Construction starts on large national defence facility in Yellowknife

Officials gather for a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday in Yellowknife for new Multipurpose National Defence Facility. Defence Minister Bill Blair is at centre in front of loader. Premier RJ Simpson is second from right, with NWT MP Michael McLeod at far right. (Photo courtesy of MP McLeod's office)

Construction began today for the $136 million National Defence Multipurpose Facility, designed to enhance the mobility, reach, and footprint of the Canadian Armed Forces in the North.

Artist rendering of new multipurpose facility in Yellowknife to be built on National Defence property in the Engle Business District (Phase 2) in Yellowknife. (Image courtesy Dep’t National Defence)

Minister of National Defence Bill Blair and Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal are in Yellowknife as part of the Trudeau government’s post-budget tour and took part in the ceremony.

The previously announced project will see the construction of a new, 9,200-suare metre headquarters building for the 1st Canadian Rangers Patrol Group as well as elements of Joint Task Force North, in Yellowknife.

Stated MP Michael McLeod: “This new multi-purpose building will bring together the Canadian Rangers and different elements of Joint Task Force North in a modern facility that meets their needs. This is good news for Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to Yellowknife, and for this entire territory.”

This project includes an Indigenous Benefits Plan as part of the design and construction contract, which requires the contractor to engage with Indigenous groups to provide business opportunities.

The new facility will include offices and classroom space for administrative and training purposes, an assembly space which will double as a drill hall, and space for vehicle maintenance and warehouse storage.

Currently, some components of Joint Task Force North and the Rangers are distributed among several temporary sites in Yellowknife.

The construction of the facility will sustain roughly 520 jobs and is expected to be completed next winter.

NWT MP Michael McLeod at Multipurpose Building announcement Wednesday in Yellowknife. (Photo courtesy of his office)