Give or take $50-million

The Globe’s James Bradshaw checks James Moore’s math.

The Conservative government backed away from a plan to house the Portrait Gallery of Canada in the former U.S. embassy because the price tag was going to grow to more than $100-million, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore said last week, but government documents show the estimated cost of the project was about half that amount … government documents passed on to The Globe and Mail from Ottawa NDP MP Paul Dewar, a long-time advocate for the Portrait Gallery, indicate that estimates for housing the gallery in the former embassy never went above $45-million.

… Deirdra McCracken, Mr. Moore’s communications director, said there was “nothing inconsistent in the minister’s remarks. Costs for the Portrait Gallery had risen, as the minister stated, and in a time of economic downturn, our government chose to be extra prudent with taxpayers’ money.”