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P.E.I. Province House restoration project budget grows to $137M


The federal government has committed nearly $50 million to the ongoing restoration of Prince Edward Island’s Province House, which represents a 50 per cent increase over the most recent budget estimate.

The total budget for the restoration of Province House is now set for nearly $137.8 million. Charlottetown MP Sean Casey announced another $46 million to be added to the budget for the third and forth phases. The budget had stood at $91.8 million.

“Right from day one, the envelops of money allocated to the project had been incremental, because we really didn’t know, once we started taking down walls, what we were going to find behind each one,” said Casey.

The project wasn’t given a solid budget when it began and was always intended to grow. A 2020 estimate had set the price of the last two phases at $30.7 million, which means the cost has ballooned to $76.7 million dollars for that work alone.

However, Casey said they have received bids to complete that work, so he isn’t expecting any more major increases on the project, but said that wasn’t a guarantee.

“You can’t be definitive, in a project of this complexity,” said Casey. “If we’ve learned nothing else throughout, it’s that.”

Officials blame the soaring price tag on the rising cost of materials and shortages in construction labour that have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Construction work on the P.E.I. Province House is still ongoing. (Jack Morse/CTV Atlantic)

“We just can’t control it, unfortunately,” said Nicolle Gallant, Parks Canada projects manager. “We’re doing our best to make sure that we keep the costs as low as possible.”

The project, which began in 2015, was originally set to be done by 2022; now the target opening date is fall 2025.

“This is where we are, and we’ve done a really good job,” said Gallant. “The building is in beautiful condition right now, and hopefully the time we spend will be gained on the other end.”

Officials say pandemic-related delays are responsible for much of that increase as well. They say they're optimistic they will make the new target date.

For more Prince Edward Island news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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