It sat crippled in Halifax for five years, but yesterday the HMCS Chicoutimi was scheduled to bid the East Coast adieu.

Canada bought the four Victoria-class submarines from Britain for nearly $900 million more than a decade ago.

Lt. Chris Saunders was killed Oct. 4, 2004 when the submarine suffered a fire during its maiden voyage. After the fire the Chicoutimi was towed back to Scotland before being delivered to Halifax.

 

In 2007, a B.C. consortium won a $1.5 billion contract to maintain all four submarines. Irving Shipyards contested the tendering process in a lawsuit.

Several media inquiries on the Chicoutimi were not returned by the navy this week, but Nova Scotia MP Bill Casey spoke on the issue yesterday.

“Last year I was advised that the plan to transfer this submarine was just speculation, and (yesterday) I learned that this submarine is being hoisted onto the back of a heavy-lift vessel for a highly expensive voyage to the west coast. Based on the government’s options to transfer this submarine, this decision is hard to comprehend,” Casey said in a statement issued yesterday.

He said he wants the government to provide a detailed explanation of how the transfer was finalized and how much it will cost.

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