Saint John city council approves demolition of Coast Guard building
What was to have been the waterfront site for a new provincial museum in Saint John, will be cleared even though funding for the museum project has been cancelled.
Saint John city council has approved demolition of the last former Coast Guard building still standing. It will be torn down next year on the site where the new provincial museum was going to be built.
Mayor Don Darling says he has been told that project still has life left in it.
“As recently as yesterday what I was told, was this isn't dead,” Darling said. “It's postponed, and I think that's good news.”
But postponed until when is uncertain after $50 million promised by the former provincial Liberal government was cut by the Progressive Conservatives in last week's capital budget.
The future of the property, which includes a parcel of land now owned by the province, is uncertain.
Buildings were demolished throughout the summer to make way for the new $100-million project that has been touted as the catalyst for reinvestment of the site.
“You will see a domino effect right across our waterfront,” said Liberal MP Wayne Long. “Maybe somebody beside the museum is going to want to build a hotel.”
An online petition was launched by New Brunswick Museum officials six days ago in response to the decision by the provincial government, and it's now received over 3,000 signatures.
Museum officials are meeting with the province tomorrow about the collections centre.
“That's really encouraging,” said New Brunswick Museum CEO Bill Hicks. “We'll sit down, we'll have a really good initial discussion about what are the real issues, and how do we start to approach them.”
The province says the price tags on about a dozen proposals to repair the collections centre ranged between $40 and $60 million.
“I think the question becomes, what are the next steps and if it needs to be reimagined, how do we reimagine it?” said Darling.
The mayor says they're anxious to see what exactly those next steps are.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.