Today, the Premier started on that Big Dig, by announcing that the Government plans announced back in mid May for the near 800 million dollar rebuild for the Victoria museum were now off, the government instead now charting a course of what they call broad public engagement to consider all options for the future of the museum.
“I always try to act in the best interests of British Columbians. That involves listening. That also means taking responsibility when you make the wrong call. Over the past few weeks, we listened to British Columbians who have made it clear they want the Royal BC Museum to remain open while we rethink our long-term plans to protect its priceless artifacts. That is exactly what we are going to do.” -- Premier John Horgan.
The decision announced over the lunch hour comes following what had bee a gift of sorts to the Opposition parties, both the BC Greens and the BC Liberals who made the most of the month long tempest to frame the move as that of a legacy seeking Premier who was out of touch with ordinary British Columbians.
Both of the opposition parties noted of the rising level of inflation, out of reach housing hopes as well as troubles in both the Health and Education sector as areas where 800 million dollars may be better spent.
As the controversy percolated into the early part of June, the Premier had seemed to step back from the situation; leaving it to Melanie Mark his Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture to fend for herself under the constant attacks from the opposition about a government with misplaced priorities.
Today Minister Mark made note to the path forward:
“Museum leadership will undertake a broad public engagement to determine our next steps. At the end of the day, this museum belongs to the people of British Columbia, and their voices will determine its future.”
Public engagement will seek input on what British Columbians want to see in a modernized museum experience. It will also address structural and safety issues identified with the current buildings. The structure, timeline and scope of the public engagement will be determined by the museum board with a view to connecting with the broadest possible range of British Columbians, including First Nations, business groups, members of the public and other stakeholders.