Breaking New Ground—Stories from Defence Construction Breaking_new_ground - Page 15

dockyards and airfields , along with the new chain of radar stations that would soon be in place to provide early warning of an air attack against North America .
The Department of National Defence ( DND ) needed to work with an organization that could administer and supervise the construction of these facilities . Speaking to the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada in April 1965 , then-DCL President Alan ( Joe ) Goldworth Bland explained DCL ’ s beginnings :
It had been decided to … spend in the order of $ 100 million in a crash program over two to three years . No existing department or agency was geared to administer such a program and the government resorted to a favourite child of the Honourable C . D . Howe , a Crown corporation , which would operate clear of the Civil Service Act , enlist key people from industry , get into operation quickly , and disband when the crash program had been accomplished . This program represented the largest concentration of federal expenditure to that time in both design and construction .
The birth of Defence Construction Limited At the close of the 1940s , DND ’ s construction needs had been handled by the Canadian Commercial Corporation — an organization without the staff , geographic dispersion or specialized expertise required to handle the extensive program about to be launched . And the Department of Public Works wasn ’ t an option , as it would need two to three years to hire the necessary staff within the government ’ s procedures . But there was little time to create new organizations either , so the government turned to Wartime Housing Limited , another Crown corporation , to provide the administrative structure on which to build what would become Defence Construction Limited ( DCL ).
Being dormant , Wartime Housing didn ’ t have a nationwide construction supervision organization in place — but the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation ( CMHC ) did , so it was brought on board to be DCL ’ s operating and financial agent . This use of CMHC , particularly its personnel and administrative structures , would be a crucial element in early defence construction plans and in establishing DCL as an effective enterprise . At the same time , the government established the Department of Defence Production as a procurement agency for the Canadian military and for foreign countries procuring military supplies from Canadian industry , with C . D . Howe as its new Minister .
By November 1950 , senior personnel in CMHC and the Department of Trade and Commerce were taking active steps to create DCL . On November 22 , Cabinet authorized the name change , created the agreement with CMHC to supply management , supervisory and other services , and provided working capital . In turn , DCL created a staff structure : since the Army , Navy and Air Force each dealt with their own construction needs , an Engineer-in-Charge was created for each of the three services .
Federal officials requested that Richard Golding ( Dick ) Johnson , general manager of the Canadian Construction Association , be loaned to DCL as its first President . When Joe Bland introduced Mr . Johnson at DCL ’ s 25th anniversary dinner , held at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa , he described him as having led from the start . “ He set the standards . He set them high and he showed by personal example that they could be met and that it was fun ,” Joe recalled .
BREAKING NEW GROUND DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA
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dockyards and airfields, along with the new chain of ra- dar stations that would soon be in place to provide early warning of an air attack against North America. The Department of National Defence (DND) needed to work with an organization that could administer and supervise the construction of these facilities. Speaking to the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada in April 1965, then-DCL President Alan (Joe) Goldworth Bland explained DCL’s beginnings: It had been decided to… spend in the order of $100 million in a crash program over two to three years. No existing department or agency was geared to administer such a program and the government resorted to a favourite child of the Honourable C.D. Howe, a Crown corporation, which would operate clear of the Civil Service Act, enlist key people from industry, get into operation quickly, and disband when the crash program had been accomplished. This program represented the largest concentration of federal expenditure to that time in both design and construction. BREAKING NEW GROUND The birth of Defence Construction Limited At the close of the 1940s, DND’s construction needs had been handled by the Canadian Commercial Corporation—an organization without the staff, geographic dispersion or specialized expertise required to handle the extensive program about to be launched. And the Department of Public Works wasn’t an option, as it would need two to three years to hire the necessary staff within the government’s procedures. But there was little time to create new organizations either, so the government turned to Wartime Housing Limited, another Crown corporation, to provide the administrative structure on which to build what would become Defence Construction Limited (DCL). DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA Being dormant, Wartime Housing didn’t have a nation- wide construction supervision organization in place— but the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) did, so it was brought on board to be DCL’s operating and financial agent. This use of CMHC, particularly its personnel and administrative structures, would be a crucial element in early defence construc- tion plans and in establishing DCL as an effective enterprise. At the same time, the government estab- lished the Department of Defence Production as a procurement agency for the Canadian military and for foreign countries procuring military supplies from Canadian industry, with C.D. Howe as its new Minister. By November 1950, senior personnel in CMHC and the Department of Trade and Commerce were taking active steps to create DCL. On November 22, Cabinet authorized the name change, created the agreement with CMHC to supply management, supervisory and other services, and provided working capital. In turn, DCL created a staff structure: since the Army, Navy and Air Force each dealt with their own construction needs, an Engineer-in-Charge was created for each of the three services. Federal officials requested that Richard Golding (Dick) Johnson, general manager of the Canadian Construction Association, be loaned to DCL as its first President. When Joe Bland introduced Mr. Johnson at DCL’s 25th anniversary dinner, held at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, he described him as having led from the start. “He set the standards. He set them high and he showed by personal example that t ^H[HY][]]\[8'HHX[Y