Mr. Speaker, the answer is as follows:
a) Canada’s economic action plan provided Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, INAC, with $2 million to undertake a feasibility study for the proposed High Arctic Research Station, which will lever existing research infrastructure by serving as the hub for scientific activity in Canada's vast and diverse Arctic region. The feasibility study will be led by INAC with support from Public Works and Government Services Canada and private contractors. Contracting opportunities will be publicly advertised. The feasibility study will establish the functions of the facility; outline the preliminary project costs and schedule to build it; and, provide an analysis of the location options. It will also set out the operational requirements necessary for the facility to become a hub of research activities in Canada's North. The feasibility study is the first phase in the realization of the High Arctic Research Station and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2010. This study will provide information and analysis necessary to inform the next stages of the process, namely, the designing, building and then operation of the station.
As part of the process for developing the feasibility study, INAC will be engaging stakeholders through a variety of means. INAC initiated community consultations and the analysis of stakeholder needs in the spring of 2009. This has included consultations with each of the three candidate communities and the creation of the High Arctic Research Station experts and users group composed of representatives from the North, academia, the private sector as well as the federal and territorial governments. Through this engagement, components of the feasibility study are being developed.
Budget 2010 is taking a further step by providing $18 million over five years to INAC to commence the pre-construction design phase for the station. This phase will produce an initial design concept for the platform, including green building options and how the station fits into the community. Upon concept approval, the design firm will develop detailed design and material specifications, floor plans, telecommunication strategies, and detailed cost and scheduling estimates for both the construction and operation phases. They will develop all required construction tender documents. The outcomes of the pre-construction design phase will form the basis for the construction and operation phases of the new station.
b) On February 20, 2009, INAC announced the three locations being considered for Canada's new High Arctic Research Station. Communities being considered are: Cambridge Bay, Pond Inlet and Resolute Bay, all of which are in Nunavut. As part of the feasibility study, INAC has been engaged in community consultations with each of the three candidate communities since the summer of 2009.
c) As part of the feasibility study, work currently being carried out will help to determine preliminary costs for the High Arctic Research Station. No decisions have been taken on the costs of the facility.
d) As the High Arctic Research Station project is currently in the feasibility study phase, no decisions have been taken on who will be engaged in the design, architectural or construction work associated with the station. The contracting opportunities for such work will be publicly advertised.
e) Part of the current analysis being undertaken within the feasibility study is to determine preliminary estimates for the ongoing costs associated with operating the High Arctic Research Station.
f) No decisions have been taken regarding the size of the staff for the facility.
g) Analysis being undertaken as part of the feasibility study with regard to the building and designing of the High Arctic Research Station will help to determine the possible date for when the facility will open. No decisions have been taken on the expected date that the station will open.
h) Governance options for the High Arctic Research Station are being considered as part of the feasibility study. No decisions have been taken on who will head the High Arctic Research Station