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Crippled Chicoutimi set to head west

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

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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