It may be a while before Canada's world-class High Arctic scientific research station is built, as no decisions have been made as to what the station will look like — or exactly where it will be based.
The federal government allocated $2 million in the budget, tabled Tuesday, for the federal Indian and Northern Affairs Department to carry out a feasibility study on the station, which was first promised in the 2007 throne speech.
There is no word on when the feasibility study will be completed, but Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said money for the study will ensure the project gets done.
The study will determine, among other things, where in the North the research station will be situated, Strahl added.
"There's a bunch of proposals that have come from the scientific community. In the end, this feasibility study will help us nail that down," he told CBC News on Thursday.
"But there have been no decisions made and this should get us to the proposal — what it's going to look like, a shortlist of where it might be located and, if so, what kind of format it might end up as."
All three northern territories have declared interest in having the research station within their jurisdiction.
Strahl said the government is considering whether to establish one main station or set up a main centre with several smaller stations across the North.
The High Arctic station could act as a hub for existing northern research stations and scientific activity centred on the Arctic environment, according to the budget.
The budget also sets aside up to $85 million over the next two years to maintain or upgrade "key Arctic research facilities."