The HMCS Chicoutimi seen departing March 2, 2017 during Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to CFB Esquimalt. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Veterans Affairs Minister injured while touring submarine in Esquimalt

Minister Lawrence MacAuley evacuated after sustaining minor knee injury

Canada’s minister of Veterans Affairs was injured during a tour of a submarine in Esquimalt Thursday, confirms Canadian Armed Forces.

Minister Lawrence MacAuley was touring HMCS Chicoutimi when he had to be evacuated from the Victoria-class long-range patrol submarine after sustaining a minor knee injury.

“He’s fine. They took precautions and are getting it checked out by a doctor,” said the minister’s press secretary, Alex Wellstead. “He will probably be walking a bit slower, but he is expected to head to Vancouver as planned tomorrow.”

The longtime MP was touring CFB Esquimalt in his new role as veterans-affairs minister, a position he stepped into earlier this month as part of a minor cabinet shuffle after the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould.

RELATED: Trudeau names longtime MP as new veterans-affairs minister in cabinet shuffle

The main role of a Victoria-class submarine is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

In 2017, HMCS Chicoutimi embarked on a successful 197-day voyage – the longest deployment of a Victoria-class submarine.

The voyage followed an extended period in dry dock after the submarine was taken out of service in 2004. A tragic fire on board the HMCS Chicoutimi in 2004 killed Lt. Chris Saunders and injured eight others just hours into its maiden voyage traversing the Atlantic.

Canada’s stealth surveillance abilities are getting a boost in Esquimalt as the Canadian Navy’s four Victoria-class long-range patrol submarines rotate into dry dock to be fitted with new masts and communication systems.

HMCS Corner Brook is currently at Victoria Shipyards undergoing its Extended Docking Work Period (EDWP) and will become the first of the four to be equipped with the new Universal Modular Mast being referred to as a “game changer.”

RELATED: Canada boosts stealth surveillance abilities in Esquimalt


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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