Nova Scotia

Federal archeology lab could earn reprieve from closure

MP Scott Brison says he's having discussions at the provincial and federal level about how to keep the Dartmouth, N.S., facility open and accessible.

Discussions underway about keeping Dartmouth, N.S., facility open and accessible, says MP Scott Brison

The archeology lab's collection is comprised of over one million artifacts from Atlantic Canadian archeological sites. (Nova Scotia Archaeology Society)

A federal archeology lab in Dartmouth could win a reprieve from closure.

Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison said he, Premier Stephen McNeil, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and others have been discussing options that would keep the Parks Canada facility open and accessible.

The facility houses Atlantic Canada's archeological and historical objects collection as well as a conservation laboratory.

"There have been very good discussions," Brison said. "I think there's also an opportunity ... to do something innovative that would not only keep them here, not only preserve them, but to give more citizens and tourists an opportunity to have access to them."

In 2012, Parks Canada announced it would be merging six archeology labs across the country and moving their collections to one facility in Gatineau, Que. Officials expressed concerns about environmental conditions and the security of the artifacts.

But the lab in Dartmouth was custom built in 2009 and is considered a state-of-the-art facility.

Brison pointed out that the lab has a lease for its current location until 2029. So he believes there is time to come up with a solution that does not involve moving the artifacts out of the region.

According to Brison, McKenna has been very responsive to the idea.