B.C. liberal leader slams $800M museum 'vanity project' on first day in legislature
British Columbia Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon said that if elected premier he would halt plans to build a new Royal B.C. Museum, calling it a “billion-dollar vanity project” after he took his seat in the legislature.
The Opposition leader also attacked the New Democrat government's record on affordability after he was officially sworn in Monday, having won a byelection in Vancouver-Quilchena last month.
The former Liberal cabinet minister used question period to criticize the timing of Premier John Horgan's announcement that a new museum in Victoria would be built at a cost of about $800 million.
A satellite facility for research and storage in the neighbouring community of Colwood, announced two years ago, has been budgeted at $224 million.
“Sadly, six people are dying every day from an overdose under this government's watch,” Falcon said. “The worst in history. One in five British Columbians don't have a family doctor and when they try to go to a walk-in clinic, they face the longest wait times in Canada.”
Outside the legislature, Falcon said he was “massively disappointed” at the timing of the museum project, “when British Columbians are struggling with the highest housing and the highest fuel prices in North America at $2.34 per litre.”
“I also want to be clear about this: should I become the next premier of the province, we are cancelling that billion-dollar vanity project,” he said.
Falcon called on the NDP to use the money from the project to help people pay their bills instead.
Horgan said on Friday that the museum, next door to the legislature, needs to be brought into the 21st century, making it seismically safer, inclusive, accessible and modern.
He said the project would protect B.C.'s collective history and he urged Falcon and the Liberals on Monday to support the project.
In November, the museum announced some sections were closing while work was done to decolonize Indigenous exhibits. The move came in response to calls from Indigenous leaders after reports alleged there were racist and toxic working conditions at the institution.
Falcon, 59, was sworn in during a brief ceremony in which he signed the oath of office and entered the chamber as its newest MLA.
He won the BC Liberal leadership last February, replacing former leader Andrew Wilkinson, who resigned the Vancouver-Quilchena riding earlier this year, his party having lost the October 2020 election to the New Democrats.
Falcon's return to the legislature comes after about a decade away from politics to help raise his young family and work in the private sector with a Vancouver property investment company.
He had held portfolios of finance, health, transportation, and the deputy premiership in former B.C. Liberal governments, before he finished second to former premier Christy Clark in the party's 2011 leadership race.
At the signing ceremony, attended by his wife, Jessica, and daughters Josephine and Rose, Falcon said he would lead an Opposition that kept the government under pressure.
“In the coming weeks, months and years, you will see that we will be holding government to account for results or lack of results,” said Falcon at the ceremony. “I truly believe at the end of the day, we should always be judged not by what we say but by what we do.”
The next B.C. election will be held by October 2024.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Many Canadians remain unaware of the involvement of forced child labour in the products they buy, according to non-profit agency World Vision Canada.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to denounce the justice's decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion.
As Pride festivities kick off around the world, many refugees are celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community for the first time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.
The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in nearly 50 countries should be closely monitored but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, protesters and supporters of the ruling gathered at the high court's building in Washington, D.C., and in other cities nationwide.
With the nation's capital bracing for anticipated anti-mandate 'freedom' movement protests during Canada Day weekend, interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen says her MPs are free to attend.
A barge that ran aground near Vancouver's English Bay last year quickly became an accidental attraction, drawing selfie-seekers and inspiring T-shirt designs. But after seven months, residents seem to have grown weary of its hulking presence on the shoreline.
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ rights event, KyivPride, is going ahead on Saturday. But not on its native streets and not as a celebration.
A 15-month dispute in British Columbia's film and television industry has ended with the ratification of a new contract for creative and logistical staff working on productions shot in the province.
All ferry sailings between two of B.C.'s Discovery Islands have been cancelled Saturday because of a lack of crew.
When Tabi Henry was little, she never questioned why everyone celebrated her birthday in costume. Until she realized Oct. 31 was also Halloween.
Nearly 100 Ukrainian members of Calgary’s community marched in protest calling for the release of Azovstal Iron and steel workers, defending Mariupol from Russian attacks.
After the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for abortion Friday by overturning Roe v. Wade, NDP Leader Rachel Notley demanded that everyone running to become the next leader of the UCP clarify their stance on the issue.
One city councillor hosted a town hall meeting Saturday with social agencies and police to address rising crime rates in northeast Calgary.
Fans leaving the Garth Brooks concert at Commonwealth Stadium Friday night were happy and smiling, despite some logistical issues that delayed the show and frustrated some.
A Member of Parliament from rural Alberta went live on Facebook Friday to celebrate a United States Supreme Court vote to end constitutional protections for abortion.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of Edmonton City Hall Saturday to celebrate the first large Pride event in the city in four years, and the first one in Churchill Square in eight.
Dozens of people gathered outside the U.S. consulate in downtown Toronto Saturday to protest a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn constitutional protection for abortion rights.
Office workers are returning to Toronto but foot traffic on Mondays and Fridays hasn’t bounced back. Will it ever?
More people are commuting to offices downtown than at any point since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but the recovery hasn’t been equal across the board, with both GO Transit and the TTC reporting fluctuations in ridership as many workers choose to work from home at the beginning and end of each week.
Every Monday, Mark Powell drives to the Burlington, Ont., pork plant where his wife died to give water to pigs on their way to slaughter.
Paramedics in Greater Montreal are stretched particularly thin this weekend, with nearly half the territory's ambulances parked due to a staffing shortage.
Police on Montreal's South Shore has located the suspect vehicle they say was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman dead.
Friends and family of a 17-year-old girl who died in what police are calling an accident on the shore in LaSalle gathered Saturday to remember the Montreal teen who her mother said was 'was full of life.'
Using a trailer or an RV is an easy way for people to get out of the city and into the outdoors, but with soaring gas prices, the cost of driving with one has gone up drastically.
Winnipeg was once again pummelled by rain on Friday and the city came close to setting a rainfall record.
No one was injured but one pet died after an early morning fire Saturday.
When Ennio Muzzolini walked into Christies Mayfair Bakery in 1965 interested in purchasing the small bakery on 33rd Street, he never imagined he’d one day be looking on as hundreds of people lined the block to get their hands on a baguette, cinnamon bun or wood-fired pizza.
Organizers have decided to cancel the Elk Ridge Open due to an “inordinate amount of rain.”
A Saskatoon man whose family helped to build the Waterhen Lake Church is planning to help rebuild the church.
Over 400 people contributed to the Field of Dreams project, which led to the purchase of a large track of prairie grasslands for preservation.
The Saskatchewan NDP will elect its next leader at a convention on Sunday.
Saskatchewan RCMP are investigating after a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 5 in Wadena.
An Amber Alert issued by Cape Breton Regional Police on Friday has been cancelled, as the missing youth has been located safe early Saturday morning says police.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
A motorcyclist was airlifted to the hospital with unknown injuries Saturday morning following a crash in Bayham, Ont.
The identity of a pedestrian who died after being struck by a vehicle on Walpole Island has been released by police.
The Chatham-Kent police Major Crime Unit is working alongside the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office to determine the cause of a house fire after a body was found inside the home.
Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal MP Anthony Rota said he was shocked by Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling.
With hundreds of students from India who attend Northern College, and other professionals from India who've moved to the city to work, organizers said they felt it was time to bring everyone together to celebrate their culture with the rest of the community.
A group of friends doing work on a camp in MacGregor Bay helped contain what could have been a devastating fire in Killarney Provincial Park.
A fire at a townhouse complex in Kitchener Friday night has resulted in extensive damage.
Many in Waterloo Region are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and what it could mean for Canada.
Norfolk County OPP are investigating after they say a pedestrian was found on the side of a road and had to be airlifted to hospital.