N.B. museum leaders weren't consulted about decision to nix funding
A piece of waterfront property in Saint John was going to be the site of a new $100-million New Brunswick Museum.
But the museum's board of directors say the decision to cancel the $50-million funding promise made by the former provincial Liberal government has effectively killed the project.
“No staff curators or directors of the museum were brought into any of the discussions with the new government,” said Shannon Merrifield, chair of the museum's board of directors. “Continuous attempts were made by myself and CEO Bill Hicks to brief both the ministers and the premier on this project.”
Museum officials say they only found out about the decision yesterday.
“It is important to note that the federal government had committed significant funds to the project that very likely will be forfeited,” said Hicks.
Those funds said to be in the order of $25 million
The new museum was slated to open its doors in the fall of 2023. The provincial minister of transportation and infrastructure says they are looking at other alternatives.
Bill Oliver says the government had to make some tough decisions
“At this point in time, when the premier has gone out and said our first priority is to balance the budget, we can’t afford to be spending $50 million on a project such as this,” Oliver said.
The new museum on the former Coast Guard site would have housed both the exhibition and collection centres under one roof.
This past summer, buildings on the site were demolished to make way for the new museum, a project now facing an uncertain future.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.