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Canada Reopens Inquiry, Keeps Subs in Port (Feb. 2)

OTTAWA --- Vice-Admiral Bruce MacLean, Chief of the Maritime Staff and Commander of Canada's Navy, announced today that the HMCS Chicoutimi military board of inquiry, which submitted its report on December 17, 2004, will be re-convened.

The board will consider additional testimony respecting crew decisions and actions surrounding the repair of the submarine's upper lid vent, including the context within which these decisions and actions occurred.

While the board examined this issue, the Chief of the Maritime Staff requires greater clarity and context before he can complete his assessment. Commodore Dan Murphy, the board president, has been directed by Vice-Admiral MacLean to prepare and submit a supplementary report by March 8, 2005. The composition of the board will remain the same.

When finished, the supplementary report will be submitted to the navy commander for review. It will then be forwarded, along with the initial report and Vice-Admiral MacLean's assessment and recommendations, to the Chief of the Defence Staff for consideration. The board of inquiry process is not complete until the Chief of the Defence Staff accepts recommendations brought forward to him.

Subject to the limitations prescribed by the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, the initial report; the supplementary report; the navy commander's assessment and recommendations; and the Chief of the Defence Staff comments will be made public.

With respect to the operational pause imposed upon the submarine fleet on October 13, 2004, it has been decided that submarine operations will resume only when the BOI has more fully run its course.

-ends- HMCS Chicoutimi Board of Inquiry Re-convened