08/23/2014 04:08 EDT | Updated 10/23/2014 05:59 EDT

Harper continues annual northern tour with stops in Cambridge Bay, Pond Inlet

CAMBRIDGE BAY, Nunavut - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, today as he continues his annual tour of Canada's North.

Harper took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, which was first announced in 2007 and is scheduled to open in 2017.

The prime minister said he's "looking forward to coming back and actually opening the doors to this place" in 2017 — which would be nearly two years after the next federal election, set for October 2015.

Harper then visited a local home and was told about a new technology that creates electricity by burning garbage.

After that, the prime minister went down to the town's dock to hear about two observatories that collect ocean data.

Later today, Harper will fly to Pond Inlet and board a ship that will sail through part of the Northwest Passage.