Plans for Arctic naval base scaled back after costs soared: document

A new document shows the Defence Department balked after the price tag for a long-delayed docking and refuelling station in the Arctic ballooned to more than twice the original estimate.

OTTAWA — A new document shows the Defence Department balked after the price tag for a long-delayed docking and refuelling station in the Arctic ballooned to more than twice the original estimate.

A December 2013 briefing note to Defence Minister Rob Nicholson says the soaring cost led the federal government to scale back plans for the Nanisivik naval base.

The base lies on the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage.

The document says that in 2010, the Royal Canadian Navy approved a $258 million plan for the project.

That was a huge jump from an estimate of $100 million made in 2007 when Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered his “use it or lose it” speech about the Arctic.

The cost proved too high for the Defence Department, which scaled back plans for the base and set a budget of $116 million.

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