Bob Plamondon named interim NCC chair as searches for permanent replacement begins

National Capital Commission board member Bob Plamondon will serve as interim chair while the federal government decides who will permanently replace outgoing chair Russ Mills.

Mills ends his 10-year term on Saturday, but his replacement hasn't been chosen yet. For the first time ever, the Liberal government put out calls for applicants to chair the agency. Although applications closed at the end of February, there's no indication when a replacement may be announced.

The NCC can't be without a chair, who's one of only two people authorized to speak to the media on the NCC's behalf. The other person is the NCC's chief executive officer. 

The chair also sits on the executive committee, which approves mundane business that does not rise to the entire board — think authorizations for sewer work under NCC property or granting permission to put up hoarding around NCC buildings in a construction project.

In anticipation of this vacuum in NCC leadership, the board of directors voted for an interim chair at its most recent board meeting earlier this month. They chose Plamondon, who lives in Ottawa and is already on the executive committee. He's also chair of the NCC's audit committee.

Board member since 2014

Plamondon is a consultant on policy and public administration issues, as well as an author. He may be best known for two political history books: Blue Thunder: The Truth About Conservatives From Macdonald to Harper, and more recently, The Truth About Trudeau.

He was also the driving force behind the campaign to rename the NCC roadway on the south side of the Ottawa River as the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.

Plamondon was named to the NCC board for the first time in May 2014 by then foreign minister John Baird. His term as a board member expires in 2018, but can be renewed for another four years.