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B.C. Liberals call for ‘vanity museum’ project to be scrapped

Falcon says spend on temporary gasoline tax instead
Indigenous artifacts are a major part of the Royal B.C. Museum collection, which is to be stored while a new building is built. (Royal B.C. Museum photo)

Premier John Horgan should cancel plans for a “billion-dollar vanity museum” in Victoria and focus on the affordability problems such as gasoline prices, B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon said as he returned the legislature Monday.

The price tag for rebuilding the Royal B.C. Museum was announced last week as $789 million, but Falcon said the NDP government’s track record on cost control at the Site C dam project suggests the museum project could cost more and take longer than the expected completion date of 2030.

Horgan replied that the issues at the museum have been known for many years, with artifact storage below sea level and a building that is not earthquake safe. The NDP government has studied the museum for five years and has proposed a new building that uses mass timber technology.

Horgan reminded Falcon and his opposition colleagues of the difference between capital and operating budgets, and noted his government has reduced Insurance Corp. of B.C. rates and removed tolls from Lower Mainland bridges to help drivers.

With gasoline soaring past $2.30 a litre in parts of the province over the weekend, the B.C. Liberals have been pushing a series of proposed solutions, including a temporary suspension of provincial fuel taxes and a one-time rebate using the province’s climate action tax credit program.

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