Canada’s national nuclear laboratory hosts workshop for Ottawa Valley businesses to encourage commercial partnerships with its major contractors

Chalk River, May 03, 2019 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, the County of Renfrew, the MRC Pontiac and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation are pleased to announce that over 70 local suppliers attended their economic development workshop this week, which was designed to help Ottawa Valley companies participate in the revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories site through partnerships with CNL’s major contractors. Held at the Makwa Community Centre in Pikwakanagan, the half-day session provided participants with insight into the gaps in service capabilities within CNL’s contractors, served as a venue to introduce CNL’s program partners to the capabilities and capacity of our local industry, and created a forum for the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan to discuss partnership opportunities with various industry partners.

“The Chalk River Laboratories is being transformed into a world-class and sustainable national nuclear laboratory, and we want to help local businesses with the right skills and capabilities take advantage of the commercial opportunities that come with this work,” commented Mark Lesinski, CNL President and CEO. “Overall, the turnout for the workshop exceeded our expectations, providing attendees with better insight into our capital program and the opportunity to engage with CNL’s supply chain team, the local counties, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan and our major contractors.”

Following introductory remarks from Chief Kirby Whiteduck, the workshop featured a series of presentations from CNL’s major contractors – including Chandos Construction, Bird Construction, Sullivan Construction, Plan Group, and Bonnechere Excavating – discussing their scope of work and identifying commercial opportunities. Attendees were then given the opportunity to network with workshop hosts and other representatives, before the event was concluded with a formal question and answer session. Participants were also treated to a culturally-rich experience, with a traditional lunch, hoop dance and blessings being delivered by the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation.

The workshop was delivered as part of a broader effort by CNL to diversify its supply chain and cultivate better relationships within our local community. CNL also held its annual Industry Day networking event last fall, which promotes industry engagement between CNL’s nuclear partners and local organizations and Indigenous communities, and continues to refine its new vendor portal, which provides comprehensive information about how to do business with CNL.

“Judging from the turnout and feedback we received from participants, the workshop promoted the strength of our local industry, provided partnership opportunities for the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, and created lasting business relationships that will extend beyond the sub-contract opportunities enabled through CNL’s program of work,” added Chad Charbonneau, Director of Supply Chain Operations at CNL. “At CNL, we are well aware of the impact our operations can have on the local economy, so we want to do our part to help local business and support our program partners, wherever possible.”

Funded through an investment from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) on behalf of the Government of Canada, CNL’s Chalk River campus is undergoing a major transformation designed to modernize site infrastructure and facilities. CNL recently began site preparation for the construction of non-nuclear buildings that are expected to provide employment for many trades, suppliers, and supporting businesses in the coming years. CNL is also in the process of designing its Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC), a modern laboratory research complex that will serve as the backbone of its research and development infrastructure.

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Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
CNL, 1-866-886-2325