CSC’s National C-25 Construction Program


Today, CSC is proud to say that the delivery of the C-25 construction program has been a resounding success. In the past five five years, CSC, along with its partners, has guided a process that has seen the construction of 16 minimum security units, 12 medium security units, 7 maximum security units and 1 multi-level security living unit at 29 federal correctional institutions for men and women across Canada. In addition, to accommodate the increase in inmates and staff, parking facilities, 29 general purpose buildings, large-scale institutional kitchen renovations, and additional programming and parole office space were also constructed.


The Truth in Sentencing Act (Bill C-25), passed in 2010, changed how offenders are sentenced by limiting the credit for time spent in custody prior to sentencing. In anticipation of a significant increase in offender population, CSC and its partners developed a complex, nation-wide construction program, comprised of approximately 70 projects, within extremely tight timelines. The program consisted of the construction of over 2700 new beds at all security levels in existing institutions, as well as supporting infrastructure. Overall, the C-25 construction program represented a $701 million investment, resulting in the construction of well over 100,000 square meters of floor space.


Most of the construction took place within the constraints of a correctional environment, which involved the upgrading of security electronics to leading edge technology and required core utility improvements, all of which made the endeavor even more impressive. The outcome was a highly focused and structured construction program delivered by CSC, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), and MHPM Project Managers Inc. This program was particularly challenging as a result of the vastness of its scope, its technical complexity, and the extremely tight delivery timeframe, which required the integration of a variety of program and project systems; effective communication; and innovative project delivery methods.

A photo of a construction site

The timeframe for planning, design and construction of a living unit within a federal institution is typically five to eight years. In 2010, with the C-25 construction program, CSC was faced with the challenge of constructing 36 new living units at 29 of its institutions for men and women, expanding six of the existing living units at five institutions for women, as well as building supporting infrastructure and ancillary building spaces, that were required to be fully operational within shorter than typical timeframes.


From the outset, it was clear to CSC that there were three main factors critical to success: partnership, innovation, and effective governance. Partnership was required to add depth and breadth to the project delivery team. Innovation was required to develop suitable tendering, design and construction approaches for the situation.  It became apparent that a single approach to implementation would not work for all provinces and regions.  Effective governance was critical to remain focused on program objectives, to ensure effective and efficient delivery, and to balance CSC interests at the national, regional and institutional levels.


Thanks to the strong partnership with PSPC and MHPM Project Managers Inc., and unwavering support from the regions and institutions, CSC was able to achieve, in a timely and effective manner, a critical government priority. The processes and results that emerged from the C-25 construction program will not only serve to benefit CSC on future projects, but will also be of benefit to the Government of Canada in the delivery of any future national, multi-project, construction programs. 

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