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Red Hill Inquiry tuned its focus on Gary Moore who headed the highway project

Red Hill Inquiry tuned its focus on Gary Moore who headed the highway project

Chris Murray

Most of Friday’s examination of former City Manager Chris Murray at the Red Hill Expressway inquiry seemed to focus on the role of the former Director of Engineering Gary Moore played in the friction controversy over the roadway. Murray told the inquiry that he was not shown anything that made him think there was a friction problem with the Red Hill Expressway. He said decisions on the type of asphalt to be used on the road were made by Moore, an engineer with recognized expertise in the area of road construction. Moore had already headed up the team that built the Lincoln Alexander Expressway. Mr. Murray was emphatic that he had not been shown the 2013 Tradewind report on Red Hill friction or being aware of its existence. Chris Murray headed the Red Hill project until a few months before it opened in 2007. By 2013 when the Tradewind Report was released, Murray was Hamilton City Manager. That report said there was a friction problem on the Red Hill Expressway and recommended remedial action be taken. The report was never shared with Murray or with council. Inquiry documents show it was stumbled across by Gord McGuire when he was going through files after he succeeded Mr. Moore as director of engineering in 2018.

Inquiry Council produced a performance evaluation of Gary Moore done by Dan McKinnon when he was head of Public Works and Moore’s supervisor. In the report McKinnon praised Moore’s ability to complete projects but said he disagreed with Moore’s management style. Counsel asked Murray to describe Mr. Moore’s style. Murray said “Gary’s very direct…he’s a challenger.” He acknowledged that some would be put off by that style, but that he personally had not been bothered by it.

Counsel then produced an anonymous letter that purported to have prejudicial verbatim quotes from Moore. The production of the letter prompted strenuous objections from counsel for the city. Inquiry council suggested that there will be future testimony by city of Hamilton employees about Moore, who is scheduled to start his testimony on Monday.

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