Robert Vessey, Steven Myers bring Province House concerns to Ottawa

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Province House in Charlottetown during renovations in November 2013. (file photo)

166-year-old provincial legislature building in need of repairs

Members of the committee responsible for the administration of the legislative assembly have taken their concerns about the state of Province House to the federal government.

On Tuesday, Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey and Opposition Leader Steven Myers met with federal officials including Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Fisheries Minister Gail Shea to talk about renovations to Province House.

In an interview with The Guardian, Vessey said they talked about the importance of restoring the building.

"They're in there looking at it now and we wanted to try and lobby for a long-term fix, which we all are expecting," he said.

The trip to Ottawa was in response to the need for repairs and renovations on the 166-year-old building, which has been facing a series of problems that included a recent closure after a section of plaster fell from the ceiling.

Emergency repairs were also required last year to secure an exterior wall and an engineer's report prepared for Parks Canada showed extensive problems that could take years to address.

Click here for an interactive look at some of the sections of Province House that are in need of repairs.

Parks Canada took over responsibility for Province House in 1974 and has spent $6.6 million on the building since a restoration project that was finished in 1984.

As environment minister, Aglukkaq is responsible for Parks Canada.

Vessey said he felt it was a positive meeting.

"We just want to make sure we can do all we can to get our share to bring Province House back to something Islanders and Canadians can be proud of."

As for when the repairs will be started, Vessey said he wasn't given a timeframe and he didn't know how much it would all cost Parks Canada.

"It's hard to put an exact price tag on it yet, but it's going to be expensive."

Vessey said he was optimistic the legislative assembly would be able to use the building this spring.

"I haven't heard anything different yet."

Although it's unusual for political opponents to represent the province together, Vessey said that as members of the legislative management committee he and Myers put politics aside for this issue.

"I think it shows them that we're committed to the same outcome for Province House."

An attempt to speak to Myers about the meeting was unsuccessful.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

 

Organizations: Province House, Parks Canada, The Guardian Taylor Hazell Architects Legislative Management Committee

Geographic location: Ottawa, Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • Frequent flyer
    March 05, 2014 - 20:28

    Saw them in halifax airport getting massages after their long flight from Charlottetown! They must have been stressed 27 min flight how did they do it!

  • Too funny.
    March 05, 2014 - 18:32

    That's too funny Vessey and Myers seem to be traveling buddies now and when they are on camera they are chewing at each others throats.,don't worry. About province house let it fall down all the bad shanigans that went on in there over the years is taking its toll on the old structure now,take the money. And put it into our highways there are litterly terrible then the money would be spent wisely for a change.

  • I Just Don't Know
    March 05, 2014 - 18:02

    I just don't know the thinking of the civil service & goverment . Example in point is the Somers building in Montague . They pay big money for it , rip it apart and then rebuild it . It is no brainer that if they needed a building , it would be far cheaper to build a new one from ground up . I just don't know how these brains get to keep their jobs . Is it, who ever wastes the most money get's a bonus or promotion . Seems that way .

    • I'd say
      March 06, 2014 - 09:39

      I'd say the- paid big money for it -someone has a Liberal friend.

  • Fed up
    March 05, 2014 - 14:31

    Please let Myers do the talking... This selfcentered Vessey is just looking after himself... Put him on the back bench and move someone who cares about people like Richard brown..... Into transportation Can't believe he is on the back bench... Shame

    • gargamel
      March 05, 2014 - 16:13

      Maybe they can both go skating on the Rideau Canal while they're there. It's a lot smoother than the roads in PEI. Oh yeah, and just keep skating. Don't return. Ever.