Naval Association of Canada

Ottawa Branch


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  • 14 Mar 2019 22:26 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    This communiqué is being forwarded on behalf of HMCS Bytown, Inc. regarding the upcoming AGM that will include discussions regarding the future options of the Naval Officers’ Mess.

    Major issues are of concern to the NAC-Ottawa branch include:

    1.     The potential termination of the current arrangement with the mess in terms of holding our various meetings and social events. The costs of another venue or venues is very likely to be higher than we have enjoyed to date, which will have a financial impact; 

    2.    The potential loss of a venue with such a strong naval atmosphere will impact negatively on the NAC objectives to recognize and preserve Canada’s maritime heritage, and the expression of naval camaraderie and mutual assistance; and

    3.    The need either to find another location for the MacK Lynch Library or to dispose of this unique collection of naval history.

    I encourage all who enjoy the mess and camaraderie it affords to make their opinions known either by email or in person at the HMCS Bytown Inc. Annual General Meeting as the outcome has the potential to significantly impact on NAC Ottawa Branch’s operations.  Questions or concerns as they pertain to the status update of Bytown are to be directed to the following: Scott Healey: scottellen_ottawa@hotmail.comor Nick Leak:

    HMCS Bytown Update 


    1.         To provide the membership with an update on the current status of discussions with DND;

    2.         To provide the membership with the options available to Bytown; and 

    3.         To seek opinions from the membership on how the Board might consider proceeding.  


    78 Lisgar and the Naval Officers’ Mess (Mess) have been the principal gathering place for naval officers in the NCRfor over 75 years. However, the property at 78 Lisgar is not aDND asset, but wholly independent entity separate from the Naval OfficersMess.The property at 78 Lisgar is legally owned by HMCS Bytown Incorporated (Bytown),a not-for-profit Ontario registered corporation incorporated in 1943, and is leased by the Mess. 

    The relationship between the Mess and Bytown has benefitted both parties over the years.The lease between the Naval Officers’ Mess and Bytown has been in effect since 1986; asmall amendment was made in 1991. The Mess subsequently has a MOU with DND to deal with the funding necessary to operate and maintain the Mess as per the lease conditions. However, as a result of changing circumstances the relationship in its current structure is not sustainable to all parties and will need to be resolved. Subsequently, Bytown informally approached DND with the following:

    1.         Negotiate a new lease; and 

    2.         Purchase 78 Lisgar for fair market value.

    DND would neitherenter into negotiations nor accept either of the above.

    Bytown submitted a proposal to DND in June 2018 to Deed to Gift the property with conditionsinserted to ensure that the Mess could remain at 78 Lisgar for a period of time. Additionally, specific expenses were to be reimbursed that would allow Bytown to dissolve as a corporation. DND refused to accept the majority of the conditions.


    Bytown, the Messand DND have continued with subsequent discussions. The result has been to refine Bytown’s available options to:

    1.             Deed to Gift 78 Lisgar to DND with no conditions. 

    ·      With the transfer of 78 Lisgar to DND with no conditions Bytown will receive no financial benefit from this transaction

    ·      While Bytown will have no mandate nor reason to remain active, and could then be dissolved as a corporationif all debts are cleared

    2.             Terminate the Naval Officers’ Mess lease and sell the property outright. 

    ·      DND will be required to secure a new location for the Naval Officers’Mess. 

    ·      Assets from the sale of the property will be dispersed at the discretion of the Board in accordance with the Bytown by-laws; and  

    3.             Terminate the Naval Officers’ Mess lease and negotiate a joint developmentarrangement with a developer.

    ·      78 Lisgar will be developed in partnership with Bytown.

    ·      Bytown will have an option of maintainingan equity position in the property. 

    Way Ahead

    Bytown wants to keep the Naval Officers’ Mess at 78 Lisgar in a manner that is financially responsible and respects the extant heritage represented by the property. 

    All opinions from the membership with respects to this issue will be taken with the utmost consideration and respect by the board. Note that in accordance with the Act, resolutions and motions from the membership are not binding on the Board. 

    The Bytown Board will meet within two weeks on the conclusion of the AGM to consider the opinions of the members and the facts at hand to determine a way ahead

  • 13 Mar 2019 12:12 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    Bill C-64: the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act received Royal Assent.  The Act promotes the protection of the public, of the environment, including coastlines and shorelines, and of infrastructure by regulating abandoned or hazardous vessels and wrecks in Canadian waters and, in certain cases, Canada’s exclusive economic zone, and by recognizing the responsibility and liability of owners for their vessels.

    One of the provisions contained in the act allows for the designation of Ocean War Graves which are defined as places "at the bottom of the ocean where lie human remains and, for greater certainty, includes the personal possessions of the deceased, which are entombed in the abandoned wreckage of a warship or an aircraft in military service or a merchant ship in military service that were wrecked in consequence of hostilities or warlike operations and which is recognized and acknowledged for the purpose of according respect to the dead and protecting the sanctity of human remains."

    The passage of this act represents the culmination of a multi-year effort by retired Merchant Navy Captain Paul Bender.  Captain Bender joined the Merchant Navy in 1943, just before his 16th birthday.

    You can read the Government of Canada Press Release here.

  • 1 Mar 2019 06:03 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    The latest update on naval operations is available at

  • 8 Feb 2019 14:32 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    Future Royal Canadian Navy warships to be based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 design

    According to the Government of Canada web site,  the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced today that the Government of Canada has officially selected Lockheed Martin Canada for the design of 15 new Canadian Surface Combatants that will be built at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard.

    The winning bid is based on the BAE Systems Type 26 Global Combat Ship. The Government of Canada and Irving Shipbuilding will work alongside Lockheed Martin Canada to customize the ship design to meet Canada’s requirements and to incorporate Canadian systems and equipment. This design work is expected to take three to four years to complete. Construction is set to begin in the early 2020s.

    The initial contract with Irving Shipbuilding is valued at $185 million (including taxes) and will increase as design work progresses, resulting in significant benefits across the Canadian economy. The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy will apply to this contract, ensuring that for every dollar the government puts into this contract, a dollar goes back into Canada’s economy.

    The National Shipbuilding Strategy is a long-term commitment to domestic shipbuilding that is about revitalizing and reinvigorating a world-class marine industry that equips the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard, supports Canadian technological innovation, creates well-paying stable employment and benefits the economic prosperity of Canada’s coasts and waterways.

    Contracts awarded to date through the National Shipbuilding Strategy will contribute an estimated $10.9 billion of gross domestic product and create or maintain more than 10,000 jobs during the period of 2012 to 2022.

  • 21 Jan 2019 11:49 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    Paul Baiden has shared with NAC this letter that he sent to the new Minister of Veterans' Affairs on behalf of the Canadian Naval Air Group

  • 27 Nov 2018 10:15 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    Several members had requested the ability to use American Express credit cards to pay for memberships and donations.  We have responded by establishing a merchant account through American Express Canada, and connecting that account to our online payment service.

    A few minor issues were encountered and have been resolved, and we are now fully able to accept American Express for all NAC Ottawa memberships, events and donations.

  • 22 Nov 2018 15:01 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    The Ottawa Citizen reports that there will be a second legal challenge to the CSC project at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

  • 21 Nov 2018 16:48 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    The Halifax Chronicle Herald reports "Alion Canada, one of the firms involved in the $60-billion dollar procurement of Canada’s new fleet of warships, has launched a Federal Court appeal to overturn a recent decision to select Lockheed Martin as the preferred bidder." 

    Read the full story at

  • 6 Nov 2018 15:07 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    On 5 November 2018, our guest speaker was Commander Jeff Loder, section head for Information Warfare capabilities in NDHQ’s Directorate of Naval Requirements.  He gave an interesting and detailed presentation on the exciting combat-related and other projects now, or soon to be underway for the RCN, with a view as to how the Navy is meeting the demands of 21st century sailors and warfare. At the conclusion of the evening, Branch President Barry Walker presented our guest speaker with a copy of Salty Dips and a certificate of appreciation.  

  • 28 Oct 2018 18:00 | Anonymous

    NAC-O President's Update

    October 27, 2018

    Dear NAC Member

    It has been an interesting month in Ottawa, with the announcement of the preferred ship design team for the Canadian Surface Combatant being made on October 19th. The full text of the announcement can be found at


    Fall Edition of Soundings  

    Richard Archer has completed another recent magnum opus. The Fall 2018 edition of Soundings Magazine is now available on our website at Soundings.  Access to the current issue is restricted to NAC Ottawa members only, and you will have to log on with your user-id and password to see this edition.  Members who have elected to receive a paper copy of Soundings should find it in their mailboxes soon.

    November Monthly Meeting

    Our November Monthly meeting will take place on Monday November 5 in the Crowsnest at HMCS Bytown.  Our guest speaker remains a mystery as I write this email.  Unfortunately our planned speaker had to cancel his appearance, and your program committee is working on an alternative program.   The details of this will be announced as soon as possible.

    NAC Endowment Fund

    In 2018 the Endowment Fund of the Naval Association of Canada was able to sponsor and promote a number of worthwhile and important naval and marine initiatives across Canada. The Endowment Fund received submissions with recommendations for sponsorship totalling $58,000. And in 2018 was able to recommend support in the amount of $37,000. These awarded grants range from assisting with sea cadet scholarships, ongoing maintenance to the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial in London, Ontario, sponsoring the Shipbuilder’s Statue in British Columbia, and support to the HMCS QUADRA Education Foundation, to name but a few.  

    I encourage you to consider a contribution to the Fund, as best you are able, on an annual basis. Your continuing support is most valued. Also, you may wish to consider in your estate planning creating a legacy to the NAC Endowment Fund. It is particularly convenient to make a contribution to the Endowment Fund at the same time as you are completing your 2019 membership renewal.

    Additionally, I encourage NAC Ottawa Members to consider nominating candidate naval and marine initiatives or projects for Endowment Funding support. Wewelcome submissions from individual members. Please provide your recommendations on potential Endowment Fund Projects to your Endowment Representative, Howie Smith at (613) 286-8555 email at

    Membership Renewal for 2019

    The annual Renewal Campaign for the 2019 Membership year will start on 15 November and run through to the end of February.  The preferred method of renewal will be online through your personal profile.  The roll-out of our new membership management system is now largely complete, and it is anticipated that the campaign will be even more successful and timely this year!   Payments can be made either directly while online or manually with an invoice (sent by email).    In addition to seeing what is now available to our members, this is also a good opportunity to review your personal profile to update your contact details and preferences.  Passwords can be regenerated on the NAC Ottawa log-in page if necessary.  However, you can contact our Membership Director, Gerry Powell, if you need further assistance.  For those without online access,  an offline renewal form is included in the latest edition of SOUNDINGS.  

    More detailed Information will be passed to everyone by email beforehand, and our membership management system will send out reminders during the campaign to those who have yet to renew.  The renewal campaign is also the most prominent time for donations to the Branch or one of the worthy charitable organizations it supports.  Please consider a generous donation with your renewal!

    Rembrance Day Ceremonies

    Details of the ceremonies at the National War Memorial and in Beechwood Cemetery have been posted to our events calendar at  National Remembrance Day Ceremony and Remembrance Day Ceremony.  I encourage you to participate in one of these ceremonies, or at  a local Remembrance Day ceremony in your community.

    Happy Hallowe'en, and I look forward to seeing you on November 5th.

    Barry Walker

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