The controversial almost billion dollar rebuild of the Royal BC Museum in downtown Victoria ate dirt with a disapproval from a majority of the province’s residents.
According to a new Angus Reid poll 69% of British Columbians oppose to the $800 million museum rebuild, 42% “Strongly opposed” and 27% “opposed”. Only 4% “strongly support” the project, while 18% “support.”
According to the survey, 4% of people “strongly” support the initiative, while 18% support it — for a total of 22% support.
“If there was ever a museum of political gaffes built in British Columbia, the rollout of the Royal B.C. Museum’s rebuild could occupy a gallery of its own,” Angus Reid president Shachi Kurl wrote.
While the government expected the news to be received well, the opposite occurred, and two weeks later Tourism Minister Melanie Mark presented a heavily redacted business plan.
In May the B.C. government announced its ambitious plan to spend almost $800 million to rebuild the 54-year-old Royal B.C. Museum with no business plan to present to the public.
The government was expecting a standing ovation when the news broke but they got the complete opposite with lots of criticism and two weeks later Tourism Minister Melanie Mark presented a heavily redacted business plan.
If the B.C. Liberals are elected in 2024, they have already committed to scrap the project, which leader Kevin Falcon has dubbed a “vanity project boondoggle.”
“The backlash comes as the NDP government under Premier John Horgan faces other political headwinds from inflation and cost of living increases.” Kurl wrote.
According to the poll, 70% of respondents believe the B.C. government is doing a terrible job managing inflation, health-care staffing, and housing affordability.
Horgan’s approval rating has dropped seven points to 48% in the last three months, but the B.C. NDP still has an 11-point lead over the B.C. Liberals. The Green Party of British Columbia has 15% of the vote.
Falcon, the newly appointed Liberal leader, is perceived favourably by 23% of British Columbians and unfavourably by 44%.
Rising living costs were the most important concern for 61% of respondents, while only 7% were concerned about the government’s response to COVID-19.