Time to stop com­plain­ing about Bluenose: deputy min­is­ter

Cape Breton Post - - PROVINCE -

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.

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