News Release

Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Senate of Canada plans a phased transition out of Centre Block // Move to begin in the fall of 2018, continue to January 2019

June 14, 2018

OTTAWAThe Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration has endorsed a phase-by-phase schedule for the Senate’s upcoming move to the Government Conference Centre (GCC), its temporary home while renovations take place at Centre Block.

The recommendation was presented to the committee this morning by Senator Scott Tannas, Chair of the Subcommittee on the Long Term Vision and Plan, the body overseeing the Senate’s move to the GCC. The phased transition will incur no additional costs to the project.

“We are delighted with the revitalization of this spectacular, historic facility – Ottawa’s Union train station – and look forward with great anticipation to occupying the building,” said Senator Tannas. “As we made these deliberations, an important consideration was that any move schedule not increase the costs. We are pleased to confirm the timeline for the move, starting first with individual senators’ offices and following with the Chamber once it is operationally ready.”

Senator Tannas highlighted the excellent collaboration between all involved – from the Speaker of the Senate, Senators, Senate staff and Administration, to Public Services and Procurement Canada and the House of Commons. He noted that the proposed phased approach for the Senate move would be conditional upon the House of Commons taking the same approach.

As Senator Tannas advised the committee this morning, while the GCC is close to completion, there are some remaining areas requiring additional time, testing and finishing touches. These include the integration of IT, security and broadcasting systems as well as the completion of the committee rooms. This work must be done to ensure the interim facilities are operationally ready to support Senate proceedings.

Therefore, the committee agreed that the move take place in a series of stages:

  • Fall of 2018: relocation of Senate archives, members of the Senate Administration and senators’ offices (with the exception of Senate leadership);
  • Fall of 2018: investigation work on the Centre Block (investigative work is done before construction to assess the state of the building and identify the scope of work), consisting only of activity that does not interrupt or interfere with the work of Parliament;
  • July to November 2018: integration of security and IT, including all necessary testing and training;
  • December 2018, after the last sitting of the Senate: full transfer of the Senate Chamber and Senate leadership offices.

Video of this meeting and all Internal Economy meetings can be accessed through ParlVU at:

SENATORS’ MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Senator Scott Tannas (English interviews) and Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain (French interviews). Media are asked to contact Alison Korn to request an interview.


For more information, please contact:

Alison Korn
Issues Management and Media Relations Advisor
Senate of Canada
phone: 613-943-6269 | mobile: 613-410-1892