Environmental Assessment Study

Of Future Interprovincial Crossings in Canada’s Capital Region









Federal and Provincial Environmental Assessment Coordination


Study Purpose


Study Objectives


Policy Context


Transportation and Planning Overview


Environmental Conditions and Effects


Process Scope


Transportation Alternatives

Evaluation factors and Criteria


Analysis and Evaluation of Alternative Corridors and Alignments


Preliminary Design


Planning and EA Process

Federal Environmental Assessment Requirements

Ontario Environmental Assessment requirements

Quebec Environmental Assessment requirements


Harmonized Environmental Assessment Process


Study Deliverables

Phase One - Planning Feasibility and Needs Assessment

Phase Two – Environmental Assessment

Deliverables by Consultant Team


Consultation Plan

Study Administration



Study Duration


Annex 1


Annex 2


Study Budget




1.1              Background


Transportation studies, principally the 1994 JACPAT Study of Interprovincial bridges in the National Capital Region, and the 1999 Interprovincial Transportation Concept Plan conducted jointly by the National Capital Commission (NCC), former Region of Ottawa-Carleton, former Communauté urbaine de l’Outaouais, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and Ministère des transports du Québec (MTQ), concluded that additional Interprovincial transportation capacity will be required in the National Capital Region (NCR) to accommodate forecast growth in the movement of people and goods in the 2021 planning horizon.  The forecast growth in the movement of people and goods is a result of population, employment and tourism growth in the NCR.


On the basis of these past studies that have identified transportation deficiencies, and having recognized the importance of integrated and comprehensive transportation planning, the National Capital Commission, Ministère des transports du Quebec and Ontario Ministry of Transportation have formed a funding partnership to conduct an Environmental Assessment study of potential additional inter-provincial transportation capacity (the “EA”). 


This EA is part of ongoing long term planning by federal, provincial and municipal authorities in the NCR.  It is an important step toward enhancement of interprovincial and regional transportation infrastructure and services in Canada’s Capital Region.


The NCC has prepared this Statement of Work in consultation with its provincial partners as well as with the City of Ottawa and Ville de Gatineau.  This document will form the basis for subsequent preparation of Terms of Reference to be submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Environment MOE for approval (hereafter known as the MOE Terms of Reference).  It is the opinion of MOE officials that this Statement of Work is comprehensive and could essentially serve adequately as Terms of Reference for submission to MOE for approval.


The EA study shall examine and define the nature of the problem, examine the deficiencies identified, develop and assess a range of alternatives, identify impacts on all aspects of the environment, suggest appropriate mitigation measures and estimated costs, and recommend a plan having a level of design detail that is considered appropriate to obtain all necessary environmental approvals from Quebec, Ontario and Canada.






1.2              Federal and Provincial Environmental Assessment Coordination


This Environmental Assessment must comply with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA), and the Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement du Québec (LQEQ).  Canada, Ontario and Quebec have agreed to co-ordinate their respective EA processes pursuant to the applicable environmental assessment legislations in accordance with the principles and spirit of agreements on environmental assessment cooperation between Canada and Quebec and Canada and Ontario.


The requirements of CEAA are triggered if the project defined by this Study is a federal project, requires federal land, is funded by a federal Agency, or requires an approval permit by a federal Agency.  For purposes of this EA, it is assumed that the principal triggers include but are not limited to use of Federal lands, and the requirement of permits under the Fisheries Act, and the Navigable Waters Protection Act permits.  It is recognized that permits will not be obtained at the EA stage of the Study, as more detailed design information would typically be required.  The EA report will accordingly include enough information on potential impacts, mitigation measures and conceptual compensation strategies to allow the federal agencies to conclude on the significance of environmental effects.


This document has been developed with expert advice, input and direction from federal and provincial environmental authorities.  This has been accomplished by consultation with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), The Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs MDDEP), and Ontario Ministry of the Environment MOE).


For purposes of this EA, CEAA will co-ordinate federal environmental assessment requirements, while the Consultant will be responsible for ensuring coordination between federal and provincial EA requirements. 


The integrated environmental, input and decision processes in schematic form for this EA is illustrated Annex 3 of this Statement of Work and is designed to guide the conduct of this EA.  The harmonized approach is designed to deal with the information requirements of both federal and provincial environmental assessment Acts and ensure effective and efficient coordination of the provincial and federal EA processes.


It is recognised by the CEAA, MOE and MDDEP that ongoing dialogue is required through the EA process, and that it may be necessary for the EA to include additional or more detailed information as the process proceeds.  It is the intention of the Study partners to produce one comprehensive package of documentation on environmental effects to meet all the information needs of the federal and provincial governments, and the planning framework of the City of Gatineau and City of Ottawa.  Federal, Ontario Quebec , City of Ottawa and City of Gatineau requirements regarding potential factors to be assessed in this Study have been integrated in this Statement of Work.



2                   Study Purpose


All levels of government in the NCR agree on the importance of ensuring safe and efficient interprovincial movement of people and goods.  The NCC, MTO and MTQ recognize that deficiencies will manifest themselves in interprovincial transportation infrastructure capacity and continuity of interprovincial transportation networks in the NCR, adversely affecting the future interprovincial movement of people and goods.  Past transportation studies have suggested that the situation will degenerate deteriorate with continued population, employment and tourism growth in the NCR unless concerted efforts are made to enhance interprovincial transit modal share, travel demand management (TDM) measures are put into practice, and additional interprovincial transport capacity is provided for the efficient and sustainable mobility of people and goods.


Past transportation studies, the 1994 JACPAT Study and the 1999 Interprovincial Transportation Concept Plan recommended different solutions to interprovincial transportation infrastructure capacity deficiencies.  It is important that in the early phase this Study develops a comprehensive definition and conducts a review of the problem, identifies the relationship of the problem to the lack of appropriate approaches to interprovincial crossings, examines the nature of the deficiency, determine the magnitude of long distance compared to short distance travel and develop an understanding of the origins, destinations, travel patterns and demands.


Considering the significance of interprovincial corridors to the local and provincial economies and quality of life, and considering the adverse effects of poor interprovincial traffic conditions and congestion, Canada, Ontario and Quebec are sponsoring this EA to help alleviate growing future disruptions to interprovincial transportation in the NCR.


The purpose of this EA is to assess prospective interprovincial transportation infrastructure capacity deficiencies in the NCR by considering the provision of sufficient additional interprovincial transport infrastructure capacity for a 20 year planning horizon and beyond.  The EA will be conducted in two phases.  Phase 1 will clearly define the problem(s),, assess the need and justification for new interprovincial transportation capacity in the NCR, examine traffic circulation issues and possible solutions, identify and evaluate new optional interprovincial corridors, determine the role and function of any new river crossing(s), develop conceptual designs for the optional corridors and associated alignments, and recommend the technically preferred corridor(s) and associated alignment(s).  Phase 2 will assess the environmental, social, economic, heritage, and planning impacts of the technically preferred corridor(s) and associated alignment(s), prepare preliminary designs for the technically preferred corridor(s) and associated alignment(s), including property requirements and order of magnitude costs, will propose mitigation measures and construction methodology at a level that is acceptable to obtain Quebec, Ontario and Canada environmental approvals.


The specific need and description for any proposed option(s) will be developed during Phase One of this Study through the preparation of a Transportation Planning, Need and Justification Report.  The Transportation Planning, Need and Justification phase will include travel demand forecasting by way of the EMME/2 model and transportation analysis for the 2021 and 2031 planning horizons.


The scope of impacts and benefits likely to be associated with the technically preferred option(s) may include, but not be limited to –


§         Urban growth and development benefits and impacts

§         Community and property impacts

§         Benefits and impacts on the existing and planned transportation network

§         Impacts on water quality, on existing terrestrial and aquatic vegetation, fauna and fisheries habitats associated with the Ottawa River and any other waterway affected by the interprovincial capacity upgrade and associated infrastructure

§         Impacts on terrestrial wildlife

§         Noise and vibration due to any construction and any vehicular traffic associated with the upgrade to interprovincial capacity

§         Nuisance during any construction associated with the interprovincial transportation capacity upgrade and allied infrastructure needs

§         Benefits to future interprovincial movement of people and goods

§         Air quality

§         Economic impacts and benefits

§         Social impacts

§         Heritage impacts


Technical work associated with this EA will build on and include a review of recent and past interprovincial transportation planning work completed in the NCR, including the Rapibus study, the Ottawa Transportation Master Plan, the NCC Core Area Plan, JACPAT Study and Interprovincial Transportation Concept Plan.  All relevant issues and opportunities will be reviewed during this Study.








3                   Study Objectives


The various component studies associated with this EA shall -


§         Develop the Terms of Reference, required by the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act, including public and agency consultation and approval by the Ontario Ministry of Environment

·        Define the study area and illustrate on a map suitable for public presentations

§         Describe the purpose, need, justification and timing for additional interprovincial transportation capacity by way of a new link or links in the 2021 and 2031 planning horizons;

§         Validate existing and future interprovincial travel demands for the movement of people and goods

§         Define and analyse the range and types of alternatives to the development of additional interprovincial link or links for consideration, including the "status quo" scenario;

§         Define and evaluate reasonable optional corridors and conceptual alignments for the development of additional interprovincial transportation infrastructure capacity, including mitigation plans and how these would be implemented; define the appropriate environmental monitoring strategy using a Multi Attribute Trade-Off System (MATS) evaluation system; assess the environmental impacts and mitigation measures, aesthetic significance, transportation impacts, community impacts, economic impacts and all development costs, including management, maintenance, lifecycle and operational costs of the technically preferred option(s);

§         Recommend and prioritise the two (2) highest technically  ranked conceptual design(s) for subsequent detailed assessment;

§         Provide a detailed consultation plan that clearly engages the public, Federal and provincial agencies, municipal councils and special interest stakeholders, and that follows at a minimum the environmental requirements of the Québec, Ontario and Federal governments;

§         Identify and implement requirements for co-ordinating the environmental assessment processes of Quebec, Ontario and Canada

§         Estimate the total cost and the benefits of the provision of any new interprovincial link or links, and associated approach connections with local and provincial transportation networks, including capital and maintenance costs

§         Identify a level of design for the preferred link or links, including associated approach connections with local and provincial transportation networks, that is considered necessary to obtain environmental approvals from Canada, Quebec and Ontario authorities

§         Identify construction staging options and implementation strategy for construction of the preferred link or links.

§         Obtain the necessary environmental assessment approvals in accordance with requirements of Canada, Ontario and Quebec authorities.


Vertical profile, grade separation and earthwork issues would be examined in conceptual form for candidate interprovincial corridors and links.  Possible types of structures and interchange configurations would be identified at a concept level for the preliminary evaluation.  Environmental effects and mitigation measures would also be identified at the concept design level, providing adequate information to proceed with subsequent more detailed location, evaluation and design activities.


The Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada has identified information requirements for the construction of bridges with the expectation that authorisation in accordance with the Fisheries Act and the Transport Canada Navigable Waters Protection Act will be required.  The information requirements are listed in the Supporting Documents section of this Statement of Work.  The consultant is required to contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada to obtain the appropriate documentation.



4                    Policy Context


Existing plans and policy documents shall provide the policy framework for this EA Study.  The documents listed in Annex 1 will be reviewed by the Consultant in the initial stages of the EA to incorporate the most recent federal, provincial and local policy directions.


There are a number of analogous principles in the aforementioned documents and other planning, transportation and environmental policy documents.  These principles will help guide the selection and evaluation of options and of the assessment of the preferred option in this Study.  The common principles include –



§         Efficient management of economic growth and vitality

§         Making effective and efficient use of existing transportation infrastructure

§         Developing a safe and efficient interprovincial transportation network for the movement of people and goods

§         Developing an integrated network for interprovincial mobility that enhances sustainable urban transportation choices for the public and that works to protect the environment

§         Transportation strategies and technologies that promote a clean and healthy social and natural environment

§         Support national and local clean air objectives

§         Improve overall accessibility to and in the National Capital Region

§         Reduce the impacts of interprovincial heavy truck transport on the core area

§         Discourage urban sprawl and promote smart growth consistent with federal, Ontario and Quebec policy directions.



5                   Transportation and Planning Overview


The Consultant must achieve a good understanding of planning and transportation issues affecting the NCR over the next two decades.  The factors that affect transportation in the NCR are affected by growth in population, employment and tourism both in the NCR and in areas external to the NCR.  This Study must include consideration of mid and long-term planning horizons and a balanced examination of options that will help relieve interprovincial traffic congestion, favour orderly and managed growth, and promote integrated land use and transportation development.  It must also take into account interprovincial transportation network integration, inter modal linkages, and access to key activity and growth areas. It must also take into account the transportation planning framework in the NCR established by federal, provincial and municipal levels of government.


The City of Ottawa Official Plan (OP) adopted in 2003 projects a population increase from 800,000 to 1,200,000 people by 2021.  Transportation improvements are considered crucial by the OP in accommodating this population growth and the associated increases in travel demand.  The OP proposes a growth management strategy that emphasizes urban intensification and increased mixed-use development centered on rapid transit as a means to deal with travel demand and to discourage the use of single occupancy vehicles for peak period travel.  By minimizing the future need for new and widened roads, while avoiding levels of congestions and air pollution, this strategy supports the vision of sustaining the natural environment, optimizing economic vitality and ensuring healthy communities.  The City of Ottawa Transportation Master Plan (TMP) was approved in 2003.  The TMP established a target for interprovincial transit modal share of 36%, representing a substantial increase from the present estimate of 16%, thereby requiring concerted measures to make transit more competitive. The TMP has also indicated the City is prepared to work with the federal, Ontario and Quebec governments and the City of Gatineau to determine the location of two new crossings of the Ottawa River, and until such time has committed to prohibiting development that could hinder the implementation of any identified potential crossing locations, including those at Kettle Island, and between Orléans and Angers.


Interprovincial heavy truck traffic in the urban core of the City of Ottawa, including on King Edward Avenue, is a key issue.  King Edward Avenue is a principal municipal route in the eastern core area of Ottawa and serves as a direct connection by way of the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge with the Quebec highway network in the Ville de Gatineau.  The MacDonald-Cartier Bridge represents the only direct interprovincial link among the five existing interprovincial vehicular bridges to the Quebec provincial highway network.  Ottawa City Council has endorsed a preferred plan for renewal of King Edward Avenue to a 4-lane facility that recognizes the need to accommodate a mix of modes, and recognizes that the King Edward Avenue/Rideau Street/Waller Street/Nicholas Street route will remain a truck route until such time as a new interprovincial bridge is built and designated as an interprovincial truck route.  City Council also agreed that the feasibility of modifying the existing 6-lane configuration to a 4-lane option shall be reviewed once this Environmental Assessment study is completed.


Other key transportation issues to be examined in this study include regional mobility for a range of trip purposes, existing and projected peak period congestion safety and security, links with provincial highway networks, and the method of financing including the principles of Private-Public Partnership and Design-Build-Operate.


The Official Plan for the City of Gatineau aims at ensuring effective transportation and transit services for all residents and employment areas, with special focus on the downtown Hull sector and downtown Ottawa, including alternative modes of mobility, such as bicycle, pedestrian, public transport, and taxis.  The Plan has established a hierarchy of roadways, and defines a transit system strengthened by a comprehensive and growing network of High Occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.  The City of Gatineau recognizes the Kettle Island corridor and Britannia-Deschênes corridor as potential axes for the establishment of future interprovincial crossing or crossings.  It is committed to analyzing all potential corridors leading to a decision on the location of a new crossing or crossings.


The National Capital Commission (NCC) has a federal mandate and mission to build the Capital Region as a source of pride and unity for all Canadians.  The NCC accordingly has a strong interest in projects that influence the image and livability of the National Capital Region.  The Plan for Canada’s Capital was developed by the NCC in 1999 to provide overall guidance to planning and transportation decisions affecting federal lands in the NCR.  The Plan envisions optimization of existing interprovincial bridges to support efficient mobility and use of infrastructure, and envisions a new crossing across the Ottawa River to link communities in Gatineau and Ottawa to facilitate access to visitor destinations and federal accommodations.  The Plan focuses interprovincial access on facilitating the mobility of goods and people, and stress the need for cooperation amongst all governments to reduce demand for and determine the location(s) timing of, future river crossing(s), while minimizing community and environmental effects.


The NCC also recently prepared the Strategic Transportation Initiative (STI) White Paper that articulates federal goals for sustainable urban transport in the Capital Region. The STI builds on a number of recent federal initiatives that have been directed at encouraging more sustainable communities and urban transport choices.  The STI focuses on categories of Moving People, Moving Goods, System Integration, Symbolism, Federal Assets and Infrastructure, and National and International Context that are supported by strategies and actions that would be implemented by the Commission or jointly with other levels of government and the community.  Implementation of the strategies will be subject to the availability of budget funding, and some would require more study and evaluation while others would likely be reviewed over the lifetime of the STI.



6.     Environmental Conditions and Effects


This Study shall use a process that aims to decrease or prevent detrimental environmental effects.  For the purposes of this Study, "environment" will include natural, social, archaeological, economic, heritage and cultural features.  Specific mitigation measures and approaches for management of environmental effects will be developed and defined as part of the Study.


Secondary source environmental research will be required prior to and during the preparation of Terms of Reference for MOE approval and preparation of the Study Design for this EA.  The results of that research would enhance understanding of the existing environment and principal environmental features in the Study area along the entire Ottawa River corridor.  Supplementary environmental investigations, including field investigations will be required during the Study.  This environmental work will help further identify environmental conditions features in more detail, and will assist in the assessment of alternatives to the project and the generation and evaluation of alternative methods.  More detailed environmental examination will be required as the study progresses and the range of candidate interprovincial corridors becomes more focused.



7                   Assessment Process


7.1              Harmonisation


The multi-partner and interprovincial aspects are a unique characteristic of this EA.  The intent of the partners is to conduct one body of work pertaining to the generation, analysis, evaluation and recommendation of options, and document the EA findings, conclusions and recommendations in a format that is suitable for review by the partners, other authorities, stakeholders, and the public.


The environmental requirements of Canada, Quebec and Ontario will be applied to this Study.  Where two or more processes may indicate different levels of requirements, in order to achieve the same goal, the more stringent and rigorous will must be applied.  While it is recognized that definitions, measurement methods, levels of detail and consultation requirements of according to the different processes may vary, and that the Study will satisfy the requirements established by CEAA, MOE, and MDDEP., the Study must also satisfy other relevant Canadian, Ontario and Quebec legislations.


7.1.            Transportation Alternatives


Future interprovincial crossing locations and associated links with roadway and highway networks in Ottawa and Gatineau shall be determined following a study of all reasonable corridor options that include but are not limited to Kanata-Aylmer, Britania-Deschênes, Lemieux Island, Kettle Island, Petrie Island, MacLaurin Bay, and a link between Cumberland and Masson.


The EA must also include a consideration of alternatives to the undertaking, including but not limited to


Travel Demand Management (TDM) strategies that include measures to improve the function of the existing transportation system by managing travel demand without expanding or providing new infrastructure.  TDM strategies are aimed at reducing total demands on the transportation network, shifting demands to time periods outside of the peak traffic periods, and shifting demands to alternative modes of transportation, namely walking, cycling and transit.


Transportation Systems Management (TSM) measures designed to improve the efficiency and safety of the interprovincial transportation system and optimize the use of existing and planned infrastructure through a range of initiatives. Measures include transit priority, intelligent transportation system strategies, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, Park’n’Ride facilities and dedicated bus lanes.


Improved or New Bus Transit Services designed to enhance the capacity of the transit system by increasing services on the existing transportation network, accommodating new transit services.


New Light Rapid Rail Transit Systems for commuter and visitor travel along new corridors.


Diversion of Goods Movement from the Core Area to peripheral areas of the NCR or by the potential diversion of freight transport from trucks to rail, to encourage a greater proportion of interprovincial freight movement outside the Core Area and thereby provide some relief to transportation congestion along existing interprovincial corridors in the urban area.


Improvements to Interprovincial Networks whereby capacity is improved on existing facilities or new facilities are provided to increase capacity and improve the performance of the interprovincial transportation network.  Congestion is alleviated through additional capacity on existing roadways or by adding interprovincial capacity in new corridors.


Doing Nothing also considered as the status quo, where the transportation system is limited to implementation of routine maintenance initiatives to ensure the safe movement of people and goods.



7.3              Evaluation Factors and Criteria


The assessment of alternatives shall consider general factors and criteria that reflect objectives aimed at tackling the transportation problems and issues established by the Transportation Planning, Need and Justification process, while evaluating potential impacts on the environment.  The assessment of alternatives will use the following list of proposed factors and criteria.  These represent the minimum considerations for identifying the utility and drawback of the various alternatives, and is subject to refinement based on input obtained as part of the consultation for this EA Study.



Factors including transportation safety, levels of service, mobility, congestion, accepted  codes and standards, construction staging, interprovincial system continuity, linkage with local and provincial roadway networks, travel time, freight movement efficiency , transit modal share improvements.  The transportation analysis and functional  design of alternative crossing alignments shall include consideration of vertical and horizontal clearances required to satisfy Transport Canada Navigable Waters Protection Act requirements, pier protection, and interchange configurations to function at or above acceptable levels of service to accommodate  2021 traffic demands.  Specific criteria may include but not be limited to -


§         Impacts of any proposed interprovincial transportation system modifications on demands for the movement of people and goods.

§         Impacts of any proposed interprovincial transportation system modification on growth in peak hour interprovincial travel and induced demand

§         Extent to which any proposed modification to the interprovincial transportation system resolves identified problems and issues.

§         Extent to which use of the existing road and transit systems are optimized by the use of TDM and TSM measures.

§         Impacts of any proposed modification to the interprovincial transportation system on enhanced network connectivity and continuity.

§         Impacts of any proposed modification to the interprovincial transportation system on improved modal choice and a more balanced transportation system.

§         Impacts of any proposed modification to the interprovincial transportation system on conformity with federal, provincial and municipal plans and policies,

§         Impacts of construction on the existing or planned urban transportation network in the NCR,




Factors will be evaluated using primary and secondary sources, field observations and possibly interviews with economic stakeholders, and will consist of and not be limited to commercial and industrial environments, property requirements, businesses, tourism; and the introduction of electronic tolling systems.


Specific criteria may include and not be limited to impacts or benefits to -


§         agricultural activities

§         commercial and industrial areas

§         provincial, regional and municipal economic policies regarding tourism and recreation.

§         land use and growth management strategies in provincial, regional and municipal plans.




Factors may be evaluated using secondary sources, field observations and possibly design simulation and virtual modeling to ensure context-sensitive design, and will consist of but not be limited to consideration of landscape and urban design, noise, community integrity, recreation potential, emergency services, land use plans and policies, aesthetics and visual impacts, and property requirements.  Specific criteria may include but not be limited to  -


§         Areas of residential development

§         Areas of institutional development

§         Nuisance, impacts such as noise, vibration and lighting

§         Community cohesion and character

§         Heritage and archaeological sites

§         Cultural landscape features

§         Parks and recreation sites




Factors to be evaluated include but are not limited to fisheries and aquatic habitats, wildlife, significant species of fauna and flora, significant natural areas such as watercourses and sensitive areas, vegetation, surface water, groundwater, air quality, contaminated sites, erosion and sediment control, storm water management and management of any surplus materials.  Specific factors include and are not limited to -


§         Impacts on natural environment features, functions, systems and communities.

§         Impacts on consumption of agricultural and sensitive lands

§         Impacts on toxic and greenhouse gas emissions

§         Conformity with federal, provincial and municipal environmental protection and green space policies,

§         Impacts on prime agricultural areas

§         Impacts on important fish habitat features including spawning, rearing, nursery and feeding areas

§         Impacts on water quality

§         Impacts on significant wetlands and wetland functions

§         Impacts on vegetation, fish and wildlife species that are endangered or at risk

§         Impacts on ecological corridors

§         Impacts on environmentally sensitive areas and areas of natural interest

§         Air pollutants and GHG emissions

§         Contaminated sites

§         Forest lands and woodlots




Factors include but are not limited to construction, maintenance, and property acquisition costs.  Specific criteria may include but are not limited to –


§         Property requirements

§         Capital, operating, and maintenance costs

§         Lifecycle costs



8.                 Analysis and Evaluation of Alternative Corridors and Alignments


This EA Study will evaluate alternative corridors and conceptual designs and constructability of associated interprovincial transportation infrastructure and facilities.  The designs will be prepared at the level of detail sufficient for analysis and evaluation of impacts for each alignment.  Effects on the environment that will be caused or may possibly be caused will be identified.  In addition, approval requirements, mitigation or compensation measures and enhancement opportunities will be reviewed with agencies and other stakeholders.  Comments from the public, key agencies and stakeholders will be considered in the analysis and evaluation of the alternative corridors and concept designs, resulting in refinement of the analysis as required.


The net effects following mitigation of each alternative alignment on the environment will be assessed in a traceable and objective manner and used to identify the technically preferred alternative(s). An evaluation methodology that allows for the comparison of quantitative and qualitative data shall be used.  The methodology and analysis results shall be presented to stakeholders and the public and documented in the EA Study report.  The analysis will identify the recommended alternative corridor(s) to be carried forward for more detailed assessment in the EA Study.  The technically preferred alternative(s) should best resolve the specified interprovincial transportation infrastructure need and justification.  A detailed rationale for the selection of the technically preferred alternative(s) will be provided in the EA Study report.



9.                 Preliminary Design


A preliminary design, including plan and profile, will be prepared for the preferred alternative corridor(s) and alignment(s),  The cumulative effects for the preferred corridor(s) and associated alignment(s) will be determined.  The preliminary design plan(s) shall be prepared to a level of engineering detail necessary for the development of mitigation measures in consultation with the appropriate agencies, for approvals or decisions in accordance with CEAA by the appropriate Federal regulatory authorities, for MOE approval under the Ontario requirements, for approval by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) in accordance with Quebec requirements, and for approval by other federal and provincial regulatory authorities.  Mitigation or compensation measures and enhancement opportunities will be determined in consultation with federal and provincial regulatory agencies and other stakeholders as required.  Recognizing that there could be a considerable time period between endorsement of the EA Study results by the partners and implementation, a process will be developed through the EA Study to identify potential revisions to the design(s) to reflect advancements in engineering and environmental mitigation practices.



10.            Planning and EA Process


It must be noted from the multi partner environmental assessment, input and decision process for this Study as illustrated in Annex 3 that concurrence among partnering parties must be achieved prior to proceeding from Phase 1 to Phase 2..  The multipartner feature and interprovincial character of this EA requires several environmental assessment reports to be completed and submitted for approvals to the various Canadian, Ontario and Quebec authorities.  The EA must be flexible enough to allow enhancements to the process as required based on findings of the Study as well as public and stakeholder input received during the course of the Study.



10.1          Federal Environmental Assessment Requirements


It is expected that technical work associated with this EA Study will provide adequate information to support a decision to trigger the Canadian process and to allow federal authorities to make a decision in accordance with CEAA.  Preliminary design of the technically preferred interprovincial corridor(s) and route alignment(s) will accordingly be required as part of this EA Study.  It is anticipated that this will assist federal and provincial authorities to make informed decisions in an integrated fashion.  It is recognized that ongoing dialogue between the partners for this Study, municipal authorities, and federal authorities including CEAA, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada and others will be required throughout the Study process as details of the project become more apparent.



10.2          Ontario Environmental Assessment Requirements


Ontario environmental assessment legislation requires that proponents develop and obtain approval for Terms of Reference before initiating an environmental assessment.  The Terms of Reference are subject to review by agencies, stakeholders and the public, and are submitted to the Ontario Minister of the Environment for approval.  The proponent can subsequently proceed with the environmental assessment in accordance with the approved Terms of Reference.



10.3          Quebec Environmental Assessment Requirements


The principal authorizing agency for this Study in Quebec is the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP), who must issue a ‘Certificate of Authorization’ to proceed.  Typically, a decision on the EA Study report and the certificate application including the notice for the eventual project along with opportunities for public consultation and input following completion of the environmental assessment study report could require up to 18 months, following completion of the EA Study.  The process is usually triggered with the filing of a project notice,, followed by submission of the EA report for review by the MDDEP.  The public consultation process can commence once the MDDEP accepts the EA Study report.  A 45-day public consultation period is then announced by the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE).  During the public consultation period, any individual may request a public hearing.  The BAPE process takes four months, involving a public hearing with evidence presented by experts as well as by members of the public.  The BAPE process is completed with a report to the Quebec Minister of the Environment.


The Quebec Environmental Assessment Act (QEAA applies to bridge and roadway projects that are defined as having a length of at least one kilometre, a width of at least 4 lanes, a right-of-way of at least 35 metres, that requires any digging, dredging, filling or embankment works equivalent to at least 300 metres in length or 5000 m2..  In such circumstance, a conceptual definition of the method of implementing the project must be provided.


Quebec environmental assessment authorities require the definition of the project as the determinant of the trigger to proceed with the environmental assessment.  In the case of this Study, where project information is not defined at the initial stages, Quebec environmental assessment authorities have indicated that the project definition and any decisions in accordance with the QEAA will require a Planning, Feasibility, Need and Justification report at the end of Phase 1, followed by the Environmental Assessment of the technically preferred alternative for the defined project in Phase 2.  Quebec environmental assessment authorities have agreed to participate until there is conclusive and certain information to help them define the project and also with respect to their responsibilities regarding the subsequent environmental assessment.  Quebec environmental assessment authorities have also agreed to deposit a notice of commencement for this EA Study as soon as possible, prior to identification and definition of the project.  This would allow Quebec environmental assessment authorities to participate from the earliest stages of the process.  Official Quebec directives identifying environmental assessment process requirements for roadways are included in the list of supporting documents in Annex 2.  The document is intended to help define the process and scope and extent of the evaluation of impacts.  It identifies the explicit information necessary to the environmental assessment process and the process of authorization by the government.



11.            Harmonized Environmental Assessment Process


Recognising that the initiative to enhance interprovincial transportation capacity will require approvals from Canada, Quebec and Ontario, the partners for this Study are proposing to follow a harmonized process that would satisfy the requirements of the respective environmental assessment legislation of Canada, Ontario and Quebec, and rerspect the environmental and transportation planning objectives of the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa.  The principles of the Canada-Quebec agreement and Canada-Ontario agreement are attached as Schedule E and Schedule F respectively.  A key common principle is that agencies, interest groups, community groups and the public are provided the opportunity to participate and provide input throughout this EA Study process.  The partners for this EA accordingly are committed to actively seeking input from all stakeholders at key milestones in this Study.  Another key principle requires the partners for this EA Study to ensure that the more rigorous requirements are incorporated where different processes may specify different requirements in conducting the EA Study.  The intent is to conduct one body of work pertaining to feasibility, need and justification, to analysis and evaluation of alternatives, and to the documentation of the EA Study findings in formats suitable for review by regulatory authorities, by stakeholders, and by the public.



12.            Study Deliverables


This Study will utilize a two-phased approach to examine alternatives, identify a technically preferred alternative, and complete the environmental assessment of the preferred alternative.  Phase 1 will focus on preparation of a study design by the consultant, development by the consultant of Terms of Reference for approval by the Ontario Minister of the Environment, definition of the problem, need, rationale and justification for the studythe identification and assessment of alternatives to the project, and evaluation of alternative corridors and conceptual route designs to determine the technically preferred corridor(s) and conceptual alignment(s).  In Phase 2, the environmental, social, economic, cultural, urban design and transportation impacts of the technically preferred corridor(s) and preliminary design(s) of the technically preferred alternative(s) shall be assessed, and mitigation measures proposed.


As the scope of alternative locations and alignments become more focused, more detailed environmental investigations shall be conducted.  Impact assessment will be conducted at a more general and strategic level, based primarily on secondary source information when comparing alternatives to the proposed option(s) and in more detail when comparing alternative locations and alignments for the endeavor.  The information collected will have to be supplemented with field data and additional research when evaluating alternative locations and alignments.  Once the technically preferred corridor(s) and route alignment(s) are selected, more detailed data and inventories will be collected and analyzed.





12.1          Phase One - Terms of Reference, Planning Feasibility and Needs Assessment


§         Prepare a Terms of Reference for submission to the Ontario Ministry of Environment and notice of study commencement, and all associated required public notices, and including public consultation reports summarizing comments by review agencies and the public, as part of the mandatory review of the Terms of Reference required by the MOE;

§         Review of background plans, studies and other applicable information;

§         Identify need for any additional data or information collection, including proposed methodology, need, purpose, and associated cost;

§         Document existing conditions including environmental, transportation, social heritage, cultural, land use;

§         Prepare a Study design including detailed outline of technical tasks, associated scopes, consultation program, timelines and deliverables, to be disclosed for review by the public and stakeholders, and refined as required following public and stakeholder input;

§         Develop an approach to meet the EA requirements of Quebec, Ontario and Canada in a coordinated fashion, including proposed steps and key milestones;

§         Prepare a notice of Study initiation for submission to Ministère du Développement Durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs(MDDEP) as required by Quebec environmental legislation;

§         Describe the appropriate process for screening of all reasonable options and alternatives;

§         Define a methodology, factors and approach for evaluation of alternatives, including and not limited to engineering, planning, geotechnical, social, transportation (including public transit, cycling and pedestrian needs), environmental and economic considerations;

§         Define a detailed consultation program including identification of study advisory committees including membership, roles, responsibilities, and timelines, stakeholders;

§         Make provision for presentations to the Study partners.

§         Identify in consultation with community, business, interest groups, and industry stakeholders key economic, environmental, technical, design and service issues and concerns, and seek input regarding alternative corridors, concepts, evaluation factors and evaluation methodology;

§         Describe the characteristics and rationale for the initiative, define the problem,

§         Define the initial range of alternative corridors, conceptual infrastructure links, and alternatives to the endeavour including but not be limited to the “status quo”, possible congested network option, network improvement option, and concerted transit improvement option for the 2021 planning horizons;

§         Evaluate the alternatives to the proposed option(s) to determine how well they satisfy the aforementioned factors, including order-of-magnitude capital and operational costs.  The evaluation shall utilize a comparative analysis process such as the Multi-Attribute Trade-off System (MATS) to allow the study partners, stakeholders and public to evaluate trade-offs involved in the evaluation and use of the resulting information in the decision-making process.  Sensitivity testing shall be conducted to reflect the broad range of public, stakeholder and agency values.  This phase shall also incorporate a peer review such as Value Engineering,;

§         Refine the preferred alternative(s) as a result of a peer review process such as Value Engineering, including development of mitigation plans;

§         Identify the technically preferred alternative(s) including conceptual alignment(s) and approach route(s) designs plus associated implementation strategy;

§         Prepare the Planning Feasibility, Needs Assessment and Justification report for presentation to City of Ottawa Transportation Committee, Ville de Gatineau Planning Advisory Committee, National Capital Commission Executive Management Committee, and deposit the report for review by stakeholders, federal and provincial regulatory authorities, and the public;

§         Prepare public and agency consultation reports that describe the methodology for analysis and reply to public and reviewer comments;

§         Define the process, scope, tasks, schedules, deliverables and estimated costs for  the detailed environmental assessment in Phase 2 using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) format.



12.2          Phase 2 – Environmental Assessment


§         Define detailed assessment methodology, factors, criteria in consultation with the Study partners, stakeholders and the public;

§         Assess the environmental, transportation, transit, social, design, economic, property, and planning impacts for the technically preferred interprovincial transportation crossing(s) and associated conceptual route alignment(s), including impacts during construction , cumulative impacts, and mitigation measures.

§         Preliminary design for the technically preferred alternative(s) including approach route(s) and intersection alignment(s) with existing and planned transportation networks and transit services;

§         Identify property requirements in accordance with the preliminary design for the technically preferred alternative(s);

§         Identify cost estimates for the selected alternative(s) , to include capital, operational and maintenance costs, and  defined as level of estimate with a precision of ±20% and equivalent to a “Class C” estimate, prepared with the intention of  confirming the cost of the recommended option;

§         Identify a preferred implementation strategy using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), including methods of financing such as private-public partnerships and design-build-operate-handover, plus others;

§         Prepare the draft environmental assessment report for consultations with stakeholders and the public to obtain input on the results of the environmental assessment.  Consultations shall include but not be limited to meetings with various stakeholders to discuss specific issues during the study process, public meetings open to the broad public, public comment periods on specific aspects of the EA Study;

§         Prepare public consultation and agencies consultation reports that describe expressed concerns and responses to expressed concerns;

§         It is considered that the draft environmental assessment report and consultation reports will require four (4) iterations, including review and comments by NCC, by study partners, by regulatory agencies, and by other stakeholders;

§         Prepare the final EA report incorporating comments and adjustments as a result of the stakeholder and public review;

§         Obtain all necessary approvals from regulatory authorities;

§         Present the EA report to City of Ottawa Transportation Committee, Ville de Gatineau Planning Committee, the NCC Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty, NCC Executive Management Committee, MTO, and the public.






12.3          The Consultant


The Consultant will be responsible for ensuring that all presentations utilize MS PowerPoint and be in bilingual format.  The deliverables by the Consultant for this Study will include, in their final form, 20 bilingual copies each of the following –


MOE Terms of Reference and associated supporting documents for approval by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and notice of study commencement.


Study Design that represents essentially the terms of reference for the Study, including a baseline schedule for all tasks associated with the Study, key milestones and all activities to reach the milestones dates.  Schedules shall be updated monthly and be presented and reviewed by the NCC.  Deviations from the baseline schedule shall be discussed and the Consultant will be responsible for adequate resources to retain the schedule on track;


Draft and Final Planning Feasibility and Needs and Justification Assessment Reports, including conceptual alternatives, scoping of issues and parameters, detailed evaluation criteria, results of evaluation of alternatives, identification of mitigation measures, refinement of alternatives including environmental management plans, preliminary cost estimates for comparative purposes, and selection of the technically preferred alternative(s), alternative sources of funding, and results of consultations with stakeholders and the public;


Draft and Final Environmental Assessment Reports, including preliminary design for the preferred alternative(s), property requirements, Class "C" cost estimates for the selected alternative(s), corresponding implementation strategy, and results of consultations with agencies, stakeholders and the public documenting concerns raised and responses to concerns.  The precise nature of the documentation is to be determined through the development of a coordinated EA process.


The Consultant shall be responsible for organizing, preparing, attending and recording all Technical Advisory Committee, Public Advisory Committee and Study Team meetings.  The Consultant shall also be responsible for recording and distributing notes of any additional meetings with other relevant stakeholders as required and as approved by the NCC Project Manager.


Meetings of the Study Steering Committee, Study Team, Technical Advisory Committee and Community Advisory Committee shall proceed in bilingual format with translation services as required.  The Consultant will be required to prepare and deliver all meeting notes within ten (10) working days.  The Consultant must also be prepared to take responsibility for written inquiries and requests for technical information associated with the EA from these committees in a timely manner with the approval of the NCC Project Manager.


The Consultant will define the schedule of activities for the Study using MS Project software.  All activities shall be clearly indicated, linked and critical activities indicated.  The Consultant shall update the schedule monthly at minimum or with each billing date at a minimum. All reports shall be reviewed and approved by the NCC.


The Consultant shall develop a clear, concise, traceable Quality Control plan as approved by the NCC Project Manager.


In addition to printed copies, the Consultant will provide digital copies of plans and reports in the appropriate format according to Federal, Ontario and Quebec standards, including MS Word, and PDF for text, AutoCAD for plans and maps, and any other format required by the NCC.  Draft and final reports and plans shall be produced in both English and French.


Reports for this study produced by the Consultant shall be made available for the NCC and its funding partners to access by way of a secure portal to a web site developed by the Consultant for this Study.  The portal shall be password protected and the Consultant shall ensure all information is virus free on a daily basis.


The Consultant shall within twenty-one (21) calendar days of notification of the award of contract by the NCC, develop and submit to the NCC for approval, a records management plan outlining the strategies to be employed to ensure that proper records are maintained throughout the duration of the project.  The records management plan, once accepted by NCC shall form the basis of all record keeping by the Consultant for records under their responsibility, throughout the duration of the project.  The NCC has the right of access to these records at all times and the right to prepare copies at its discretion and cost.



13.            Consultation Plan


The EA study will require a comprehensive public consultation plan to deal with issues and interests among local residents, community stakeholders, First Nations peoples, businesses and environmental groups. The purpose of the consultation plan is to ensure that all public and stakeholder concerns and issues are brought forward early and dealt with effectively and appropriately.  Given the need for a comprehensive public consultation process, the Consultant will be responsible for developing and conducting an open and participatory public consultation process.  There will be Public Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee meetings involving community groups, business interests and special interest groups.  In addition, public consultation will be accomplished by various ways, including meetings, information sessions, and the web to encourage and obtain input from the general public.


The public shall be consulted in the Gatineau and Ottawa portions of the study area.  The study area is the Ottawa River corridor, defined by the urban and non-urban areas straddling the Ottawa and Gatineau shorelines of the Ottawa River within both municipal boundaries.  It is incumbent upon the Consultant to clearly define the public consultation process that will engage the public and allow the public to be integrated into the environmental assessment study process.  The Consultant will also be responsible for preparation of all public consultation sessions, including but not restricted to preparing public notices and their media placement, contacts with the community, web site updates, presentation materials, notes, and reports on the comments and responses from the public consultations in bilingual format.


The provincial native affairs departments and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will be contacted by the Consultant to review any First Nations presence within the Study aea.  All potentially affected parties will be contacted to seek their interest in participating in the consultation process for this Study in the manner best suited to their needs.

The Consultant shall develop a comprehensive consultation process for this study that also identifies other  stakeholders.  The consultation process shall help identify and understand concerns and issues early in the study, document all issues and concerns; and document the consultation process.  A key component of the consultation plan will be the development of a Web Site that will be hosted by the Consultant.  Design, development and maintenance of the Web site for the Study, including both public and project management components, will be the responsibility of the Consultant.  The Web site will satisfy NCC Web Standards as follows -


Public component of web site:


§         Design to incorporate the corporate identities of the Study partners, to be approved by the NCC

§         Universally accessible based on W3C standards at a minimum and GOL universal accessibility web standards

§         Incorporate meta-tags & search function

§         Ensure timely and up to date content

§         Provide for 600 X 800 resolution

§         Limit the size of PDF files to between 5 to 10 MB


Project Management Component


§         User-friendly interface (HTML or Programming knowledge not required by user)

§         Accessible and protected via password

§         Dedicated workspace with the ability to view/post documents and discussions

§         Multiple file uploads

§         Project data archiving (document management) at a minimum on CD – integration with NCC iRIMS

§         Ability to determine who gets access to different information

§         Information and technical support available 24/7, 365 days

§         E-mail notification to users

§         Ability to customize user profiles

§         Scalable, up-gradable, secure SSL encryption that is typically offered by financial institutions

§         Permissions management

§         Team management

§         Ability to assign tasks to users

§         Daily back-up of project files

§         Multiple project/sub-project hosting capabilities

§         Ability to upload and view video

§         Unlimited number of users

§         Provision of initial training of NCC on the use of the Web Site and on-going coaching through the project as required

§         Limited size of PDF files to between 5 to 10 MB




§         24/7, 365 days

§         Minimum 99% up time guaranteed

§         Provision of stats for public site on page views, unique visitors, visitor sessions, geographical regions, most popular pages; most downloaded documents, etc.


Information, updates, status reports and notes from public meetings, schedules of Study tasks, and summary reports at a minimum will be provided by the Consultant for the Web Site. The information provided shall be in both official languages and also meet the requirements of Federal, Ontario and Quebec disabilities legislations.  The Consultant shall also develop a web site for access by the NCC by way of a user password.  The site shall contain all notes of meetings and reports that are developed during the course of the study. All web material shall be bilingual and in PDF format where technically feasible.


The Web Site shall also identify all consultation events, and shall be updated throughout the study process to include reports, notifications and activities.  In addition, the Web Site shall permit comments to be directly submitted to the NCC.


Public consultation session shall be obligatory on both sides of the Ottawa River, convened in the east, central and west sectors, and to be scheduled at key milestones and decision points in the Study.  Bilingual Consultant personnel shall be available for all sessions.



14.            Study Administration


A Study Team coordinated by the NCC consisting of staff from the MTO, MTQ the City of Ottawa and the Ville de Gatineau will be responsible for providing advice and guidance to the Consultant on the study process, assumptions, methodologies, and deliverables, overseeing the public consultation process and input received from the public, and providing advice to the NCC Project Manager on the administration of the Study.


A Study Steering Committee coordinated by the NCC and including senior management representation from the NCC, the Quebec Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau will provide administrative guidance, will have oversight responsibility on the deliverables associated with the Study, will provide advice to decision-makers on the conclusions and recommendations of the Study, and will aim for consensus on financial issues associated the Study in accordance with the tripartite funding Agreement for this Study.


A Technical Advisory Committee shall be established by the Consultant to provide technical guidance and advice to the NCC Project Manager and Consultant.  The Technical Advisory Committee will include but not be limited to staff from the NCC, Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Environment Canada, Health Canada, City of Ottawa, Ville de GatineauMOE, MDDEP, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Quebec Ministry of Transportation, Société de transport de l'Outaouais, OC Transpo, Public Works and Government Services Canada.  It is anticipated that this Committee will be actively involved throughout this study in providing technical advice to the Consultant and reviewing technical reports produced by the Consultant. 


A Public Advisory Committee shall be established and coordinated by the Consultant and shall include representatives of business associations, community associations that provide a regional perspective, environmental groups, heritage groups, transportation groups, trucking associations and any other relevant groups from both sides of the Ottawa River.  The purpose of the Public Advisory Committee will be to provide comment on the study assumptions, alternatives, evaluation factors, evaluation methodology, conclusions, and recommendations.



15.            Study Duration


The duration of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this Environmental Assessment study will be determined as a result of the detailed Study Design to be prepared by the Consultant,  Adequate time shall be allocated to ensure comprehensive examination and evaluation of all factors and alternatives, and to provide for effective stakeholder and public consultations, as well as review of deliverables.























Annex 1



Reference Documents




Greenbelt Master Plan (National Capital Commission (1996)


Plan for Canada’s Capital (National Capital Commission, 1999)


Gatineau Park Master Plan Review-Draft Document (National Capital Commission, 2005)


Strategic Transportation Initiative (STI) Draft White Paper (National Capital Commission, 2005)


Ottawa Transportation Master Plan (City of Ottawa, 2003)


Ottawa Municipal Official Plan (City of Ottawa, 2003)


Rapibus - Un système rapide de transport en commun pour l’Outaouais (Société de transport de l’Outaouais (2004)


Politique sur l'Environnement du Ministère des Transports du Québec (Transports Québec, 1994)


Plan de développement durable du Québec – Document de consultation (Gouvernement du Québec, 2004)


Ontario Provincial Policy Statement (Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 2005)


Bill 136, Places to Grow Act (Government of Ontario, 2004)


Eastern Ontario Strategic Transportation Directions Study(Ontario Ministry of Transportation, 2002)







Annex 2





List of Supporting Documents



1.      Fisheries and Oceans Canada Information Requirements, Bridge Construction (Government of Canada)


2.      Environmental Protection Requirements for Transportation Planning and Highway Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance (Ontario Ministry of Transportation, April 2004)


3.      Ontario Operational Statement Habitat Management Program – Clear-Span Bridges (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Valid to March 2006)


4.      Directive pour la réalisation d’une étude d’impact sur l’environnement d’un projet de route (Direction des évaluations environnementales, Environnement Québec, 2003)


5.      Procédure d’évaluation et d’examen des impacts sur l’environnement, Prévision d’échéancier (Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec)


6.      Guide d’évaluation environnementale (Transport Canada).


7.      Advice to Proponents at the Terms of Reference Stage for a Coordinated Federal/Provincial Environmental Assessment Process (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, January 2005)













Annex 3





Schematic Plan of Combined Environmental Assessment Inputs, Regulatory Approvals and Decisions by Partners