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Letters May 20: Museum plan a missed opportunity; what about the environmental impact?

A man walks along the east side of the Royal B.C. Museum. Letter-writers are divided on the merits of the province’s plan to tear it down and build a new museum. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Missed opportunity with museum decision

There were options to the all-or-nothing decision to redo the provincial museum.

One might have been to incorporate various elements of B.C.’s history within different regions.

A focus on the days of commerce in Victoria and the early establishment of government, the impact of settlement and the gold rush in the Interior, to say nothing of the impact of colonialism on First Nations.

A facility in Victoria, another in Kamloops and yet another in Prince George might have presented a more reflective learning experience and understanding of our history.

Rather than embark on three small successes, the government has embarked on one big failure.

Jim Ferguson

Just like photo radar, this will hurt the NDP

Many will remember the NDP’s photo radar, their idea to catch speeders, whereby the police would sit in unmarked vans along our roads and highways and take photos of the licence plates of vehicles they suspected of speeding.

A few days later, the motorist would receive a ticket in the mail, which caught most of these people by surprise. People hated photo radar.

A few years ago, it became a major provincial election issue, but the NDP refused to back down on the hated radar trap and lost the election to the Liberals. Most people believed photo radar was the culminating event in the election result.

History repeats itself as we know, and another culminating event is now before us, the $1-billion Horgan museum plan, which will rate right up there with photo radar. Unfortunately, we don’t have an election soon, but it is obvious, whether the public is voting or not, that public opinion is an election and it does not support this ridiculous plan.

If Horgan is convinced this hoped-for legacy of his is a great idea, call a referendum; we need another culminating event.

Jim Laing

Never a good time to spend on culture

Spending on cultural matters is never popular or timely. It is an exercise in long term vision.

We all know the Royal B.C. Museum needs an update. The inclusion element for the history of B.C. is a win, win for all.

This would be especially true for downtown and Inner Harbour tourism. Let’s look ahead.

Carol Collins
Cowichan Bay

Environmental impact of museum rebuild

In addition to the economic concerns raised by many readers regarding the proposed rebuild of the Royal B.C. Museum, I am distressed by the environmental impact.

This building is structurally sound and has many redeeming features. What happened to the three Rs — reduce, reuse and recycle? The carbon footprint of a massive construction project like this needs to be considered.

And where is all that construction waste going to end up, other than in our already overflowing landfill? Let’s not miss an opportunity to show the world that B.C. knows the meaning of environmental stewardship.

Shauna Tierney

> Read more letters from the May 20 paper here.


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