CHARS Mandate

The mandate presented below is the result of numerous consultations and discussions with stakeholders. It has been approved by the Government of Canada.

4.1 Mission

To be a world-class research station in Canada's Arctic that is on the cutting edge of Arctic issues. The Station will anchor a strong research presence in Canada's Arctic that serves Canada and the world. It will advance Canada's knowledge of the Arctic in order to improve economic opportunities, environmental stewardship, and the quality of life of Northerners and all Canadians.

4.2 Objectives

Mobilize Arctic science and technology

  • To develop and diversify the economy in Canada's Arctic
  • To support the effective stewardship of Canada's Arctic lands, waters, and resources
  • To create a hub for scientific activity in Canada's vast and diverse Arctic
  • To promote self-sufficient, vibrant, and healthy Northern communities
  • To inspire and build capacity through training, education, and outreach
  • To enhance Canada's visible presence in the Arctic and strengthen Canada's leadership on Arctic issues

4.3 Principles

  • Address pressing issues in Canada's Arctic by conducting world-class research and delivering excellent and relevant science and technology
  • Complement the network of Arctic expertise and facilities across Canada's Arctic and the whole of the country
  • Promote partnerships and collaboration among the private, Aboriginal, academic, and public sectors both domestically and internationally
  • Work with Aboriginal peoples of Canada's Arctic and recognize the importance of traditional knowledge in advancing Arctic research
  • Integrate across disciplines and across activities - from problem identification, through research and development, to solutions
  • Ensure effective use of data, information, and technology through open and timely access and knowledge application
  • Be a world leader in green technologies for the Arctic

4.4 Components

1) A world-class facility
The Canadian High Arctic Research Station will provide a year-round facility for world-class science and technology in Canada's Arctic. The Station will include research labs, centres for technology development and traditional knowledge, and facilities for teaching, training, and community engagement. It will provide scientific, technical, and logistical services to strengthen Canada's leadership in Arctic science and technology. It will create a dynamic environment for leading Canadian and international scientists and engineers to come together with Northerners, the private sector, and other stakeholders to address complex challenges facing the Arctic and the globe.

2) Cutting-edge science and technology
CHARS will ensure Canadians lead the way in addressing the challenges facing Canada's Arctic by conducting world-class research and delivering excellent and relevant science and technology. The Station will help to build the next generation of polar scientists, innovators, and managers. The knowledge produced through the Station will be mobilized to support the responsible development of Canada's Arctic and to inform Canadian and global responses to the changes happening in this unique region.

3) A strong research presence across Canada's Arctic
CHARS will be at the centre of a strong Canadian network of Arctic research infrastructure capable of meeting science and technology needs that match the size and diversity of Canada's Arctic. This network will include regional laboratories, field camps, monitoring sites, ships, and satellites. The Station will leverage the efforts of polar researchers, the private sector, and communities throughout Canada while engaging the world to address national priorities.

4.4.1 Geographic Area

For the purpose of CHARS, Canada's Arctic is defined as the lands and waters that lie north of the permafrost line (the area above the grey line in the map below).

Figure 10: Map of Canada with a grey line representing the line of discontinuous permafrost

Figure 10: Map of Canada with a grey line representing the line of discontinuous permafrost

4.4.2 Scientific Scope

CHARS will take an integrated approach to its science and technology activities. These activities may include: monitoring and surveillance; research, modelling, and prediction; technology development and transfer; knowledge application; and training, education, and outreach as well as the logistics needed to ensure effective delivery. The science and technology undertaken by CHARS will be interdisciplinary and include natural and physical sciences, economic and social sciences, health and life sciences, the humanities, and engineering and technology development.

4.5 Priorities

World-class research excellence is Canada's standard. This will be met by focusing on priorities and targeting basic and applied research in areas of strength and opportunity.
Delivering on science and technology priorities will focus funding, build partnerships, and lever Canada's research base to address economic and social challenges and maximize competitive advantage. Although CHARS' priorities may evolve, they will initially be aligned with the following themes.

CHARS priorities and outcomes - presented in no particular order

Resources Development

  • Resource development that is economically and environmentally sound and promotes social development
  • Renewable resources and unconventional energy sources that contribute to greater energy security and sustainability

Exercising Sovereignty

  • Efficient and effective monitoring and surveillance of Canada's vast Arctic
  • Effective management of Canada's Arctic waters a under changing conditions
  • Improved response to, and mitigation of, environmental and other disasters

Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change

  • Effective environmental stewardship through greater knowledge of natural and human systems and their interconnections
  • Strengthened mitigation efforts through greater understanding of changes in the Arctic climate and the links to global systems, and increased capacity to adapt

Strong & Healthy Communities

  • Improved infrastructure and diversified economic opportunities
  • Improved health outcomes and community wellness and resiliency