Mr. Speaker, Canada’s world-class Arctic research station, part of our government’s northern strategy, will help position our country as the global leader in Arctic science research. We are committed to ensure that northerners will be involved in and benefit from this important project.
Planning for the station is now in preliminary stages, including consultations and analysis of possible options for infrastructure and logistics, a science program, governance and location. The design and development of the station will be driven by the science priorities for Canada.
In response to a) An estimated cost for the station cannot be identified until more analysis is done regarding the infrastructure and logistics, science program, governance and location.
In response to b) A site location for the research station has not yet been determined. We are presently undertaking operational research to analyze location options.
In response to c) We hope that analysis and discussion with key stakeholders will yield a location recommendation in the coming months.
In response to d) The development of an Arctic research station is a multi-year initiative, as is the case with any large infrastructure project, but we hope to undertake initial feasibility studies over the next year which will also then help with future financial estimates and planning.
In response to e) A process has been launched to define Canada’s global advantage in Arctic science. The results of this process will provide key information for the Arctic science priorities in Canada and the science and technology program for the station. As part of this process, we recently convened a workshop with representatives from federal and territorial governments, universities, colleges, northern and aboriginal organizations and industry to discuss Arctic science priorities for Canada. The discussion considered varied scientific activities and disciplines including natural, physical, social and health sciences. The next step in this process is an international validation of Canada’s priorities for Arctic science.
In response to f) Analysis is underway now to provide options for an optimal model and governance structure for the station. This analysis includes consideration of the existing capacity for Arctic scientific research in Canada.