National Capital Commission

  The National Capital Commission (NCC) is a federal Crown corporation created by Parliament in 1959 through the National Capital Act. The NCC functions more like a private sector corporation than a government department but is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage and respects federal policies and guidelines.

The NCC is governed by a Commission (essentially a board of directors) composed of the chairman, vice-chairman and 13 other members appointed by the Governor in Council. Members come from across Canada and from the National Capital Region, an area of 4715 km2 located in Ontario and Québec. The chairman is the chief executive officer of the Commission.

Historically, the NCC and its predecessors back to 1899 have focused on planning and building a capital that would reflect its national significance as the seat of the Government of Canada. In 1988, the NCC's mandate was amended and the Commission was asked to de-emphasize its involvement in the development of regional infrastructure and to focus more of its resources on the cultural dimension of the capital.

A formal mission statement identifies 3 key NCC objectives: to use the capital to communicate Canada to Canadians, to make the capital a meeting place for Canadians and to safeguard and preserve national treasures in the capital.

All the varied products and services of the NCC contribute to the mandate to create a meaningful capital. They include programming (as on Canada Day); heritage preservation; the creation of national monuments; parkway maintenance and landscaping; wilderness conservation; and real estate management (including the care of 6 official residences). Furthermore, the NCC encourages and supports initiatives - including national conferences, broadcasts and destination marketing - to make Canadians aware of the capital, to bring them to the capital and to make them welcome when they arrive. The NCC also takes part in major planning initiatives, working in partnership with other levels of government to bring a consistent "capital" perspective to planning, management and protection of public lands in the capital.

The NCC is a major landholder, owning approximately 10% of all lands in the National Capital Region. In 1996-97, the NCC had a total budget of $94.3 million, including parliamentary appropriations (such as grants in lieu of taxes/appropriated operating and appropriated capital funds) of $76.2 million.