The federal government's announcement that it is creating a new national immigration museum on the Halifax waterfront makes me wonder about the future of our own proposed national museum.
The National Maritime Centre for the Pacific and the Arctic (NMC) has been in the works for several years but so far it is just an empty construction site down on the North Vancouver waterfront next to the Lonsdale Quay. A feasibility study has been carried out, fundraising has been going on and the province has promised to kick in some funds, but everything depends on the federal government stepping up with some funds and officials in Ottawa have been keeping their cards very close to their chest.
Andrew Saxton, the Conservative Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, says he is behind the project and the city's mayor says he is confident it will go ahead. But you have to wonder, in the present economic climate, if Ottawa is prepared to fund two new national museums at opposite ends of the country.
On the other hand, perhaps the Halifax announcement means that the government is finally willing to make a commitment to the BC project as well. It looks to be a critical time for the much-discussed, much-delayed NMC.