Bluenose II, the two-masted schooner replica of Nova Scotia’s fabled icon is turning into a national embarrassment in Canada.
“Not so long ago, Bluenose’s undefeated racing record reflected the best qualities of the Nova Scotian: It was nimble, wily, bold and independent. That legacy from the 1920s and 1930s has now been dashed on the rocks of bureaucratic bungling. Bluenose II is foundering in a sea of wasted millions and there is no plan to set the course true,” writes Rob Gordon, a Halifax-based journalis and former crew member of the Bluenose II, in The Globe and Mail newspaper.
In 2009, the provincial Tory government of the day announced a grand plan to refit Bluenose II. The replica of the famed schooner was built in 1963 in Lunenburg, the same hallowed ground where the original racing-fisherman was built in 1921.
The Bluenose build is now three years late and the costs have risen to nearly $20 million – and they may go much higher yet. MHPM is still the project manager; its fees have risen from $300,000 to $1.4 million.