Throw a match in 24 Sussex Drive
Carrot River - Tuesday, January 13, 2009, by : Kevin McIntyre

From everything that has been said about the First Residence of Canada in the last 30 years I can only conclude the place is a dump. The windows might as well be screens, heating, ventilating and air conditioning, plumbing, electrical are all sub standard and patched together many times over. Trying to integrate a local area network, fibre optics and a proper security system, one beyond Mrs. Chretien and an Eskimo carving, must border on impossible. Yes it is a land mark, yes it is historic and has unique trim work, but the structure is not sound. Watching Mike Holmes on the season opener of Marketplace got me thinking. Torch the place.

Send in an architect, a draftsman and blueprint the building. Remove all the trim work you can, salvage the moldings and historic fixtures that should be saved, then raze the building. Contract with Mike Holmes to rebuild Canada's Residence and televise the construction. Make it one of those Rally Round The Flag programs the government is always trying to initiate and we can give our nation's leader a decent home that can be used to host functions with heads of state of foreign lands without our Prime Minister and us as citizens having to be embarrassed about. Not just rebuild what exists, but integrate into it what needs to be done. Does it have a Ball Room to entertain in / is the one it has now sufficient? Do what has to be done to ensure it serves the People of Canada into the next century. Do to 24 Sussex what you do when you build a new computer, assess your current needs then double it. Plan for the future.

I live in the house my grandfather built. In 1948 a 30 Amp electrical panel was just fine. 1/2" water lines were more than adequate. In 1948 they had no concept of heavy power usage and multiple outlets to plug in computer systems, running hidden lines for local area networks, surround sound systems and televisions as big as windows only 4" thick hanging on walls. Then when the air conditioning system cuts in what happens then? In 1993 we moved the house to town and installed a 120 amp panel. Well, that was before computers! We just renovated again and now have a 200 amp panel, 15 amp split plugs feeding the heavy draw energy points and that 200 panel won't be enough next time we upgrade. The government residences are a lot older than this house with demands put on their infrastructure that we could never imagine.

Tear the place down, have Mike Holmes oversee the rebuilding of a new structure that fully addresses all the needs of the modern world and give us something to be proud of. Then do the same thing to Stornoway.

Kevin McIntyre

Below is the reply Mr. McIntyre got from the Prime Minister's office January 14th:

Dear Mr. McIntyre:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would like to thank you for your e-mail, in which you raised an issue that falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully reviewed. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Paradis, so that he too may be made aware of your comments. I am certain that the Minister will give your views every consideration. For more information on the Government's initiatives, you may wish to visit the Prime Minister's Web site, at

L.A. Lavell
Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister's Office
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre

Image credits:

The picture at the top of the page is a Government of Canada picture, the aerial view does not have an available credit and the base picture of the one at the bottom of the page was taken by David Akin, it has been altered to correct perspective issues.

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