Chretien's Folly - Heading For the Bottom?
There are some Liberals who see Jean Chretien as a great man, one of Canada's finest prime ministers. I liked Chretien but 'great'?
I associate Mr. Chretien with three things - scandal, especially the Sponsorship Scandal that served as Stephen Harper's springboard to power; a Quebec sovereignty referendum that Chretien took for granted and damned near lost; and the utterly boneheaded decision to pay good money for castoff submarines mothballed (after just 3 years in service) for many reasons by the Royal Navy. I like to think of the subs as Chretien's Folly.
We bought four of these 1990-vintage Upholder class boats after a Brit deal to unload them on Pakistan fell through. They look like real submarines only way shorter. They were supposed to be a great deal but only proved the adage about "penny wise, pound foolish." They're unreliable, outdated, fraught with defects and bleed the Canadian navy budget just tied up at dockside (where you'll find them when they're not in dry dock). It was reported that Canada's submarine fleet logged an impressive zero hours at sea last year at a cost of about $300 million.
|Chicoutimi and Windsor|
in their natural environment
HMCS Corner Brook has been hit particularly hard, with the vessel docked for extensive repairs and maintenance for the past six years after striking the bottom of the ocean off B.C. in 2011. A fire also broke out while it was docked in Victoria in August 2019.
But don't worry, things are looking up only no, they're not. It's the Cornerbrook again. This sub has had its share of woe and strife.
“The test consisted of the tank being largely filled by water with air added to apply the required test pressure,” reads the Aug. 6, 2020 report prepared for the deputy minister of the Department of National Defence.
“After the tank successfully met this requirement, the final step was to drain the tank. This was intended to be done by gravity, however members of the test team attempted to accelerate drainage of the tank by re-applying pressure.
“In doing so, they inadvertently over-pressurized the tank and caused it to rupture.”
Defence officials have previously said the incident would delay the Navy’s plans to get the Corner Brook back in the water. The submarine was supposed to return to service last summer, but will now remain docked until at least June.
The report underscores the importance of maintaining the "structural integrity" of main ballast tanks to the safe operation of a submarine. They are used in controlling whether the vessel goes up or down in the water.
“Otherwise the submarine may not be able to surface (including surfacing from depth in an emergency due to flooding) or remain stable on the surface, either of which could lead to loss of the submarine,” the report reads.