Province has ‘obligation’ to provide maritime museum with home

Museum board says the province isn't supposed to assist the museum in finding a new home, but it obligated to provide another location.

The ball is in the province’s court to find a new home for the Maritime Museum of B.C., after the museum released an agreement signed 38 years ago claiming the province has an obligation to do so.

Last Friday, members of the Maritime Museum of B.C. Society Board revealed an agreement that transferred ownership of the museum from the City of Victoria to the province for $1 back in 1977.

As part of the agreement, the province is obligated to “undertake responsibility for providing the society with suitable premises for housing of the museum collection, either by permitting it to remain in its present location in the building, or by offering to the society other premises on such terms as may be agreed between them.”

The document was signed by then provincial secretary Grace McCarthy and Victoria mayor Michael Young, however, the museum does not have a signed copy of it. They will file applications with the city to find it in the coming days.

Keith Reed, a long-time member and past president of the board, said recently there has been a “misunderstanding” between the museum and the province.

“The province is a principal player. It has that status because it took title of the Bastion Square premise. What was taking place was a realization and understand that the Maritime Museum of B.C. was fulfilling a role that was broader than the narrow of being municipal cultural organization, it’s a provincial cultural organization,” he said.

Reed noted that the province isn’t supposed to assist the museum in finding a new home, but it obligated to provide another location.

But the province doesn’t agree.

According to a statement provided by the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Cultural Services, the ministry has “received a legal opinion determining that this document does not obligate the province to provide housing in perpetuity for the museum operations or provide continued funding for its operations.”

The museum is currently in the process of moving thousands of items from their location in Bastion Square to a storage space on Seymour Street, since the province asked them to vacate the facility by Sept. 30.

Early this month, the province announced negotiations between the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and the Maritime Museum of B.C. were at an impasse, sending board members scrambling to find a new home for the more than 35,000-artifact collection.

 

Just Posted

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

Car drives into Vic West TD Canada Trust building

No one was injured, building damaged

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read