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Opposition questioning election-year announcement of N.B. Museum location
There was a lot of debate on Friday over the plan to move the New Brunswick Museum to a new site on the Saint John waterfront, and the multi-million dollar promise that goes with it.
The museum will move from its current locations in Market Square and Douglas Avenue to under one roof at the former Coast Guard property. A new building will be constructed on the site housing both the Museum Exhibition Centre and Collections Centre.
Premier Brian Gallant made the announcement Thursday. He has committed $50 million in provincial funds to the project.
Provincial Opposition Leader Blaine Higgs is cautioning voters to be wary.
"Let's get the details and let's not be fooled again,” Higgs said Friday. “This is exactly what we see every election cycle, and Saint John is under a flourish now of promises on the back of an envelope without any substance."
Under the plan, the province will take possession of the museum construction site by the end of September, which is election month in New Brunswick.
Civic leaders say the former Coast Guard property is a good fit.
"I think things are just lining up and that property is there, as we should be doing something with it and I think that site could be a huge catalyst," says Saint John Coun. Donna Reardon.
In recent years, other attempts at developing the property have failed.
"There was always political talk about doing something there, but it never came to fruition. Now we have an announcement. Of course, I'm 100 per cent behind the announcement," says business owner Tim Isaac.
There are also questions about the 1930s-era museum collections building in the north end. The government says it is committed to finding a new use for the historic building.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.