Breaking New Ground—Stories from Defence Construction Breaking_new_ground - Page 25

James Stitt joined DCL in 1954. When he retired in 1982, he was Vice-President of Planning at Head Office in Ottawa. You had to err on that practical side, because the decisions you were reaching on those contracts were for National Defence—we were aware of that, and sometimes went with quite unpopular requests for money because they ate away at the construction budget from the department’s point of view, but in construction you can’t avoid changes and unknowns. I think we gained a reputation for being reasonable—not easy, but reasonable. The ground rules were extremely well laid by Dick Johnson. We wanted to be fair and reasonable, that was one of the great phrases. BREAKING NEW GROUND DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA Tick, Tick, Tick… Ottawa, 1952—Jim Stitt Back in 1952, CMHC had a contract with DCL to provide and maintain all personnel working on DCL contracts. The DCL Head Office staff were given office space in the CMHC Headquarters building on Montreal Road, in Ottawa. Eric Gold, then Secretary of CMHC, decided that a group of young project engineers (Joe Bland, George Hay, Gerry Foley and I) was spending too much money on long-distance calls. His response was to provide all of us with three-minute kitchen egg timers to put on our desks, and to issue instructions to keep long-distance calls under three minutes. I don’t think we ever did. 15