June 22nd, 2018

Senate won’t fully move out of Centre Block until end of year, reno delayed


By The Canadian Press on June 14, 2018.

The centre block of Parliament Hill is seen from the front gates in Ottawa on April 23, 2018. The Senate won't officially move out of its current home until the end of the calendar year, potentially pushing the start of a badly-needed renovation of the Centre Block until at least 2019. Federal officials overseeing a massive renovation of the buildings that make up the parliamentary precinct in the capital had planned to close the Centre Block for a decade-long rehab starting this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – Parliament Hill’s iconic Centre Block won’t be shutting down this summer, delaying the start of a badly needed renovation until at least next year.

The Senate has announced it will not officially move out of its current home until the end of this calendar year and a similar decision is expected later today for the House of Commons.

Federal officials overseeing a massive renovation of the buildings that make up the parliamentary precinct had planned to close the Centre Block for a decade-long rehab starting this year.

The Senate’s internal economy committee approved a phased-in moving schedule this morning that will relocate senators’ offices in the fall to temporary quarters in Ottawa’s former downtown railway station.

But the final move out of Centre Block will not occur until late December because their temporary home isn’t quite ready.

Senators say the phased transition won’t add to the renovation budget.

Renovating one of the country’s most iconic buildings is a massively complex project that has been years in the making, including creating a temporary House of Commons chamber inside the West Block.

Rehabilitating the parliamentary buildings is expected to cost more than $1 billion once all work is complete.

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