BC Museum to reopen in 2030 and Cost of fixing 24 Sussex Dr. Ottawa
May 19 2022 -Page A8 National Post- Canada Section
I am from the old school; I enjoy a physical experience when it comes to reading my daily news or a story or documentary. I want to hold the newspaper or the story in book form in my hands and this gives me a feeling of being a small part of the document. Yes, my writing is done entirely on the computer but I seldom get enjoyment reading from the monitor. Penmanship was a strong point in my youth but I can barely hold a pen or pencil to-day due to my shaking. My morning newspaper rarely causes me to put it down with a good feeling about our world affairs and the people who are left in charge. Being born in the middle of the depression of the 20’s and 30’s I have a natural instinct for frugality. I am not sure if there are many decision makers of to-day that are aware of the word, frugal, let alone the meaning of it. To get to the point, I read a few weeks ago the plans for the world-renowned Royal B.C. Museum. It is to be totally demolished including all the full- sized recreations of a coal mine, salmon cannery, a peace river homestead and a 18th. Century sailing vessel, the human history gallery, a very popular exhibit. All in the name of “systemic racism” (Whatever that means). This facility is one of British Columbia’s biggest tourist attraction and will not open again for at least eight years. You can count on a bill to the tune of at least one billion dollars when all is said and done. The most expensive museum ever built in Canada. Government employees have lost all concept of reality when it comes to spending our money. Another example on the same page of my newspaper reads- “Cost of fixing 24 Sussex could top $36 million”.
I can speak with more experience than most on this subject and if I were 25 years younger, my hat would be in the ring for a chance to save the government millions of dollars. I would be willing to guarantee without seeing this structure that $36 million is a ridiculous figure and the estimates have been made by charlatans looking as many do, to taking advantage of a bottomless well of public money.
My credentials are based on the simple fact that I have been down this road and have experience in the restoration of many old homes including an 1888 14000 sq. ft. mansion. In the early 90’s my wife and I purchased our 40-room derelict mansion from a foreclosure by the bank. There was no electricity or water supply nor was there any source of heat or air conditioning except for eight fireplaces, some electric heaters and open windows. To make a long story short, we closed in Sept and opened the following spring with a wedding and reception in our ballroom for more than 100 guests. Three years later, we were the recipients of two 5-star ratings. This was accomplished with our own money and for under $100,000.00. including the antique furniture for our 15-bedroom B&B. It's time to get real with our governments and make the politicians accountable for their spending and perhaps they will acquire a taste for some sanity in the hard-earned taxes they spend on our behalf.
Paul D. Scott