NCC Watch

Working to consign the NCC to oblivion

Search string: "Shortliffe"

Matches found: 15

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fewer people attending NCC meetings

The Citizen has uncovered, via access to information, that attendance at the NCC's showcase annual public meetings has dropped regularly as people realized they were simply empty PR exercises. Participation in the annual general meetings has fallen from 250 people in 2001, to 100 in 2002, 80 in 2003, and 40 in 2004 and 2005.

The meetings were started back in 2001 in response to a report by consultant Glen Shortliffe. The NCC also hired former casino marketing executive Guy Laflamme around the same time. The NCC's goal, of course, was not to change how it operates, but to improve its public image.

The attempt appears to have failed. The Citizen published a poll over the weekend that found 30 per cent of respondents favour minor reform, 28 per cent want major reform, and seven per cent would just as soon consign the NCC to oblivion.

Citizen: NCC plan aims to improve public image [22 Mar 2006]

Monday, February 24, 2003

Nice work if you can get it

Former Mayor Jim Watson slams the NCC in the Citizen for its lack of transparency:

The NCC has to be the most secretive and unaccountable federal agency in existence, and watching this so-called accountability session convinced me even more that this institution has to be reformed.

To say that chairman Marcel Beaudry rules with an iron fist is the understatement of the millennium.

He is the only head of a major Crown corporation who is both the CEO and chairman of the board at the same time, and I doubt very much if he subscribes to Paul Martin's "democratic deficit" theory when it comes to the control he has over his version of backbenchers -- the NCC commissioners.

A few months ago, I was flying into Ottawa and happened to be sitting beside a woman who asked if I lived in Ottawa. I said yes, and asked her where she was from.

She replied that she was coming to Ottawa for a board meeting of a Crown corporation.

My ears perked up and I asked her which one, and she said "the NCC."

[...]I asked her whether she enjoyed sitting on this board, and her reply was particularly candid.

She said: "I love coming to Ottawa, but we basically rubber- stamp everything the chairman gives us. But at least we get to fly business class!"

[...]In response to growing discontent about the NCC and its handling of a variety of issues (LeBreton Flats, Champlain Bridge widening, and the proposed demolition of parts of Metcalfe Street) the NCC appointed former Privy Council clerk Glen Shortliffe to bring forward recommendations on how to improve the organization.

The NCC, in typical fashion, received Mr. Shortliffe's report -- which in part called for more transparency -- then proceeded to discuss its 11 recommendations at a secret meeting.

The most pressing and relevant suggestion -- that board meetings be held in the open -- was not even put forward, and so we are left with a dog-and-pony show called the Annual General Meeting.

Interestingly in Mr. Shortliffe's report, a public opinion poll stated that "more than 90 per cent of residents think that the NCC should be open and accessible to the public in all its dealings, and meetings should be regularly held to account to the public for its plans and decisions." Yet despite this overwhelming response, the best Mr. Shortliffe could come up with was an annual public meeting and two semi-annual meetings.

Even then, Mr. Shortliffe's recommendation allows the chairman to keep a tight grip on his board members. This section of the report concludes: "The format will permit members of the board, with the permission of the chair (emphasis mine), to ask questions of the interveners."

[...]I know of at least two commissioners whose terms were not renewed because they dared to question actions of the chairman and management and who were viewed as not being "team players" in the eyes of Mr. Beaudry.

Citizen: It's time to end NCC secrecy [24 Feb 2003]

Thursday, October 17, 2002

NCC poll results

The NCC is pleased to report that 63 per cent of people polled have a positive view of the NCC. The poll, the latest step in a campaign to improve its own image in the wake of the Shortliffe report of awhile back, cost $25,000 and surveyed 600 area residents. "The NCC [...] relies heavily on the feedback of the residents of the region who are key stakeholders in the Capital building process. We are encouraged by the survey results and we value this important validation of our efforts," burbled Chairman Beaudry. Feedback, according to the NCC, amounts to polling residents on their quality of life.

Buried at the bottom of the NCC's own release are some less laudatory numbers, however: "fewer than half (48%) give the Commission positive marks for its performance in planning land use for the federal government in the region, and this rating has declined from 58 percent two years ago." Only 45% think the NCC is doing an excellent or good job of working with local municipalities.

Apparently the "public is most divided on the job the NCC is doing to consult the public on planning and development issues" -- 31 percent rate the NCC as "only fair", and 26 percent rate the performance as poor or very poor.

But what of those cranks who look on the NCC with a less favourable eye? Well, there are only 11 per cent and, pay attention, this is important, "this group is also less satisfied more generally with the quality of life in the region, suggesting their attitude toward the NCC may be coloured by a broader set of issues and concerns." In other words, they're angry at the world, not the NCC.

According to the Citizen, "the NCC's Guy Laflamme said the low recognition numbers 'gives us a clear indication as to what needs to be done in gaining ground in terms of the image of the corporation.'" And evidently "there is a significant opportunity to strengthen the NCC's public presence in the Region by building a stronger connection to what residents value." Which is what this survey is all about - the NCC improving its image, not its performance. So, here's to more and better marketing and promotion from the NCC.

CBC: Most have positive view of NCC: survey [17 Oct 2002]
Citizen: Capital area benefits from NCC [18 Oct 2002]
NCC: Press Release [17 Oct 2002]

Friday, May 3, 2002

NCC endures the public for an evening

The NCC held its first annual 'Meet the Board' meeting - one of the measures introduced as a result of the Shortliffe report - where interest groups can make presentations to the NCC's board:

NCC chairman Marcel Beaudry thanked participants for attending the public session.

"We at the NCC are trying to deliver a product, not only to the people of the capital region, but to Canada.

"We are here to listen -- we are not here to present a program," he said.

Despite this, when some participants criticized an aspect of the NCC, Mr. Beaudry felt it necessary to defend the goals, intentions, and previous actions of the NCC during the question portion set aside after each presenter.

[...]Of the 15-member board, (seven from the national-capital region and eight from across Canada), half seemed interested with the presentations, and the other half appeared bored.

About 100 people were on hand to hear 33 presentations.

Citizen: NCC outdated, too secretive, interest groups say [3 May 2002]
CBC: Secretive NCC goes public [3 May 2002]

Thursday, September 27, 2001

NCC General Meeting predictably irrelevant

The National Capital Commission's first annual general meeting went pretty much as anyone with a passing familiarity with the NCC might expect. The meeting, one of the superficial recommendations made by Glen Shortliffe in a report released late last year, lived up to its billing in every respect. For roughly an hour and a half, the NCC presented some slideshows and an amateurish video extolling their own virtues. And then the crowd got to hector Marcel for another hour and a half during a meaningless question and answer session.

With the members of the NCC Board of Directors flanking him on either side, serving much the same purpose as the stage backdrop and the potted plants, Chairman Beaudry got things rolling with a 15 minute speech that was as bland and uninformative as it was patronizing. Four slide show presentations, on Sparks Street, Leamy Lake Park, the Daly site, and the LeBreton Flats, followed in quick succession. The NCC finished its presentation with a branding exercise, in the form of a short amateur video entitled "Our passion, our mission, your capital." Whatever.

The question and answer session was enjoyable if only for the pleasure of watching Chairman Beaudry and his 14 apparatchiks maintain their plastic smiles throughout the entire charade. Members of the Moffatt Farm Citizen's Coalition and the coalition opposing the Lac Leamy golf course were best represented. Chairman Beaudry fielded virtually all the questions, responding with some breathtakingly patronizing bromides, at one point even going so far as to credit the NCC and its forbears for whatever quality of life the region has.

NCC: Summary of the question and answer session
Citizen: NCC's meeting frustrates opponents of casino golf course [27 Sep 2001]
Centretown News: Open doors, now open ears [12 Oct 2001]

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Sneaking a peek into the NCC

An article in today's Citizen looks at the possible repercussions of the changes implemented as a result of Glen Shortliffe's tepid recommendations for reform at the NCC:

In recent years, the NCC's culture of secrecy has exploded in its face, as leaked plans for projects such as a grandiose boulevard on Metcalfe Street and secret decisions on matters of broad public interest, such as widening the Champlain Bridge and banning unleashed dogs from NCC land, provoked widespread public anger.

The communications nightmare, as well as Ottawa's amalgamation and a pending merger in the Outaouais next year, prompted Mr. Beaudry to commission Mr. Shortliffe's report, which proposed 11 changes. All were immediately adopted by the NCC board. But it will cost $1.2 million to implement them, Mr. Beaudry said, adding that a request has been made to Treasury Board for the funds. If that money isn't forthcoming, some reforms might have to be scaled back, he said.

But implementation is already proceeding in some areas: Work is under way on the Web site, Mr. Beaudry said, and a new vice- president of communications, the Hull Casino's Guy Laflamme, has been hired.

Largely ignored in December when they were adopted, the changes fall far short of what 90 per cent of area residents, polled by Decima for the Shortliffe report, said they desire. They wanted open board meetings, and 76 per cent called for seats on the board for the mayor of Ottawa and the chairman of the Outaouais Urban Community. But Mr. Shortliffe opted instead for a compromise involving an advisory committee.

Mr. Beaudry and area MPs Mac Harb, Mark Assad, Mauril Belanger and David Pratt believe the NCC should not hold fully open meetings because of the many issues it deals with that could affect land values, for example, and hinder the complex negotiations required to pull together many NCC projects.

Mr. Chiarelli argued that it would be appropriate to have meetings with a "divided agenda": an open portion for regular issues and a closed portion for confidential matters such as contracts, real estate, legal and personnel matters. Several others pointed out that land transactions, legal and personnel matters are the bulk of the NCC's work.

Mr. Beaudry and Mr. Harb argued that the mayors would be in a conflict of interest if they sat on the board, torn between their duties to area residents and the NCC's mandate to provide a capital for all Canadians.

That argument drew agreement from Mr. Croteau, who said mayors are "political animals" whose loyalties lie with the voters who elect them. But Mr. Chiarelli disagreed.

"I don't believe it would be a conflict of interest any more than it would be a conflict of interest for us to sit on a committee, as has been recommended. I think it would be extremely helpful," the Ottawa mayor said. "The mayors used to be on the board a number of years ago." The NCC board also includes, by law, several members from the capital area, he noted.

"They're no more or less in conflict of interest than a mayor would be, because they're designated to be from a geographical area," said Mr. Chiarelli.

Indeed, when asked to whom she feels accountable in her role as a board member, Ottawa resident Norma Lamont said it was primarily area residents.

Despite falling short of the general public's expectations, the Shortliffe changes are not to be shrugged off, observers say. They have a subtle prevalence that some believe will, in fact, change the way the NCC does business.

"This is an extremely important step forward," said NCC board member Marc Denhez, an Ottawa lawyer, urban planning expert and longtime NCC watcher, particularly during his time as president of Heritage Ottawa. "This is the most significant change in the way the NCC does business since it was set up in 1958."

"I certainly think it's making the board more accessible," said Ms. Lamont, a five-year board member, who is director of special projects for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation.

That Shortliffe's tepid and widely criticized reforms are "the most significant change in the way the NCC does business since it was set up in 1958" says pretty much everything that needs saying about the NCC's dinosaur mentality.

Citizen: Sneaking a peek into the NCC [30 Jan 2001]

Friday, January 12, 2001

NCC hires casino marketer

In the wake of Glen Shortliffe's report, the NCC has decided that the solution to its problems is to sell itself better. They've hired Guy Laflamme, marketing chief of the Hull Casino, maybe on the strength of the Casino's relatively more successful (than the NCC's) Millennium Celebrations. The Citizen weighs in on the appointment:

Which does the National Capital Commission need more: a focus on democracy, public consultation, and respect for local elected authority, or a really good marketing campaign?

The NCC has just hired Guy Laflamme, the marketing chief from the Casino de Hull, to demonstrate its commitment to the former, despite the fact that his clear expertise is in the latter.

Last December, Glen Shortliffe produced a set of recommendations on how the NCC can lose its reputation for secrecy and bungling; one of these suggested creating a new vice-president to handle sponsorships and corporate marketing, speechwriting and media relations, a new consultation process for communicating with the public, and relationships with local government leaders.

The NCC's biggest blunders (most recently, the Metcalfe Street "Grand Boulevard" idea) have resulted from the commission's propensity for cooking up grand but misguided schemes and getting halfway through them before asking any of the people affected whether the underlying idea is any good. Mr. Shortliffe's recommendation that the NCC be more open in its decision processes was welcome. Since then, however, the commission hasn't shown that it is paying attention to Mr. Shortliffe's prescriptions.

The NCC is, in fact, showing that it's taking to heart the statement in Mr. Shortliffe's report that "the NCC's positive impact and image can be put at risk if some of the perceptions and problems that it faces currently are not 'fixed.' " The quote marks around "fixed" are in the original, and the commission seems to have taken that as a hint that it doesn't need to change anything, just "change" some things -- alter its appearance, not its substance.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Hull Casino is also going to be building a golf course on NCC land, so there's a certain synergy in hiring the casino's head of marketing to fix its image problems. Good luck to him: with the NCC's constant screw ups, he'll need it.

Citizen: NCC hires casino marketer [12 Jan 2001]
CBC: NCC hires image man [9 Jan 2001]
Citizen: Marketing won't fix NCC's troubles [12 Jan 2001]
OBJ: Laflamme brings style to National Capital Commission [30 Jan 2001]


Monday, December 11, 2000

NCC accountability is an open and firmly shut case

Randall Denley's sums up everything that is wrong with Glen Shortliffe's report and its recommendations in a column in today's Citizen:

Keeping the board meetings closed will serve one useful purpose and that's protecting NCC board members from embarrassment. The NCC has only released its complete meeting minutes once, by mistake, but they gave the impression that its quarterly sessions consist of little more than Beaudry speaking and the board members nodding their heads.

The consultant's polling and focus groups show that most people consider the NCC to be a closed and secretive organization that needs to be more open and accountable. Unfortunately, Shortliffe chose to please his client rather than do the right thing and make recommendations that followed what he had been told.

The results of the poll forced him to engage in some amazing mental gymnastics, even by the standards of the consulting world. For example, more than 90 per cent of people said the mayor of Ottawa and the Outaouais regional chair should be on the NCC board. Shortliffe rejected the idea, dismissing the support as "motherhood." Apparently he and the NCC are against motherhood.

One has to get to page 57 of the report before the NCC's main problem is mentioned. It is noted in passing that communications, media relations and consultations are managed by Beaudry's office. Coincidentally, these are the NCC's areas of greatest weakness.

Shortliffe puts it kindly, "issues and decisions collect at the chairman's level," but the message is clear enough. Beaudry is a one- man show, to the detriment of his organization.

If Beaudry had wanted to discover the NCC's biggest problem, he would have found a mirror more useful than a $250,000 consultant's report.

Beaudry has discussed this problem at the highest level, that is with himself, and decided that a new public relations vice- president is in order. That person will have a challenge. Polling by the consultant shows that "the more people know about the NCC, the more negatively they assess it on operational and governance issues."

It's difficult to sell the NCC's unique combination of arrogance and incompetence. The NCC haughtily insists that it must tell others what to do when it can't even complete its own projects. The Daly site is the most obvious example.

At least the NCC has a friend in Glen Shortliffe. The commission can now claim that its operations have been examined by an "independent" person who found a few minor problems, which have been addressed. End of story.

Shortliffe says the NCC "is not in need of radical surgery." That's correct. Clearly the patient has suffered brain death. A withdrawal of life support is the most logical action.

Citizen: NCC accountability is an open and firmly shut case [11 Dec 2000]
Citizen: The public makes more noise than they should [24 Aug 1998]

Sunday, December 10, 2000

Shortliffe's short shrift

In an editorial today, The Citizen describes just how inadequate consultant Glen Shortliffe's recommendations for reforming the NCC are:

Stripped of its bureaucratic verbiage, consultant Glen Shortliffe's assessment of the National Capital Commission paints a discouraging picture of a defensive and secretive body, out of touch with the people who live and work in the national capital region. Unfortunately, Mr. Shortliffe's recommendations won't do much to improve matters.

Of course, that's not what NCC Chair Marcel Beaudry wants you to think. He prefers to emphasize the positive instead of confronting on the negative. But no amount of positive thinking can mask the issues outlined in Mr. Shortliffe's report.

There's the dysfunctional relationship between the NCC and municipal leaders, where personalities often contribute to the problems. The NCC thinks some unnamed leaders are "short-sighted, subservient to developers and only interested in short-term gains," while some municipal leaders consider the NCC "remote, unilateral and high-handed."

There's the disconnect between area residents who believe the NCC doesn't consult them in advance, and the commission's belief that it is consulting quite adequately, thank you.

And there's the not-so-surprising observation that "the more people know about the NCC, the more negatively they assess it on operational and governance issues." The report also found that municipal leaders -- who presumably know the most about how the NCC works -- were even more critical of it than was the general population.

Before you dismiss this as the result of what the NCC seems to think is a negative media campaign, note that the study's own poll shows 69 per cent of the people it surveyed felt the media treat the NCC fairly or "very" fairly. Only 13 per cent thought it received unfair media coverage.

Mr. Shortliffe's report doesn't draw attention to this aspect of the survey, choosing instead to stress the 55 per cent of respondents with a positive or very positive impression of the NCC, mostly influenced by such things as bike paths, the Rideau Canal and Canada Day. When it comes to complaints about the NCC, such as its delay in developing the LeBreton Flats and the Daly sites, Mr. Shortliffe suggests (unconvincingly) that these problems are perceptual, not real.

But that's not the most disappointing aspect of his report. Mr. Shortliffe was hired "to comment on the NCC in relation to the new local municipal structures," yet for the most part he ignores the new realities created by an amalgamated city of Ottawa.

When he does acknowledge them -- noting that Ottawa will have a single municipal authority with well-developed planning capabilities and a "vision" for the future that might differ from that of the NCC -- he quickly rejects any suggestion that the new city (or the Outaouais Urban Community) should have a seat on the NCC's board of directors, even though such a move was supported by more than 90 per cent of the people he surveyed, as well as by most area politicians.

His recommendation that Ottawa's mayor and the Outaouais regional chairman be part of a "Planning Advisory Committee" falls well short of real consultation or influence. The committee's advice will not be binding on the NCC. Nor will local residents and politicians know how the board reaches its decisions, since it will continue to meet in private.

Messrs. Beaudry and Shortliffe may think an advisory committee and an annual general meeting - this one open to the public - will reduce distrust of the NCC and somehow make it more accountable. We think they're wrong.

No question of that.

Citizen: Shortliffe's short shrift [10 Dec 2000]

Friday, December 8, 2000

NCC releases Glen Shortliffe's report

Glen Shortliffe's $250,000 report on the NCC is finished, resulting in 11 recommendations that the NCC says it will implement. Unfortunately, the recommendations do nothing to solve the NCC's fundamental problems; instead, they present a series of cosmetic changes that have more to do with improving the way the public views the NCC, rather than improving the NCC.

Glen Shortliffe's report on the NCC is available from the NCC's web site.

Friday, December 8, 2000

NCC implements superficial changes

The NCC has announced it will implement the recommendations in Glen Shortliffe's report on the NCC. Remaining true to form, the NCC approved and publicly released the changes within 24 hours and without any opportunity for feedback. The changes themselves are laughable: to open 3 meetings a year and place 2 local mayors on a separate, secret subcommittee that will advise the NCC's board. Oh yes, they also plan to spend $1 million to improve consultation, implement a web site, on strategic communications, etc., etc. In the end, Mr Shortliffe's $250,000 report has simply provided the NCC with an excuse to avoid substantive change.

Citizen: NCC implements superficial change [9 Dec 2000]
Centretown News: Almost Top Secret [9 Feb 2001]

Monday, October 2, 2000

Taxpayers stuck with fatter bill for NCC

Wondering what happened to consultant Glen Shortliffe's study of NCC? Randall Denley reports:

The study is expected sometime next month, only 3 1/2 months past the original deadline and more than double the cost.

Shortliffe's original $64,000 contract called for him to talk to the federal government and "key stakeholders" and produce a report with recommendations by June 30.

That consultation consisted primarily of talking to local politicians, Ottawa Liberal MPs and the NCC's own board members. Apparently these people couldn't answer the $64,000 question, so Shortliffe made a further request for a poll of 600 people in Ottawa-Carleton and the Outaouais and follow-up focus groups.

We don't know what questions the poll asked or what answers the public gave. That's proprietary information of Shortliffe's company, Sussex Circle. The public does get the bill, though, in the amount of $83,000. That includes $35,000 to Sussex Circle to act as a consultant to the consultants.

The only mildly substantial piece of information the NCC has released about the Shortliffe project is a status report delivered to a closed board meeting in April. We only have that thanks to a request by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin under the Access to Information Act.

Little more than a slide show, it still raises some interesting points. Board members at the closed meeting were given a sense of the problems the consultants had identified in their narrow-ranging research. Among them were "appear to be operating behind closed doors/secret."

Relationships with the quaint little democratic governments the locals elect aren't all they could be. The consultant notes "particular problems with the City of Ottawa under current mayor." This would be a reference to the now former mayor, Jim Watson, who was making a bit of a campaign to reform the NCC, suggesting things like opening their meetings. Troublesome chap.

Other Ontario municipalities also have problems with the NCC, ranging from "severe to very moderate." No examples are cited.

Unnamed persons had also observed some difficulties involving the NCC's grand plan for Metcalfe Boulevard, dog bylaws, the Champlain Bridge, unco-ordinated urban planning, lack of real consultation, slowness of response and absence of real partnerships.

The interim report describes a concern about the mayor of Ottawa and the regional chair of the Outaouais being on the NCC board because they might have an "agenda."

Media relations are naturally a concern for an organization looking to improve its image, and the good news is that the media are "generally quite fair" with one exception. That would be the Ottawa Citizen.

The report also notes that "some believe that other federal departments and agencies have also been the target of the Ottawa Citizen." That could be something to do with a fuss over a couple of bureaucratic oversights at Human Resources Development Canada.

The Citizen is clearly unfair to the NCC because we explain to people what the NCC actually does. This naturally casts the commission in a bad light. Fairer media coverage would ignore little blips like the latest failed Daly site plan. Or maybe we should have given the story a positive spin. Perhaps a headline like "Daly Park One Step Closer."

Citizen: Taxpayers stuck with fatter bill for NCC [2 Oct 2000]

Monday, September 25, 2000

LeBreton cleanup will cost millions

What's this, could the NCC be making progress on The LeBreton Flats? Well, not really; what they've done is almost complete a plan to clean up the LeBreton Flats - the first baby step towards developing the site after 35 years of futility.

Perhaps the Flats project will yield some good news that the NCC desperately needs.

This month, the Crown corporation revealed that its plans for the long-awaited hotel and aquarium on the downtown Daly site had fallen apart.

That crushing news followed years of debacle after debacle.

Those have included: a protracted fight with north Ottawa residents over placing a third lane on the Champlain Bridge; enormous delays over building that extra lane; a disastrous show on Parliament Hill at the millennium; massive overpayment for a downtown office building it purchased; and proposed demolition of part of downtown Ottawa to create a large ceremonial boulevard.

All this resulted in a number of Ottawa-Carleton mayors calling for either disbanding the NCC or enormous reform of the corporation.

The NCC has hired consultant Glen Shortliffe to review its operations. He is expected to deliver his recommendations this fall.

The article neglects to mention that the NCC itself is responsible for much of the contamination of the flats, as they allowed the site to be used as a snow dump for many years.

Citizen: LeBreton cleanup will cost millions [25 Sep 2000]

Saturday, June 24, 2000

NCC Hires a firm to Review Issues

The NCC has hired a firm to study some of the issues that have spawned so much of the criticism of the NCC in the past, such as its secretiveness and arrogance. The irony that the Citizen had to use Access to Information requests to obtain the information is, well, ironic.

NCC documents, obtained under the Access to Information Act, reveal the ground rules for the still-incomplete study, which will attempt to get to the crux of public criticism of the controversial organization.

In addition to making board meetings public, the study is also probing the contentious issues of adding the heads of the Outaouais Alliance and the new city of Ottawa to the NCC board as well as determining the balance of planning versus development in the corporation.

Last April, the NCC commissioned Sussex Circle, a strategic advisory firm, and its noted consultant Glen Shortliffe to look at governance and the NCC.

Mr. Shortliffe, a former clerk of the Privy Council, had just finished writing a report that formed the basis for the new city of Ottawa.

According to the contract obtained through Access to Information, Sussex Circle is to be paid $64,735 by the NCC which includes GST and a 10-per-cent administration fee.

A letter from Sussex Circle to the NCC dated March 31 said work would begin April 1. The contract was signed April 17.

The contract stipulates the study must be completed by June 30. However, Mr. Shortliffe said last week his study would not be finished until late July or August.

NCC spokeswoman Diane Dupuis confirmed yesterday that Sussex Circle had been granted an extension at no penalty because the consultants had done extra work hearing opinions from community groups in the Island Park area.

The letter also said Sussex Circle would interview "selected members of the NCC board, key officials with the federal government and selected stakeholders (e.g. municipal officials and representatives in the national capital region, both in Ontario and Quebec)."

Citizen: NCC Hires a firm to Review Issues [28 June 2000]
CBC: Restructuring advisor to help NCC [11 April 2000]

Saturday, April 8, 2000

Shortliffe to assess NCC's relations with cities

The NCC announced it has hired Glen Shortliffe to assess the NCC's relationship with the municipalities. Shortliffe advised the provincial government to merge Ottawa-Carleton's 12 municipalities into one city.

Mr. Shortliffe's appointment comes just weeks after Nepean Mayor Mary Pitt called for the abolition of the NCC, saying its functions overlap with that of municipalities.

Many other municipal leaders stopped short of called for the NCC's abolition. However, those who favoured reforming the NCC included Ottawa-Carleton Regional Chair Bob Chiarelli, who urged more openness and increased representation to dispel public distrust of the commission.

Citizen: Shortliffe to assess NCC's relations with cities [8 Apr 2000]