Public pressure growing to reverse decision to scrap N.B. Museum project
Published Thursday, December 13, 2018 11:08PM AST
The decision to cancel provincial funding for a new museum on the Saint John waterfront is running into online opposition.
People are petitioning the Progressive Conservative government to reconsider a decision to that would put the main site of the New Brunswick Museum on the site of the former Coast Guard building.
City staff have recommended it be demolished at a cost of around $1 million, which would a clean slate to make the piece of waterfront property more attractive to investors.
“Once the city starts to invest in an area, often times you'll see private money come when you can get a building like that you really see it make a difference,” said Saint John city Coun. Donna Reardon.
The project considered a catalyst for the site's redevelopment -- a new provincial museum -- is up in the air, now, however.
Museum officials have launched a new petition in response to the province pulling $50 million in funding off the table.
The petition has over a thousand signatures in less than 24 hours.
“This is not just about the museum, this is about a strategic catalytic investment in the community that's going to drive $150 million in private sector investment in our community,” said Develop Saint John CEO Steve Carson.
The museum's collections centre on Douglas Avenue has seen better days. The building has leaks and suffers from overcrowding and other issues.
“We are sure that the artifacts are safe, but really, it's an older building so you're dealing with that and we've heard earlier there are leaks in this building as well,” said Gary Hughes, the New Brunswick Museum curator.
Develop Saint John is optimistic the new government will come around to the museum project based on the business case and Carson says the new government really just needs to take a look at it.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.