RCMP's new digs has 'huge impact on policing'

Ken Partridge
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Published on August 20, 2013

The RCMP's new Nova Scotia headquarters officially opened today, showcasing the latest in green efficiency and a centralized provincial police force.

Published on August 20, 2013

The memorial wall at the RCMP's new headqurters in Burnside honours every RCMP officer that has fallen in the line of duty in Nova Scotia.

Published on August 20, 2013

It may be hard to believe that this shot was taken in the largest business park in eastern Canada, but this is the view of Spectacle Lake that RCMP members have everyday from the balcony outside the mess and cafeteria in their new Burnside headquarters.

Published on August 20, 2013

Assistant Commissioner Alphonse MacNeil, commanding officer of the RCMP in Nova Scotia, receives an eagle feather from Dr. Don Julian, executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'Kmaq. MacNeil says he is truly honoured to have been gifted an eagle feather, recalling being granted a Mi'Kmaq name of White Eagle Feather when he was sworn in as commanding officer.

Published on August 20, 2013

Sgt. Jarret Francis requested a native blessing at the opening of the new RCMP headquarters in Burnside while Cst. Walton Denny performed a traditional smudging on the building and grounds.

Published on August 20, 2013

The RCMP band on parade at the entrance to the new RCMP headquarters in Burnside.


Assistant Commissioner Alphonse MacNeil says the investment is already paying off...

Assistant Commissioner Alphonse MacNeil, commanding officer of the RCMP in Nova Scotia, says the investment by provincial and federal levels of government in the new RCMP headquarters in Burnside is already paying off for Nova Scotians.

"By being able to bring together 12 seperate sites from across Halifax, this building has already had a huge impact on police work in the last several months," MacNeil says.

MacNeil says that impact isn't limited to the greater efficiencies of having all RCMP units operating under a single roof, but extends to the greater feeling of camaraderie among members and an improved morale.

"We are beyond impressed with the design and function of our new home," MacNeil says. "I can't believe how many members have come up to me and said, 'They got it right!' The renewed spirit here is obvious."

Special guests were in abundance at the official opening of the new building today, including Diane Finley, minister of Public Works and Government Services, who – along with Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry (a former RCMP officer himself) – cut the ribbon to officially open the new H Division Headquarters in front of hundreds of employees, dignitaries and stakeholders.

The $113-million project is applying for LEED (Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design) Gold certification and is considered one of the most energy efficient buildings ever constructed by the Government of Canada. The building's long narrow shape allows natural light to penetrate to the interior and combines sustainable design features that represent a showcase for new, but proven, smart technologies, including:

• a reflective and living green roof that's the largest in Eastern Canada to reduce the amount of heat the building absorbs from the atmosphere; 

• the use of a recycled rainwater system to reduce water consumption;

• maximized use of regionally available materials and materials with recycled content where possible;

• maximized diversion of construction waste from municipal landfill;

• measures to provide efficient thermal operation, including a high-performance building envelope, efficient mechanical systems, and utilization of Nova Scotia's natural gas as the primary heating/cooling source; estimates of energy use indicate this building will be approximately 47 per cent more energy efficient than a building constructed to today's minimum standards;

• developed with careful control and monitoring of the potential impact of the construction site on the adjacent Spectacle Lake Wetland Reserve; and

• occupancy sensors to activate lighting only when it is necessary.

In addition to these technical enhancements, a memorial wall and garden, dedicated to the memory of RCMP members from H Division who have fallen in the line of duty, provides a formal focus in the building's circular entrance pavilion. There is also a public exhibition area illustrating H Division's history in Nova Scotia.

"The Harper Government is incredibly pleased to officially open this new facility and we are especially proud that the project was delivered on budget and ahead of schedule," Finley says. "This is more than a building - it is an investment in the men and women of the RCMP, giving them the facilities and equipment that they need to keep safe streets and communities for Canadians and their families."

"The opening of this new headquarters is an important milestone for Nova Scotia's provincial police force," Landry adds. "Centralizing critical units like major crime investigators, dog units, bomb disposal units, emergency response teams and traffic patrols for our 100 series highways will contribute to safer communities in Nova Scotia."

Organizations: RCMP, Harper Government, Public Works and Government Services Canada Canada Green Building Council Environmental Design

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Halifax, Eastern Canada Burnside Business Park Dartmouth

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