Nova Scotia

Security at Halifax navy dockyard downgraded

A security barrier built in Halifax harbour to protect the Royal Canadian Navy dockyard, home to the East Coast fleet, has been sidelined for months.

Security fence is out of commission

The barrier built to protect naval ships in Halifax harbour is no longer in use. (CBC)

A security barrier built in Halifax harbour to protect the Royal Canadian Navy dockyard, home to the East Coast fleet, has been sidelined for months.

The barrier, which was installed in 2007, is no longer stretched around the navy's ships to protect them from possible terrorist attacks. It's now floating off the wharf beside Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street.

Documents obtained by CBC News question whether the $3 million fence ever did the job it was supposed to do.

"Unfortunately the design was flawed from the beginning, and the material utilized too weak," the documents say.

It would cost $1.5 million a year just to keep the fence clean, the documents say, and that wouldn't fix structural problems. It would cost another $3 million to replace the barrier with less capable rubber fenders.

Unarmed guards now man the gates to the Halifax dockyard, home to the Royal Canadian Navy.

CBC News has also learned that the navy is reducing security on the landside, as well.

Ever since the 9/11 attacks in the United States, armed sailors have stood guard at the navy's three gates, but not any more.

The navy admitted that it has made "efficiency cuts" to security, but wouldn't discuss details. Sources told CBC News those armed guards are now gone.

The only visible weapon near the dockyard gates these days is an antique 18th century cannon.

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