We were just about to renew our Royal B.C. Museum membership (after a pandemic lapse), when the premier announced the museum will be closing in September. For seven years. If all goes according to plan (which it rarely does) it will reopen in 2030.
As long-time members, we certainly support funding for repairs, safety, and updates. But another mega project? Costing $789 million?
Premier Horgan’s timing seems a little off, given the myriad real and pressing life-and-death priorities, like the pandemic drain on our health-care system, the doctor shortage, affordable housing, and a climate emergency pushing us to act immediately to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions if we want to keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees.
I for one would rather see that $789 million go towards protecting natural carbon sinks (forests, estuaries, oceans), or providing free public transit — and other known solutions to the climate crisis. (Unlike the new Liberal leader, I do not support gasoline rebates, or axing the carbon tax — one of the most progressive legacies of the Gordon Campbell government.)
Given the dire IPCC warnings that time is running out to leave our children a livable world, this truly feels like a “Don’t Look Up!” announcement.
But at least our kids will have a sparkling new seismically secure, asbestos-free, de-colonized museum to distract them from their climate anxiety.