It’s history – so what?

Editorial in the North Shore News today – we’ve added the ‘so what?’

Link to Source: It’s history

The answer is here:







The editorial states “We’d like to see some Plan Bs sooner rather than later because an awful lot of time and energy has been spent on the proposed museum only to have it collapse at this late hour”.  

We think we know the Plan B from the City’s request for interest in the Shipyards (Lot 5) last summer.  The document clearly states the designation of the Pipe Shop to be “Future Museum or Commercial/Retail”.

The Mayor and his team seemed to place all of their reasoning on a BDO report, which others have said is a flawed report.  The fundraising effort in a small amount of time achieved 90% of their goal.  We applaud Councillors Bell, Bookham and Clark  for continuing to support culture in our community.  It’s obvious from comments on social media in the last day that the community supports the project.  There are rumours that potential large donors (likely developers) were discouraged from making donations to the museum.  

The City was given $9M by the Province   after the National Maritime Centre project was cancelled*.   City staff provided this statement about the disbursement of the funds:  “The Provincial government has indicated that in the absence of a n NMC project this funding is to be used for purposes consistent with the spirit of the grant, such as the preservation of BC’s maritime heritage or other arts and cultural uses”.  We question whether “Commercial/Retail” is a suitable use of the funds.

Councillor Clark suggested that there was too much going on in the back room (in camera) that needs to come out in public.  There is need for a public discussion.   We request that this be on the Council Agenda for February 1st and that the Museum be allowed to present their case to the public.

*much has been written previously about the NMC project, i.e.



3 responses to “It’s history – so what?

  1. This was a hurried attempt to scuttle the Museum project at this location, and entirely unfair in my opinion; I suspect the business-first members of this council have other (retail) plans in mind for this site. They have no idea nor care for the disservice they have done to the community. Such an important decision should not be made in this manner by so few people.

  2. I watched the entire council proceedings. The arguments as presented by the firm BDO against the development of the Museum and Archives at this historic waterfront site are fallacious in my opinion. Or worse. I have lived in North Van and Lower Lonsdale for 70 years, and this project was extremely exciting and important. Worse than disappointed, I’m pretty angry and want disclosure and a public hearing.

    How can this plan be summarily dismissed in this manner? I think the BDO assessment is flawed, and shows no understanding of the historical importance of the inclusion of the Museum and Archives at this specific location. This was a great plan and I think Council will regret following the lead of BDO in treating this as a business venture. Bad decision.

  3. northvancityvoices

    Margaret Heywood:This uninformed, petty decision on the part of the majority of this council has created a deep and festering wound in our community. But perhaps this is what it takes for people to realize that we have four members of council who could care less about what the community holds dear. They don’t care what you think, and they certainly don’t want to hear from you. Our community has never asked for a lot, some space to breathe, a respect for our green spaces, and support for the thousands of peoples, including our native and aboriginal peoples who have made our community a great place to live. Government tried to erase aboriginal culture and history once, we cannot let this happen again. I haven’t heard anyone asking for more skyscrapers, and their resulting millions of dollars in amenity benefits to go to ferris wheels, water-parks, or ice-arenas, let alone more hotel rooms for Pinnacle, more density for Onni, gaming or bicycle lifts, except for the mayor and his gang. This museum never had a fair hearing, and community does not know the issues because most of the information was held in camera. The only one who spoke publicly was the Mayor who took liberty after liberty in informing both the business community and the public — that the museum would not make their funding target, trying to knock the the knees out from under the fund-raising team. This community needs to hold these people accountable, and also lets not forget the businesses who financially put these people in their seats of power and control. Maybe you like your tax dollars being pissed into the wind, but I know many, many struggling people who object…this was not only a bad decision but despicable politics. Please share this if you care at all.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 21 mins

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