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Roué looks for $7 million for Bluenose IV

by Robert Hirtle

 LUNENBURG - Joan Roué thinks the province should scrap the previous government's plan of carrying out a $14.4 million refit to Bluenose II and throw its support behind her vision of constructing a Bluenose IV.

 The great-granddaughter of Bluenose designer William J. Roué has been trying for almost three years to raise funds for the construction of a second replica of the famous schooner, which was wrecked on a reef in Haiti in 1946.

 Ms Roué recently announced on her website that she has "initiated communication" with Economic Development Minister Percy Paris, requesting a meeting with him, Premier Darrell Dexter and Lunenburg MLA Pam Birdsall, "whereby we might present our plan for a new Bluenose.

 "While this venture can be carried to fruition privately, it has always been, and remains, our preference to have a new Bluenose built in Nova Scotia in collaboration with the government of Nova Scotia," the website says.

 Prior to the June provincial election, however, Ms Roué wrote an open letter to the three party leaders to "alert all of you to an option of good stead, that of building a new replica of our famed schooner, an alternative that would cost far less than the $14.4 million recently identified for the refit."

 Ms Roué wrote that, by using the $7 million federal funding earmarked for the Bluenose II restoration which was announced by Minister Elmer MacKay in early May, and raising the balance of the cost of construction of a new vessel privately, Nova Scotians would get a brand-new Bluenose at no cost to provincial taxpayers.

 Ironically, when she originally launched the idea of building a third Bluenose in September 2006 - the name Bluenose III is registered by the province which would not relinquish it to her, hence the change to Bluenose IV - her estimated cost of construction was $15 million.

 At that time she intended to have the vessel built at the site of the former Smith and Rhuland Shipyard in Lunenburg where Bluenose and Bluenose II were built. However, when she failed to receive the go-ahead to utilize that government-owned property, the proposed construction venue was moved to the LaHave River bank, across from the Municipal Activity and Recreation Complex in Dayspring.

 That land is owned by Snyder's Shipyard, which had been commissioned to construct the new ship.

 The vessel had a projected launch date of July 24, 2010, the 47th anniversary of the launching of Bluenose II, with the keel slated to be laid on July 1, 2008.

 That day came and went with no activity taking place, except for the removal of a sign which had been erected in May 2007 identifying the site.



posted on 07/14/09
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