When You Think NCC, Think LeBreton Flats (1)

If you trying to promote yourself to get a job, generally you should list some of your best talents first.

Let’s say you’ve just got out of prison for knocking off a series of convenience stores.

Would you put as the first item that you were convicted of robbery for seven or eight counts? Probably not.

Well not … unless you’re the National Capital Commission.

But the NCC didn’t do something as petty as raiding a few cash registers. Oh no.

Our NCC 61 years ago, flattened the LeBreton neighbourhood throwing 2,800 residents and many businesses onto the street. What’s a couple of thefts compared to that? In addition 61 years later, the NCC still has that polluted land sitting fallow.

So our favourite Crown corporation wants to throw out a contest for students to redesign a number of areas most of which don’t need to be redesigned. Why this? Who knows? Maybe the NCC has run out of ideas. One way or the other, even if the kids do develop a usable plan, the NCC will never finish it.

So now we take you to the capital action desk of our NCC.

Commissar Tobi Nussbaum: “So colleagues what should we do today?”

Colleagues: (silence);

Commissar: “This sounds like a coaching opportunity for our team.”

Colleague: “How about we redesign the entire capital?”

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Commissar: “What a cracking idea.”

Colleague: “And we could hold a contest for all students to come up with a new capital.”

Commissar: “But that could result in expropriating thousands of people?”

Colleague: “No matter. We’ve done that before.”

Commissar: “But wasn’t that the worst planning decision in the history of our national capital until light rail and Lansdowne came around?”

Colleague: “You mean LeBreton, right?”

Commissar: “Yeah.”

Colleague; “Look, 50 million plans for this site, none finished and, look Mr. Commissar sir, we’re out of ideas. Maybe the kids can design it.”

Commissar: “Sure the kids will come up with something, then throw it out to the public and let it fail like the previous 50 million.”

Colleague: “And we’ll lead with LeBreton in the advertising.”

Commissar: “Yes, nothing resonates with the public like the three syllables LeBreton.”

Colleague: “We could start the advertising campaign with something like: ‘Plan LeBreton: When you think National Capital Commission, think LeBreton.’”

Commissar: “I like it. Run with it team.”

So now we’ve got a contest and advertising campaign featuring LeBreton. Could it be worse? But don’t worry about it too much. The NCC will never finish it.

Ken Gray


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2 Responses

  1. Jake Morrison says:

    I’m sorry but the NCC did not flatten LeBreton 61 years ago, the Feds did it. The NCC took it over around 1990.

  2. Ken Gray says:


    Sorry to be picky but it was the NCC’s predecessor the Federal District Commission until 1958 and after that the NCC. The NCC made the decision in 1962.



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