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Letter to the editor: Shelve new Mendel gallery idea PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor: Barb Nankivell, The StarPhoenix  December 11, 2009

In the column Wall's addiction hurts us all (SP, Dec. 5) Murray Mandryk said Premier Brad Wall has become a spending addict and is looking like the political reincarnation of Grant Devine.

With a billion-dollar deficit, Wall should stop looking for places to spend money and start looking for places to save, Mandryk suggests.

Any serious curtailment of spending requires a project-by-project reassessment of all capital works projects, he notes and wonders, "Do we need to build a new children's hospital, or can we convert Saskatoon City Hospital?"

How about the proposed new art gallery at River Landing? The province is prepared to blow $17 million on this $58 million money pit when expanding and renovating the Mendel Art Gallery would cost less than half that.

The Mendel is being moved for the wrong reasons.

The city says River Landing needs an attraction. The Mendel is being sacrificed to pay for city council's mistakes. The other reason is the availability of Building Canada Funds, meant for projects that are "shovel ready" in the 2009-10. The Mendel fits the bill, the new gallery doesn't.

The Mendel is publicly owned and operated. It belongs to the people Saskatoon, not to gallery board chair Art Knight, Mayor Don Atchison, Premier Brad Wall or Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who are playing political games with it. Let's fix the Mendel. The money saved can be used elsewhere.

Barb Nankivell, Saskatoon