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Four senior transportation officials from the Ontario government have been named to the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, General Manager Thomas Garlock said this week.

They replace a retired banker and three others with experience in the hotel and tourism industries -- all from Niagara Falls, Ont. -- as the commission's Canadian members.

The U.S. members remain in place.

The commission operates the Rainbow, Whirlpool and Queenston-Lewiston international bridges. The Ontario and New York governments each appoint four members of the eight-person board.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed the new members, Garlock said.

"This is not unusual," Garlock said. "All of the members are political appointments. They serve at the pleasure of the premier."

McGuinty became the province's new premier, replacing Ernie Eves, when the Liberal Party won a majority of seats in the October 2003 elections.

The new Canadian members, who all work for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, are Bruce McCuaig, an assistant deputy minister in the policy, planning and standards division; Patricia Boeckner, director for transportation planning; Roger Hanmer, a regional director for Central Toronto; and Larry Smith, manager of the traffic office.

Those being replaced include Christine Whyte, who joined the commission as a Niagara Falls tourism employee in July 2003 for a three-year term.

Whyte was named vice chairperson at the commission's annual organizational meeting in January.

The other outgoing Canadian members were appointed in 2000.

Leaving are Dalton Leslie Lindsay, a retired Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce executive; Nancy McIntosh of the Best Western Fallsview; and Nick Ricci, a former NHL player who went into the hotel business.


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