News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

March 15, 2019

PROVINCE TO BEGIN REGULAR MAINTENANCE OF MANITOBA LEGISLATIVE BUILDING

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Repairs, Revitalization Needed to Ensure Building's Heritage Remains Intact: Fielding

The Manitoba government is taking action to enable ongoing, regular maintenance and repairs of the Manitoba Legislative Building to preserve this unique building for future generations, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

“The Manitoba Legislative Building opened in July 1920 and it is our responsibility to ensure it stands for another 100 years,” said Fielding. “Today, we are making the maintenance of this historic building a priority and providing funding to reduce its operating costs over the long term.”

For many years, repairs have been made to meet the standards of the day or deferred because of costs.  The minister noted past deferral of much needed investment in building and grounds infrastructure has resulted in the need for more expensive and urgent repairs and upgrades today.

“Previous governments have deferred more than $150 million in needed maintenance to the legislature, meaning small problems have grown into critical ones and led to increased costs,” said Fielding.  “This internationally-renowned site deserves to be cared for so we can reduce the risk of losing the building’s irreplaceable heritage.”

The 250,000-square-foot, historically-significant building is a designated provincial heritage site and recognized as a magnificent example of Beaux Arts architecture. 

The Manitoba government is allocating $10 million annually for the next 15 years to address the much-needed restoration and preservation of the Manitoba Legislative Building, the grounds and associated infrastructure.

Fielding noted a review in 2016 identified the need for significant work to restore and maintain the building, including:

  • addressing water leaks that are causing damage to the exterior stonework and extensive water leaks inside the building;
  • repairing the metalwork along the balconies on the north and south sides of the building to prevent further heritage loss;
  • replacing deteriorating and missing mortar on the stonework, which is leading to significant damage on the building and the grounds;
  • cleaning and restoring the building’s exterior; and
  • re-installing metal flashing and waterproof membranes to protect the building from further damage.

In addition, the heating and ventilation, plumbing and electrical systems are at the end of their service life and will need to be addressed over time.

Project planning is underway, with work starting this year and continuing through to 2033-34. The first phase of work will include masonry repairs and revitalization on the north side of the building, as well as some main entrance façade improvements to be completed by 2020, the building’s centennial year.

Beginning in 2034, $2.5 million will be provided annually to pay for ongoing maintenance to the building and precinct.

“This is a building that belongs to all Manitobans and we want to be transparent and accountable to the public about the need for this important work,” said Fielding.  “We will ensure timely and appropriate repairs are done to restore and preserve the building for future generations.”

The minister noted an advisory committee will be established to provide oversight and guide the development of long-term plans and annual maintenance plans to revitalize the building.

Previous repairs to the legislature include restoring the tower, dome and Golden Boy in 2002, replacing the flat roof in 2010 and reconstructing the skylight over the main staircase in 2012. In total, these repairs cost more than $10.5 million.

For more information on the Manitoba Legislative Building, visit: www.manitoba.ca/chc/hrb/prov/p040.html.

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