Province House will be ready for Legislature opening

Ryan Ross
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Greg Shaw, Parks Canada project manager on the Province House restortion project. FILE PHOTO

After a temporary closure and concerns raised about the state of Province House, the legislative assembly will be back in the building in April for the spring sitting.

In an interview with The Guardian, legislative assembly clerk Charles MacKay said the building will be ready when the house re-opens on April 2.

“It’s been cleared for that,” he said.

The building has been closed for several weeks after a chunk of plaster about the size of a pool table fell from the ceiling near one of the entrances. It was the latest in a string of problems at the historic building where emergency repairs were required on one of the exterior walls.

An engineering report Parks Canada commissioned determined extensive repairs and restoration work is needed to protect the building and address numerous issues, including a leaking roof and structural problems.

Those repairs could take more than three years to finish and might require the building to stay closed for an extended period of time.

That led to questions about whether the building would be able to open for the legislative assembly this spring.

A contingency plan is in place that would move the proceedings to the neighbouring Coles Building if ever Province House is unusable for the legislative assembly, although a new plan would be needed for a lengthy closure.

That’s not going to be an issue this spring, with MacKay saying an engineer’s assessment has shown the building is safe for public use and occupancy.

“That’s exactly what we’re going to do,” he said.

Parks Canada also announced last week it was re-opening Province House on March 24 after the contractor was able to finish the necessary repairs to the ceiling ahead of schedule.

While the building was shut down legislative assembly staff were housed in the nearby Atlantic Technology Centre and MacKay said they were moving back to Province House this week.

MacKay said he was glad the necessary work on Province House was done in time for the spring sitting.

Although he thought moving out of the building had some impact on the work legislative assembly staff could do, MacKay said he though they adjusted well and were able to perform all of their responsibilities.

“It’s going to be very nice to be back in Province House and be able then to focus on the session and getting our business done here.”

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Province House, Parks Canada, Atlantic Technology Centre

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Recent comments

  • The Observer from Stratford
    March 25, 2014 - 13:34

    Everyone entering the building should be issued a hard hat.

  • Huh
    March 25, 2014 - 10:57

    Why is Parks Canada in charge of this?

    • Francois from Tignish
      March 25, 2014 - 14:22

      Parks Canada are in charge of the renovations because the federal government taxpayers pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the provincial legislature of PEI. Former Premier Alex Campbell was able to unload the cost of the building and its maintenance to Ottawa under a cover story of it being a national historic building. Maritime politicians meet in Charlottetown in 1864 to discuss Maritime Union. Macdonald, Cartier and a few others from Ontario and Quebec crashed the meeting....PEI did not join in a Maritime Union nor did they join Canada from the 1866 Confederation Conference in Quebec city. Before you ask, the answer is NO, Quebec taxpayers pay for their own Legislature as do all other provinces except PEI. Quebec has a legitimate claim to the meeting having historical importance to Confederation in 1867 which by the way PEI rejected as well only entering Canada as a bankrupt colony in 1872. It's only a historical building in the same sense that all provincial legislatures existed before Confederation but only on PEI, do other Canadians (Ottawa) get the bill for a provincial legislature....more dependency and entitlement....

    • Francois from Tignish
      March 25, 2014 - 14:28

      Parks Canada are in charge of the renovations because the federal government taxpayers pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the provincial legislature of PEI. Former Premier Alex Campbell was able to unload the cost of the building and its maintenance to Ottawa under a cover story of it being a national historic building. Maritime politicians meet in Charlottetown in 1864 to discuss Maritime Union. Macdonald, Cartier and a few others from Ontario and Quebec crashed the meeting....PEI did not join in a Maritime Union nor did they join Canada from the 1866 Confederation Conference in Quebec city. Before you ask, the answer is NO, Quebec taxpayers pay for their own Legislature as do all other provinces except PEI. Quebec has a legitimate claim to the meeting having historical importance to Confederation in 1867 which by the way PEI rejected as well only entering Canada as a bankrupt colony in 1872. It's only a historical building in the same sense that all provincial legislatures existed before Confederation but only on PEI, do other Canadians (Ottawa) get the bill for a provincial legislature....sadly, its about more dependency and entitlement on PEI....

  • voter
    March 25, 2014 - 10:55

    also it should be fumigated on a regular basis

  • rob
    March 25, 2014 - 08:16

    I could care less if our precious reps dont have a pretty place to seat themselves, I want to know why the same contractor is doing the work incomplete from the last couple summers, and how much we wasted the first time around.

  • don
    March 25, 2014 - 07:46

    plaster fell great but why did it fall? roof leaking water but i see they have not said the roof was repaired. i think we really need a new contractor . hire mike holmes.