VICTORIA - British Columbia Premier John Horgan has announced his government is stopping the $800-million replacement of the Royal B.C. Museum, saying he made the "wrong call."
Horgan said he's heard from B.C. residents that it was the wrong time for the construction and they'll go back to the drawing board to find a project that all residents can get behind.
"We made choices based on the best information at hand and we thought we had it right. Clearly we did not," Horgan said during a news conference on Wednesday.
“It’s my responsibility to say to you today that I made the wrong call. That’s not to say that the work that needs to be done at the (museum) should be suspended indefinitely."
I always try to act in the best interests of British Columbians. That involves always listening, and taking responsibility when you make the wrong call. This is one of those times.— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) June 22, 2022
Today I'm announcing that we're stopping the plan for a new @RoyalBCMuseum. pic.twitter.com/js5QKBPq1F
Join Premier John Horgan for an update on the Royal BC Museum modernization. https://t.co/42JQD0WJ7G— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) June 22, 2022
He said British Columbians are talking about other concerns right now, like primary care for their families, education, cost of living and a range of other issues as the province emerges from a global pandemic.
Just last month, the government released thousands of pages of documents supporting its decision to build a new museumafter it considered renovating and repairing the current building in Victoria at a cost of $300 million more than replacement.
The Opposition Liberals have been critical of the replacement plan, saying that money is being spent while almost a million people in B.C. don't have a family doctor and many are struggling to pay their housing and fuel costs.
Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon has called the plan the premier’s "vanity legacy project."
Tourism Minister Melanie Mark said at a news conference last month the old building is not seismically sound and is at risk from floods, which could wipe out the record of B.C.’s culture and history.
Horgan said two of his ministers have worked very hard on the project and it wasn't "a back-of-the-envelope undertaking.”
"It was a five-year process involving countless engagements with people, but not sufficient to give the public a sense of why this was important."
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