The New BC Cancer Agency Cancer Centre in Prince George

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How was Plenary Health chosen as the successful bidder?

A request for qualifications (RFQ) was issued by BC Cancer Agency (BCCA), Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and Partnerships BC (PBC) on July 31, 2008. Companies were short-listed based on their capacity to undertake projects of this size and complexity.

On March 20, 2009, a request for proposals (RFP) was issued to the short-listed teams.

An evaluation committee comprised of representatives of PHSA, BCCA, Northern Health (NH) and Partnerships BC undertook the evaluation of the RFP. The committee was supported by evaluation teams to assist with the evaluation of the proposals. Membership on these teams included clinicians and front line staff representing all aspects of cancer care, facilities operations, design and construction plus third party experts in health care planning, architecture, services, engineering, business and law.

The overall objective of the evaluation was to select the proposal that provides the best cancer centre within the approved budget.

Plenary Health was evaluated as the highest ranking team and was selected as the preferred proponent on October 20, 2009.

An independent, third-party fairness advisor oversaw the RFP procurement process.

Q: Are local workers and local companies involved in this project?

Yes. The use of local sub-contractors is important for this project and critical to stimulating the local and regional economies.

Plenary Health is a team that incorporates the strength, innovation and experience of BC-based construction, architectural firms to deliver a state-of-the-art cancer centre.

PCL recognizes the availability of a strong, reliable local work force in Prince George. The majority of the construction costs will be spent locally and the majority of the trades will be from the north, which will include a component of local hire for PCL carpenters and labourers. PCL has met with the Prince George Construction Association and will include many of the local disciplines in their tendering process.

Q: What is the equipment and furniture-buying procedure at this stage of the project?

A timeline for the procurement of required medical equipment, fixtures and furniture is currently under development. Information regarding potential future business opportunities will be made known to the public as it becomes available, including the procurement of equipment, supplies and services. Please contact Chris Rasmussen for more information at:

Q. Who is Plenary Health?

The Plenary Health team includes Plenary Group, PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., Johnson Controls Limited Partnership, and CEI Architecture Planning Interiors.

Q: Will the new cancer centre remain a publicly owned facility?

Yes. The cancer centre will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable. All clinical health services be funded by the Province of BC and provided by the BC Cancer Agency and Northern Health, in keeping with the principles of the Canada Health Act.

Q: What is the construction timeline for this project?

Construction of the cancer centre will displace more than 200 parking spots that currently exist on the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) campus, putting additional pressure on an already strained site. Therefore, in mid-January 2010, construction of temporary surface parking on the Alward Park site began. The creation of additional parking prior to construction of the cancer centre minimized the impact and inconvenience caused by construction for staff, patients and visitors. In addition to this temporary parking, the neighbouring parkade has now been completed and work is now underway on the cancer centre. Construction of the cancer centre began in late July 2010 and is expected to finish in September 2012.

Q. How will wood be used in the construction of the cancer centre?

Plenary Health has incorporated the use of wood throughout the cancer centre where practical and appropriate and according to the BC Building Code standards. Wood will be showcased in both the interior and the exterior of the building in structural, acoustic, decorative, millwork, doors and exterior cladding elements. The wood acoustic panels throughout the interior of the centre are meant to echo the wood finishes in the atrium of the University Hospital of Northern BC.

A significant amount of lumber products will be used as concrete formwork during the course of construction. In total, the project will use nearly 656,000 board feet of wood. This is equivalent to 200 kilometres of one inch thick one foot wide boards which if laid end to end would stretch from Prince George to Mackenzie.

Both western red cedar and Douglas-fir wood products will be used and every effort has been made to use local species available in B.C. and products manufactured in the Province.

Q. What is a public private partnership (PPP)?

A public private partnership is a long-term performance-based contract between government and business to deliver infrastructure such as roads, bridges and health care facilities.

Partnerships bring the strength of the public and private sector together:

  • The public sector maintains accountability for each project through a performance-based contract to ensure high-quality standards are adhered to throughout the life of the contract;
  • The private partner manages the infrastructure to ensure projects are delivered on-time, on-budget and to specified performance standards.

For more information please visit Partnerships BC.