Province comes through with cash to improve Royal Alberta Museum
Six years after the province promised to improve the Royal Alberta Museum, the cash is finally being dispensed to make the improvements happen. The province's budget, which was released Thursday, contained $180 million for redevelopment of the museum.
Critics are now questioning why it took the government so long to come up with the cash.
The promise of cash happened six years ago when Queen Elizabeth 2 visited. The province promised some major renovations, and a new building.
"I think it's a disgrace. We renamed it. We had the Queen here, and nothing happened after that," said Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman.
What followed were some minor changes, which just led to some confusion.
"It's a complete mystery why they abandoned this project because they did it at a time when they actually had lots of money," said Blakeman.
The province says its intentions never changed and it just took some time to get plans and the money together.
"It's just the process of flowing all of the projects and the money to fund it," said Parker Hogan with the department of Alberta Culture and Community Spirit.
It's not clear if the redevelopment will look like the original plans, but museum visitors are happy to hear the cash is being dispensed.
"I think it's excellent. I can't wait to see how these plans might be put into place," said historian Tanja Schramm.
The museum will actually have to be shut down and artifacts will have to be moved once construction starts. No date for that has been set yet.
With files from Sean Amato