WHERE THE MONEY GOES

PressReader - Tke Channel - WHERE THE MONEY GOES
The Na­tional Cap­i­tal Com­mis­sion on Tues­day re­vealed its spend­ing plan for the $55 mil­lion in re­pair funds ear­marked in the last fed­eral bud­get, but the agency could prob­a­bly use a lot more to fix one of its most im­por­tant as­sets — the one at 24 Sus­sex Drive.Pablo Ro­driguez be­came her­itage min­is­ter in the July cab­i­net shuf­fle, suc­ceed­ing Mélanie Joly. The job comes with the re­spon­si­bil­ity for the NCC. Ro­driguez said he still has to dis­cuss pri­or­i­ties with the agency, but he’s let­ting the NCC guide the fu­ture of the prime min­is­ter’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence.“The NCC is in­de­pen­dent, but we do re­al­ize that 24 Sus­sex is an im­por­tant her­itage build­ing. In terms of his­tory, it means a lot to us,” Ro­driguez said dur­ing an event out­side the Mu­seum of His­tory in Gatineau. “We’re dis­cussing with the NCC to see how they want to move for­ward, but they’re in­de­pen­dent from the govern­ment.”Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau and his fam­ily are liv­ing at Rideau Cot­tage on the grounds of Rideau Hall while the NCC fig­ures out what to do with 24 Sus­sex, which is un­in­hab­it­able.The NCC’s fo­cus on Tues­day was the projects it can de­liver with the $55 mil­lion. A spe­cial ex­am­i­na­tion pub­lished by the au­di­tor gen­eral in 2017 found the NCC had a “sig­nif­i­cant de­fi­ciency” in as­set main­te­nance.The agency said it will spend $13 mil­lion between 2018 and 2019 on plan­ning and de­sign and $42 mil­lion between 2018 and 2020 on con­struc­tion.Re­pairs to path­ways and other as­sets dam­aged by the spring 2017 floods will eat up $6 mil­lion.The NCC took re­porters on a tour of the dam­aged Voyageurs Path­way along the Ottawa River in Gatineau between the Mu­seum of His­tory and the Portage Bridge. Flood­ing buck­led con­crete and washed away the ground, cre­at­ing a lengthy shut­down of the scenic river­side route, which has spec­tac­u­lar views of Par­lia­ment Hill. The NCC is work­ing on $612,000 in re­pairs and hopes to have the path open by late fall.One rea­son it took so long to ad­dress the re­pairs is that the 700-me­tre sec­tion of path has mul­ti­ple own­ers. The NCC, the prov­ince of Que­bec and Dom­tar have land rights there.Other fix-up jobs will hap­pen on the Lac-des-Fées and De l’Île path­ways in Gatineau, in the Cham­plain Bridge park­ing lot in Ottawa, and along the shore­line on Vic­to­ria Is­land. The NCC is also re­pair­ing the elec­tri­cal dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem at Lac Leamy in Gatineau.When it comes to cross­ings, the NCC is look­ing for a de­signer and tech­ni­cal con­sul­tant to draw up re­pairs to the Hog’s Back swing bridge. A bridge on the Sir John A. Mac­don­ald Park­way near LeBre­ton Flats will be re­placed and the Portage Bridge is get­ting up­grades.There will also be $12.8 mil­lion in re­pairs to NCC build­ings, in­clud­ing the Ottawa New Ed­in­burgh Club, 25 Ge­orge St. (Mamma Grazzi’s Kitchen), the for­mer Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of Canada build­ing at 541 Sus­sex Dr., and 537 Sus­sex Dr. (So­cial Restau­rant).Road projects will hap­pen at the Blair Road boat launch, and in Gatineau Park at the ac­cess road to O’Brien House and Wil­son House, the ac­cess road to Kingswood Cot­tage and the Lac Philippe Park­way.The NCC will pump an­other $4.5 mil­lion into man­ag­ing tree dam­age caused by the emer­ald ash borer, and mon­u­ments and pub­lic art will get re­ha­bil­i­tated for $1.5 mil­lion.Mark Krist­man­son, CEO of the NCC, said the agency is still cal­cu­lat­ing its out­stand­ing de­ferred main­te­nance tab.

Her­itage Min­is­ter Pablo Ro­driguez, cen­tre, and NCC CEO Mark Krist­man­son, sec­ond from right, lead a group along the Voyageur Path­way, which is closed for re­pairs to the dam­age from the floods in 2017. It is slated to re­open in the fall.

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