Time to stop complaining about Bluenose: deputy minister
HALIFAX — The deputy minister overseeing the Bluenose II restoration says it’s time for people to stop complaining about cost overruns, delays and questionable planning linked to the revitalization of the storied vessel. Paul LaFleche of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal appeared Wednesday in front of a Nova Scotia legislature committee to discuss the costly rebuild of Canada’s most famous schooner, which is expected to hit $25 million. LaFleche says different political administrations made mistakes on the troubled file as it changed hands and departments over the years. But LaFleche says it’s time to stop focusing on the faults and embrace the sailing ambassador, which has been plagued by setbacks involving its rudder and steering system. He told the committee that the complaints simply hurt the province’s shipbuilding industry and tarnish the image of the 43-metre vessel, a replica of the original Grand Banks fishing schooner that won worldwide fame for its design and speed. The cost is now pegged at $23.8 million — $9.4 million more than the $14.4 million estimated when the restoration project was announced in 2009 — and will increase once a new rudder is factored in.