Tuesday, January 29, 2013

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent - back home

1. CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent occupying most of the extended BIO pier this morning. 

CCGS Louis  S. St-Laurent returned to Halifax this morning in preparation for drydocking. The only drydock on the Atlantic coast that can berth the ship is the Novadock at Halifax Shipyard. In view of this, the wisdom of transferring the ship to the Newfoundland region is brought into question (again).
The ship's home was the Canadian Coast Guard base in Dartmouth. The lengthy process of decommissioning that base and moving all admin functions to a new building at the Bedford Institute site has largely been completed. An extension to the BIO pier was built too, but it was not large enough for the Louis at the same time as the rest of the DFO fleet, because the political decision had already been made to send the Louis to Argentia, NL, using specious cost reasoning. The added cost of housing the Louis in such a remote location would certainly have defrayed the cost of building a proper base for it in Halifax, and the nonsense of extra steaming time to the arctic is disproved every time the ship sails into Halifax for drydocking.
For today's arrival CCGS Earl Grey had to move to the old CCG base to make room! What did that move cost?

2. CCGS Earl Grey had to move from the BIO pier yesterday to make room for the Louis.

And what about the much touted replacement for the Louis? The yet to be built CCGS John G. Diefenbaker, (Vancouver Shipyards has the job to build it, but no contract yet) will presumably also require a base. Is it to be stuck out of the way in Argentia too, as a tribute to political whims? I'm not sure The Chief would have approved.
The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans from 2006 to 2008 made the decision to transfer the ship to his home province of Newfoundland. Now that he is Canadian ambassador to Ireland, and safely out of the political spotlight, perhaps it is time to review the decision, and bring the Louis back to Halifax where it belongs, and build a proper pier for it.

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