PEI

Basil Stewart, former Summerside mayor, named to National Capital Commission

Former Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart was one of four new board members appointed to the National Capital Commission Wednesday.

Stewart 1 of 5 members appointed to the Crown corporation as it deals with a controversial memorial

Basil Stewart, Summerside mayor for 29 years, was just named to the National Capital Commission. (CBC News)

Former Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart was one of five new board members appointed to the National Capital Commission Wednesday.

The Crown corporation oversees federal buildings and land in the Ottawa-Gatineau capital region.

Stewart was in Ottawa Thursday for a public meeting of the commission as it voted on and passed plans to decontaminate the site of a controversial victims of communism memorial in the city.

The appointment of Stewart and the four other new board members has been decried as politically motivated by one of the monument's biggest detractors, NDP MP Paul Dewar. He criticized it as a move by the federal Conservatives to stack the board in their favour.

The fact that the five new appointees were named less than 24 hours before Thursday's vote is nothing more than a case of coincidental timing, said Russell Mills, chair of the NCC board.

While the NCC has approved the location, the memorial's precise design has not yet been officially given the green light.

Board members get an annual retainer of $4,000, a $375 per diem and are reimbursed for expenses, including travel, accommodation and meals while on the job.

In November, Stewart was defeated by Bill Martin after sitting as Summerside mayor for 29 years.

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