UNB Prof Raises Concerns About New Provincial Museum Process

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2017 14:16 PM

A University of New Brunswick professor in the department of history and politics is raising questions and concerns about the process for building the brand new provincial museum somewhere in uptown Saint John.

Greg Marquis has written to the provincial minister of tourism, heritage and culture, John Ames, about what he calls a lack of public information and an apparent lack of public consultation about the new facility. He wants to know whether the provincial government will be engaging in public consultation.

"I am fully supportive of a new provincial museum. But I am not supportive of a process that appears secretive, top-down and cut off from the community," the letter from Marquis reads.

Marquis says this will be a signature building for Saint John that will last for generations so there should be some thought going into it.

"In my circles, historical circles and things like that, no one knows what's going on," Marquis tells us. "Be nice to have some public input and just some basic information as to how the design is going to be chosen, will there be a competition for architects, that type of thing."

The department of Transportation and Infrastructure tells CHSJ News a site hasn't been chosen yet for the new museum and as for consultation:

"Government undertook a consultation process over the summer months that targeted 50 to 60 stakeholders, including several representatives from UNBSJ," a statement from the department reads.

"We will continue working with stakeholders to ensure that we have a museum that continues to meet the needs of New Brunswickers now and in the future.

Site work on the new museum is slated to begin in the spring of next year with the province committing $50-million to the project.