“Perkins House staff should be getting ready for their upcoming tourist season, but instead, they are left wondering if this will be the third summer with closed doors,” says Masland.
In 2015, the Liberal government said it was evaluating the level of work needed to determine when repairs could proceed. In 2016, the province said it would move forward with the work, but there has been no update on when repairs will begin and the museum will reopen.
“The McNeil government continues to be silent on Perkins House,” says Masland. “Three years have already passed. Letting the disrepair go on any longer would be irresponsible. Not to mention, the cost of repairing isn’t getting any cheaper.”
Masland says 21 other museum sites across Nova Scotia have all been operating without interruption. She wants to see equal treatment for the Queens-Shelburne riding.
“Stephen McNeil has no problem giving money to his Liberal friends, but for some reason he won’t invest in Perkins House,” Masland says. “People coming to the South Shore on the Yarmouth Ferry need places to visit. The museum is a significant ingredient in what Queens-Shelburne can offer tourists and it’s time to get the museum up and running for the 2017 summer season.”
Masland met with Chairman of the Queens County Museums Board of Trustees, George Mitchell, and director of the Queens County Museum and Perkins House, Linda Rafuse, to discuss the significance of 2017 for Perkins House. It marks 60 years since the 250-year-old building became a Nova Scotia’s first museum, making it also the oldest in the province.
Masland says residents of Queens-Shelburne need an MLA who is prepared to ask the tough questions and fight to ensure the doors of Perkins House are open and Queens-Shelburne isn’t forgotten.