entered, the information is sent directly to the appropriate department electronically, and a service request number is issued via email to the resident, which they can use for follow-up if required. Users are required to provide their name, email and phone number. Depending on the nature of the issue, a location may be required as well. To get started, visit www.311online.ca.

Ontario invests in campus renewals

According to the news release in late January 2008, as part of the $1.4 billion infrastructure fund announced in Ontario’s fall economic statement, “the campus renewal funding will go toward:

  • Energy efficiency - to help institutions increase efficiency, conserve energy and address health and safety and environmental concerns,
  • Campus safety and security initiatives - to assist institutions to improve safety and security systems and ensure students can complete their studies in safe and secure environments, and
  • Renewal of existing infrastructure - to help institutions maintain and repair their existing infrastructure.

Toronto’s George Brown College is receiving over $5.1 million towards its downtown Toronto campuses. Over $70 million is also going to other universities and colleges in the Greater Toronto Area. The remaining funding will be shared by colleges and universities across Ontario. “

BC seeks suppliers for the Homeless Outreach program

At the end of January 2007, BC issued a call for expressions of  interest to non-profit societies for the provincial Homeless Outreach program.

According to the news release, “new homeless outreach services are being introduced in eight communities: Comox Valley (Comox and Courtenay), Campbell River, Vernon, Penticton, Nelson, Terrace and Fort St. John. The call also seeks additional providers to expand existing services in Vancouver (for the Grandview, Collingwood/Renfrew and Kitsilano neighbourhoods), and to find an additional service provider in Prince George.

This proposal call is part of the expansion of the successful outreach program announced last October. Once implemented, nearly 40 communities will have services to help people break the cycle of homelessness. The Homeless Outreach Program receives annual funding of $3.9 million. Details of the proposal call can be found at: www.bchousing.org/programs/proposals

Manitoba invests in renal health

Manitoba is investing more than $20 million in funding to expand renal health services including dialysis and prevention education across the province.

The funding announcement made in late November includes expanding “dialysis services by:

  • developing 10 new stations at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg to accommodate an additional 60 patients a year,
  • creating a new six-station unit in Russell,
  • developing a new six-station unit in the Percy E. Moore Hospital at Peguis First Nation to serve patients from Peguis and Hodgson,
  • expanding a two-station unit to a four-station unit at Norway House, and
  • creating a new two-station unit at Berens River.”

Alberta municipalities get infrastructure funds

Through the Canada-Alberta Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CAMRIF), the province of Alberta and the federal government will invest more than $6 million in infrastructure projects in the towns of Drumheller and Chestermere and the villages of Rockyford and Veteran, Alberta.

  • Procurement process for new federal building in Quebec City

    Drumheller will upgrade the local wastewater treatment plant, which will increase plant capacity. The Villages of Rockyford, Veteran and the Town of Chestermere received funding to acquire infrastructure inventory software to improve tracking and management of the communities’ infrastructure needs and expenditures.

    With the results of the request for information (RFI) now available, the process for consolidating federal services in a new building in Quebec City by 2010 has moved to the request for qualifications phase, where the firms selected will be required to qualify by developing and proposing construction concepts for the new federal site. Once this phase is completed (in April 2008), the request for proposals phase will commence (ending in July 2008) and the qualified proponents will file their final construction concepts and their price bids.

    According to the news release, the RFI “generated 22 responses, with a total of 30 proposed sites, out of which 25 met the basic criteria listed in the request. Of the 25 proposed sites accepted, 19 are located in the D’Estimauville ward, five in the Lower Town and one in the Upper Town.

    This project aims to bring together in a single space of some 18,000 m2 nearly 750 federal employees now working out of Champlain Harbour Station, 1141 Route de l’Église in Sainte-Foy, and at 1040 Belvédère Avenue and 2800 St Jean Baptiste Street in Quebec City.”

    PCL Constructors contracted to lead Ottawa hospitals redevelopment

    In late December 2007, the Ottawa Hospital, the Queensway Carleton Hospital and Infrastructure Ontario announced that PCL Constructors Canada Inc. will “build and finance a $181-million redevelopment project for the Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Program – $46.7 million at the Ottawa Hospital and $66.3 million at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

    The contracts guarantee fixed prices and fixed delivery dates. … The estimated total cost of redeveloping both hospitals is $180.6 million, a price which includes the fixed construction contracts with PCL, as well as estimates for furniture, equipment, permits, architectural and engineering fees, transactional and project management fees.”

    "...Plans include renovations and an expansion of the cancer centre at the Ottawa Hospital’s General Campus, as well as the addition of a new satellite cancer centre at Queensway Carleton Hospital.

    Financing was arranged by TD Bank, Infrastructure Ontario indicated in a release.

    PCL started construction on both sites in January. Construction at the Queensway Carleton is expected to be completed in the fall of 2009, and construction at the Ottawa Hospital is scheduled to be done in early 2011.”

    Source Ottawa Business Journal Staff

    Canada Health Infoway program update

    At the end of Q2 of its 2007-08 fiscal year, Infoway had 241 active or completed investment projects. Of these, 148 were jointly developed with the provinces and territories. The other 93 are pan-Canadian projects sponsored by Infoway. Here’s a look at each program and its progress as of the end of September 2007.


    • 23 pan-Canadian projects: 9 active and 14 completed
    • All projects are progressing well.


    • 27 projects: 19 active, 8 completed
    • Notable new approvals include a new implementation phase of a PACS project in south-west Ontario that will connect the last 10 hospitals in local health information networks (LHIN) 1 and 2.


    • 29 projects: 17 active, 12 completed
    • 21 registry projects are jurisdictional and 8 are pan-Canadian.


    • 69 projects: 47 active, 22 completed
    • Notable new approvals include a combined teleradiology and picture archiving and communications system (PACS) implementation phase in the Northwest Territories.


    • 14 projects, all active
    • Notable new approvals include an implementation phase in Ontario to implement the “Panorama” pan-Canadian public health surveillance solution across all of Ontario.


    • 24 projects: 17 active, 7 completed
    • Notable new approvals include the start of a new implementation phase in Alberta that will implement a broad set of centralized HIAL and technical services that will provide robust, secure and efficient infrastructure to support the ongoing operation of Alberta’s iEHR solution.


    • 29 projects: 20 active, 9 completed
    • 13 projects are jurisdictional and 16 are pan-Canadian.


    • 18 projects: 11 active, 7 completed
    • New approvals include an implementation phase for a combined iEHR, Lab and Drug project in Manitoba.


    • 7 projects: 4 active, 3 completed
    • New approvals include an implementation phase for a combined iEHR and Lab project that will implement the HIAL and shared health record as well as a province-wide lab results information repository, throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Contract opportunities are posted on the Infoway website. Infoway maintains a database of interested suppliers, and contracts with pre-qualified vendors (PQV). Vendors are encouraged to register at http://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/WorkingWithInfoway/PBRRegistration.aspx and identify the categories of resources that the firm can supply. Registered firms are notified when the pre-qualified process is refreshed. Selected vendors will sign a Term Agreement with Infoway effective for 24 months. Vendors that are not selected are advised by letter. Questions on doing business with Infoway can be sent to procurement@infoway-inforoute.ca.

    Vendors should be able to provide resources in one or all of the following categories:

    • Project Management - Project managers provide oversight to sponsor lead projects, or lead internal projects.
    • Enterprise/Solution Architecture - Enterprise/solution architects will support jurisdictional project teams and internal projects by providing architectural knowledge and guidance.
    • Privacy and Security Architecture - Privacy and security architects will support jurisdictional project teams and internal projects by providing knowledge and guidance of privacy and security requirements and deliverables.
    • Change Management - Change management specialists provide subject matter expertise to Infoway and jurisdictional project teams.
    • Benefits Evaluation - Benefits evaluation specialists provide subject matter expertise to Infoway and jurisdictional project teams.
    • Business Analysis - Business analysts document requirements, prepare project documentation and provide general analytical support to project teams.
    • Healthcare Standards - Heathcare standards experts provide high level knowledge of the development, implementation and maintenance of pan-Canadian health care standards.
    • Subject matter expertise in health care - Candidates will have clinical or technical subject matter expertise in one or more of the following program areas:
      • Telehealth
      • Diagnostic imaging
      • Drug information systems
      • Laboratory information systems
      • Registries
      • iEHR
      • Public health surveillance

    Source: EHRnews, Volume 6, Winter 2008


    Contract for new tactical lift aircraft

    In mid January 2008, the federal government awarded Lockheed Martin Corporation a contract for the acquisition of the Canadian Forces new tactical lift aircraft – the C-130J.

    According to the news release, “tactical airlift is the lifeline of the Canadian Forces, providing reliable aircraft to quickly and safely carry passengers, heavy equipment and supplies over long distances in support of operations, or in response to crises, such as natural disasters.

    The purchase contract for 17 C-130J Hercules aircraft is valued at approximately US$1.4 billion, with an additional amount to be added in 2009 for at least 20 years of in-service support.

    Under the contract, Lockheed Martin Corp. is required to invest in the Canadian economy, dollar for dollar, what the Government of Canada spends in procuring and maintaining the aircraft over the life of the contract. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected in winter 2010.”

    For more information, see the tactical airlift backgrounder available at: www.forces.gc.ca.

    Partners help students achieve success in technology careers

    In mid summer 2007, the Alberta government through Alberta Education, announced it was working “with three major technology organizations – Dell Canada, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Cisco Canada – to offer the CompTIA A+ computer technology certification to students in all Alberta high schools and post-secondary institutions. This certification is an entry-level requirement in the information technology sector and will provide students with the basic qualifications required to work with computer hardware.

    Students who enrol in Career and Technology Studies (CTS) high school courses in computer repair and support will be able to take the CompTIA A+ certification exam at a 54 percent fee discount. High school teachers and post-secondary students who are taking courses to complete their CompTIA A+ certification will also benefit from the reduced exam certification fee.”

    Hants County, NS transit buys new buses

    The Government of Canada’s Public Transit Fund provided $260,000 to help Hants County Kings Transit Authority purchase two new buses, delivered in early February 2008. According to the news release, “further $50,000 contribution from the Public Transit Fund means a new video surveillance system can be installed on all Kings Transit buses to ensure the safety and security of transit riders.

    The buses are equipped with special features designed to better accommodate seniors and people with disabilities. An external bicycle rack is also available to carry two bicycles. These smaller, more fuel-efficient buses also take advantage of the latest diesel emission technology and operate on low sulphur fuel.

    These new buses are the result of the cooperation of multiple partners, including the Town of Hantsport, the Town of Windsor, the Municipality of West Hants, and the County of Kings. They all worked together in recognition of the importance of transit for the sustainability and prosperity of local communities.

    The $400 million Public Transit Fund is just one component of Building Canada. These funds are allocated to provinces and territories on a per capita basis and support projects with positive environmental effects, such as cleaner air and lowered green house gas emissions.”

    Federal plan addresses public opinion research report

    In mid December 2007, the federal government released its action plan (www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/apropos-about/li-fa/rpt-rpt-eng.html) in response to the report of the independent advisor on public opinion research (POR). According to the news release, “the government is acting in three key areas and will consult with industry where appropriate:

    • Ensuring better value for taxpayers: Our government will ensure effective planning of POR and that reductions are achieved to avoid overspending. The officials in PWGSC will also discuss with industry the use of pricing incentives for conducting research in non-peak periods. And it will look at options for centralized control for public opinion research.
    • Strengthening procurement: New contracting tools will provide greater rigour in supplier selection and contract management. Where appropriate, contracts will contain ceiling prices to ensure no costs over runs.
    • Reinforcing political neutrality: The government will strengthen the application of the requirements related to political neutrality in the “Communications Policy of the government of Canada” to ensure clarity, and develop a contract clause requiring suppliers to certify political neutrality in research provided to the government.

    This independent POR review is part of the ongoing implementation of the Federal Accountability Act and its accompanying action plan. The total cost of the review was approximately $610,000. This included $135,000 for the Independent Advisor’s honorariums and travel expenses and $475,000 for audit and administrative services, translation and production of the report.”

    Canadian government shares procurement expertise

    This is not an official version, just a brief summary.

    Looking to increase efficiencies and have greater transparency in procurement, the Government of Nigeria requested assistance from Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

    Along with the Canada School of Public Service, CIDA asked Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to develop a procurement policy framework for the Government of Nigeria, and the necessary online tools to support it.

    Three representatives from PWGSC’s Professional Development Division -- Rahul Badami, Kerry Sisk and Alexandre Tremblay – went to Nigeria to develop the framework and provide training to various Nigerian government staff and officials.

    Source: Service Canada, Doing Business with PWGSC, Summer/Fall 2007 (http://www.pwgsc.gc.ca/db/text/archives/2007/summer_fall2007/008-procure-e.html).

    NBPower contracts for new wind farm

    In late January 2008, NB Power selected Acciona Wind Energy to construct a 64.5-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Aulac, New Brunswick.

    According to the news release, “a 25-year power purchase agreement is being finalized between NB Power and the company, which will construct, own, and operate the wind farm. This is the second development for Acciona in New Brunswick. On January 22, it was announced that it would construct a 49.5 MW wind farm in Lameque.”

    DND to acquire militarized commercial off-the-shelf vehicles

    In mid November 2007, PWGSC released a request for proposal (RFP) to acquire 800 militarized commercial off-the-shelf vehicles (MilCOTS) on behalf of the Department of National Defence.

    According to the news release, “the Department of National Defence’s current fleet of over 2,700 medium-sized military trucks was purchased in the early 1980s. The age of the fleet has resulted in rising maintenance costs and the fleet is quickly reaching the end of its serviceable life.

    The release of this RFP follows the release of a draft RFP wherein suppliers had the opportunity to review and comment upon the government’s requirements and the project’s mandatory criteria. The final RFP reflects this feedback from industry.

    As part of the RFP, the successful supplier will be required to include contractual obligations for the provision of industrial and regional benefits, equal to 100 percent of the contract value.

    The Government expects to award a contract for these trucks by fall 2008 and it will provide the option of purchasing an additional 500 vehicles. Delivery of the first trucks is scheduled for the summer of 2009.”



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