Is $80 million too much?

The National Council of Veteran Associations (NCVA) has asked the Prime Minister to review the controversy surrounding the proposal to build a new $80 million War Museum. The museum will be built on a site near the abandoned Rockcliffe Air Base on the eastern outskirts of Ottawa. The council represents 36 of the mostly-smaller veterans groups across Canada. The veterans expressed their views in an extensive letter to Prime Minister Chretien.

Long before construction has begun, the museum has already had a stormy history. The latest controversy revolves around the cost of the museum. The veterans are fearful that officials of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation may have created a difficult situation for the Government. The say that the corporation’s proposal may be too expensive in today’s fiscal climate, and the $80 million price tag may be beyond the funds the Government can justifiably spend at this time.

On the other hand, the letter suggests that if the Government rejects the current proposal, veterans may lose the momentum which developed out of Hearings of the Senate Sub-Committee on the issue in February of 1998. In the meantime, construction is stillot underway.

Along with its new letter, the NCVA forwarded to the Prime Minister a copy of an earlier letter sent to Heritage Minister Sheila Copps, which suggests that the Government has had ample time to make a decision.