Breaking New Ground—Stories from Defence Construction Breaking_new_ground - Page 27

The Head Office staff gathers on the steps of the Supreme Court of Canada Building in May 1954. for paperwork and major decisions resting with Head Office in Ottawa, while small DCL branch offices replaced the CMHC regional offices. This gave DCL a presence in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver by April 1954. Except that the company wasn’t really alone—the change brought with it many of the CMHC employees who had administered and supervised DCL projects. Before the contract termination with CMHC, DCL had 101 staff. By April 1954, it had 480 staff. One year later, staff numbers were sitting at 579—201 of whom were CMHC personnel who had transferred over, including Joe Bland. BREAKING NEW GROUND DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA Across the desk… Head Office, 1955—Alec Lawson I joined originally in 1952 with Central Mortgage and Housing and moved over to Defence Construction. Joe Bland and I used to sit across the desk from each other—it was a good mix, the two of us. I remember that in 1955, they had a 21-gun salute down in Halifax and they blew out all the windows in this new building and the government wanted the contractor to pay to replace them. I’d have gone off half-cocked, but Joe was sitting there with the telegram in his hand, thinking. That was the kind of guy he was. (The contractor wasn’t charged for the windows.) 17