Concerns raised on who’s making decisions on future of N.B. Museum
Concerns are being raised about who is making the decisions on the future of the New Brunswick Museum, and who they're supposed to be listening to.
The museum will be moving out of market square and out of the aging collections centre in Saint John’s north end. But the provincial government has yet to say where they're moving.
"I would think that a consultation process would make it even better, and I think it's necessary," say University of New Brunswick Saint John history professor Greg Marquis.
Marquis says a once-in-a-lifetime construction project needs more thought.
"This is going to be located in Saint John and it’s great for us, but this will be a province-wide facility, so how about First Nations groups? How about Acadian groups? There should be a lot of groups at the table."
In a letter to government, Marquis wonders how the site work can possibly begin in the spring of next year.
"This seems to suggest that a site and a design, with no apparent public consultation, have already been selected," he said in the letter.
A spokesperson says the government is taking a leadership role in determining the future of the New Brunswick Museum. Government also says public consultation has already happened.
"Government undertook a consultation process over the summer months that targeted 50 to 60 stakeholders and will continue working with those stakeholders," the spokesperson said in a statement.
Councillor Gerry Lowe wants the museum within walking distance of the city centre. He says the federal building near the waterfront would be a good fit for the museum.
Lowe is not as concerned about the timeline for when the project begins.
"The election is the 24th of September, and I'm sure the government, the provincial government, wants to start it before then, that's for sure. And that's good"
But Marquis is questioning the secrecy surrounding the museum's future.
"It would be a missed opportunity, I think. And there's a process. Government is telling us that they are transparent and accountable. Well, show us," he says.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.