Saskatchewan

Province to acquire Regina CBC building, provincial archives moving in

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has agreed to transfer ownership of its Regina building to the province of Saskatchewan, which plans to make it the new home of the provincial archives. CBC would lease part of the building back from the province under the pending agreement.

CBC will lease space within building under pending agreement

CBC will lease part of its building back after it transfers ownership to the province. (Matt Howard/CBC)

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has agreed to transfer ownership of its Regina building to the province of Saskatchewan, which plans to make the building the new home of the provincial archives.

CBC will continue to operate out of the Broad Street broadcasting centre but will be leasing the 30,000 square feet it plans to use back from the province. 

The corporation said the province does not have to pay to buy the building because it will be automatically transferred under the conditions of CBC's lease.

Under the agreement, which is still pending approval by the federal treasury board, the remainder of the building will be occupied by the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan. 

Building to be home of centralized archive

In December the province closed four of its archive locations, including one at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, to start the process of centralizing them at one site. It said the new central location should be open to the public in August 2019.

Some researchers have complained that consolidating the archives in one city will reduce access to people in other cities.

Provincial archivist Linda McIntyre told CBC Saskatchewan last year the move would help make the archive services more efficient and reduce lease costs by more than $500,000 by 2021.

The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan announced in 2018 that they were closing four locations and centralizing everything at their Regina site. (Matt Howard/CBC)

McIntyre said the provincial archives had been planning this move for a while now.

"We have five sites that we're consolidating into one, so it is a huge undertaking to do a move," she said, adding the job won't be an easy one.

"We are going to be packing up. We have to inventory every box before then, then pack everything up. It goes out on pallets, it comes back on pallets, on the shelves in the same order in which it was removed from the shelves."

Province isn't paying to buy building

CBC spokesperson Kerry Kelly said the transfer of the building is not a "sale."

"It's sort of a handover and lease agreement but within that what we're going to be able to do is have a reduced cost in not having to manage and maintain a full building," said Kelly.

Kelly said the type of land lease that CBC has with the province, known as an "emphyteutic" lease, dictates that ownership of the building automatically goes to the province when the current lease ends.

Money saved by reducing maintenance costs would be put into renovations to improve the space occupied by CBC, she added. Kelly did not disclose how much CBC will be paying for the new lease. 

The corporation said there will be no job losses as a result of the handover. 

The 35-year agreement is expected to be put to the federal treasury board for approval by the end of May.

New archive to have longer opening hours

The province says the new centralized archive will offer improved service.

"Once the new location opens, reference services will be offered five days a week (up from three days a week), outreach services will expand and public archival records, which have been awaiting transfer from government storage sites, will be moved to the provincial archives collection," said a news release from the province.

It said the building will have security and environmental measures, including fire protection, for the archives.

The building is located in Wascana Park.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story indicated the agreement is still pending approval by the provincial treasury board. In fact, approval is pending from the federal treasury board.
    Feb 27, 2019 7:34 PM CT

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.