Bathurst War Museum's future is uncertain
Museum experienced flood damage in February and had 39 artifacts stolen
The Bathurst War Museum may not be able to open for the summer after the popular tourist destination suffered flood damage and a theft earlier this year.
The war museum in the northern city holds displays of everything from First World War to modern day peacekeeping missions.
In February, flooding caused thousands of dollars of damage to the museum and that was followed by a break-in where thieves took cash from a donation box and 39 artifacts, including 36 guns.
Ron Fortier, a veteran and the museum’s caretaker, said the thefts are disappointing, considering they cannot be used by whoever stole them.
"It's a shame because the hand guns are not usable. They've been deactivated and we don't know why they stole them," he said.
"It's actually an insult to the veterans more than anything else."
Fortier said the town and legion members are now looking at trying to fix the flood damage, which could cost between $20,000 and $30,000.
He said if the work isn't started by next month, it will be too late to open the museum in July for the summer season.
Fortier said the possible closure of the museum for the summer could negatively affect the northern economy, which is already struggling with an unemployment rate of 20.2 per cent.
"If we go by last year in the summertime, we had somewhere in the neighbourhood of 500 people that visited just our little museum and it's increasing every year. So I believe it’s going to affect the area for the visitors," he said.
The museum is located at the Royal Canadian Legion in Bathurst and has several displays, including First World War trench exhibit.
"We have artifacts, guns bayonets we have a set up like what it looked like during the war where when you walk in the place you really feel like you're part of the scenario," he said.