VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has released documents it says led to the decision to build a new provincial museum at a cost of almost $800 million.
The documents, which number thousands of pages, say the current Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria is not seismically safe, includes hazardous materials and is at risk of flooding.
The Opposition Liberals have called the proposed replacement a “billion-dollar vanity project,” and Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon says he will cancel the rebuild if elected premier in 2024.
The museum will be closed for almost eight years during the rebuild, under the government’s plans that were announced this month.
Premier John Horgan says the museum is seismically unsound and contains asbestos, which is particular concerning because it is visited by hundreds of schoolchildren every year.
The documents say the museum stores seven million exhibits, including the largest collection of works by artist Emily Carr, but is only able to display one per cent of its total collection at any time.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2022.
The Canadian Press