Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation indicate the project managers overseeing the restoration of the Bluenose II are more than three times over budget and the vessel more than two years behind schedule.

“The project manager’s role is to help the government deliver the boat on time and on budget, and the boat is late and the boat is millions of dollars over budget,” says Kevin Lacey, the Atlantic director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The original tender was for $375,000. As of September, the total cost of the project was $1.3 million – more than three times over budget.

The figures are disappointing to many Lunenburg residents who are anxious to see the project finished.

“Somebody needs to be accountable for the delays and the cost overruns, and whether it’s directly government, or indirectly, the taxpayers are the people that are paying the bills,” says area resident Alan Creaser.

“I feel that a lot of money has obviously been wasted,” says Tracey Evans. “On the flip side, she’s a great ambassador for Canada, and I’m hoping she’s going to be worth the money.”

The minister now heading the project is backing the team of project managers from Ottawa, a company called MHPM.

“They’re experts in what they do, and you know, the cost overruns are a concern for me as they would be with most Nova Scotians,” says Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince.

Lacey is calling on Ince’s department to turn the project over to the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

“They’re used to dealing with these major projects,” he says.

“(The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

has been involved with this project from the very beginning, so to have it transferred to them when we’re at the end stages doesn’t make sense to me,” says Ince.

The Bluenose II is currently undergoing sea trials and is expected to be sailing by the spring.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell