Physical activities

The Department of National Defence has proposed the construction and operation of a land-based testing facility located at Hartlen Point, in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. As proposed, the Hartlen Point Land-based Testing Facility (the physical activities referred to as the project) would support Canada's new combatant ships in the design, integration, testing, evaluation, and accreditation of the ship's systems and equipment prior to being installed and during regular upgrades throughout the lifecycle of the ships. The project would operate for about 50 years and cover a surface area of roughly 6.75 hectares. It would include a building of approximately 11,500 square metres with warehousing, workshops, and testing and evaluation areas, as well as a parking area, access road improvements, and municipal service extensions.


Under subsection 154(1) of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the Minister) may, subject to any terms and conditions that the Minister specifies, delegate to the Agency any powers, duties, or functions that the Minister is authorized to exercise or perform under the IAA. On June 15, 2023, the Minister delegated the power to respond to requests for designation for which limitations under subsection 9(7) may apply, to the President or Vice-President of Operations of the Agency.


Non-designated Project


Pursuant to subsection 9(7) of the IAA, the Minister must not exercise his power to designate if a) the carrying out of the physical activity has substantially begun; or b) a federal authority has exercised a power or performed a duty or function conferred on it under any Act of Parliament other than this Act that could permit the physical activity to be carried out, in whole or in part. Therefore, the Minister cannot designate the project for the following reasons:

  • The project has substantially begun.
    • Land clearing of the 6.75-hectare surface area for the project has been completed.
    • Levelling, grading, and laying of gravel to upgrade the existing single-lane dirt road to a double-lane road was completed.
    • An active osprey nest and platform were relocated ahead of the bird-nesting season to mitigate potential effects to the nest and osprey.

Document Reference Number: 2

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