hi-ns-bluenose

The Bluenose II restoration project is over budget and long overdue. (CBC)

A taxpayer watchdog is calling on the province of Nova Scotia to fire the company in charge of managing the Bluenose II restoration project, after the cost of the consultant ballooned to triple what it was to receive in the original contract.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said the project management contract was supposed to cost $375,000, but as of September the province had given $1.3 million to MHPM Project Managers Inc.

Invoices obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation under the Access to Information Act shows MHPM, a company headquartered in Ottawa, has been billing the province in the range of $25,000 a month.

"The job of the management consultant is to work with the government to ensure that the boat is delivered on time and on budget," said Kevin Lacey, the Atlantic Canada director of the taxpayers federation.

"Now we're two and a half years late … and it's millions over budget. And now even the people in charge of ensuring that that doesn't happen, their contract is also three times more."

The total cost of the Bluenose restoration has also inflated from $14.8 million to $16.5 million.

The project was supposed to take a year and a half. Instead, it's taking four years, with sea trials expected in December.