Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, INAC, has scheduled a new elementary school for Attawapiskat First Nation in the Ontario region’s first nation infrastructure investment plan.
INAC and the first nation have developed a five-year national workplan, with three key phases: a school capital planning study update phase, to which $200,000 has been allocated in the 2010-11 fiscal year, December 2009 to February 2011; a detailed planning and design phase, March 2012 to September 2013; a construction phase, September 2013 to August 2015. Costs and timelines are subject to change.
The first nation, in partnership with INAC, manages all aspects of this project, including tendering and selecting contractors and overseeing implementation.
In response to (b), the Attawapiskat First Nation Education Authority, by way of a band council resolution, closed the community’s elementary school on May 11, 2000, due to health and safety concerns related to fuel contamination. INAC provided a total of $3.26 million in funding to Attawapiskat First Nation over fiscal years 2000-01 and 2001-02 for the purchase, mobilization, and installation of seven duplex classroom structures, providing 14 classrooms. The project was completed in October 2001. Additionally, in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 fiscal years, INAC provided a total of $1.841 million for the construction of an addition to the existing secondary school in Attawapiskat First Nation.
In response to (c), new school projects are evaluated based on a priority ranking framework which includes variety of criteria, including: health and safety; overcrowding; new curriculum requirements; the number of students transferred from provincial schools; and, available funds.
In 2009 the project rated highly enough based upon this framework and criteria to be able to move forward.