EDMONTON — Construction of the new Royal Alberta Museum was put on hold Wednesday after the federal government announced it will not be moving forward as a partner in the new project.
Alberta Infrastructure Minister Jeff Johnson made the announcement at a news conference, blaming the federal government’s decision on the economy.
The federal government was supposed to contribute $92 million to the $340 million museum, which was to be built in downtown Edmonton.
Without those funds, the province will now be unable to meet the Nov. 16 deadline for signing the contracts with developers.
Mayor Stephen Mandel expressed his disappointment to the news, calling it “an incredible blow to the citizens of Edmonton.”
“It’s very disturbing and very discouraging. I’m trying to keep my cool and my temper,” he said. “The challenge is we have a great provincial government that has constantly supported this city and we thank them very much. We hope we will be able to find a way with them to build the Royal Alberta Museum, which is vitally important to the City of Edmonton and for the redevelopment of downtown.”
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith applauded the federal government’s decision.
“The Harper government has demonstrated prudent leadership and fiscal responsibility by not contributing to this project at this time,” she said.