After the initial announcement of plans to replace the Royal BC Museum created a storm of controversy, the provincial government tried again to explain their rationale with the release of the final business case today.
"If we had seen the business case when the original announcement was made, it might have helped with some of the sticker shock our members are feeling," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We're going to keep working with our members to help those that can pick up some of the traffic, as well as with the museum and the province to try and mitigate the loss of a major attraction for eight years."
The province said it's not possible to keep the museum open while rebuilding because of the complexity of moving items and safely removing hazardous materials. The current building has outlived its useful life and there are potential risks to its stored collections as well as staff and visitors.
There is a cost to doing nothing, Minister for Tourism, Art, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark said at today's technical briefing. The province estimates that the cost of the project — currently at $789 million — will increase the longer it is delayed.