http://ottawa.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=ot-ncccorncob20050705 CBC NEWS The National Capital Commission has apologized for banning an alternative-fuel mascot from its Canada Day celebrations at the request of a major oil company. Corn Cob Bob is the front man for the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, a not-for-profit group that promotes clean energy. The association had secured an information booth at Major's Hill Park through the NCC, which had even offered a 50-per-cent discount on the usual fees. But last Wednesday, the commission called to cancel the arrangement after pressure from Shell Canada, a key sponsor for the Canada Day celebrations in the capital. Kory Teneycke, the executive director of Canadian Renewable Fuel Association, was surprised by the call. "They said they were very sorry but they said one of their major sponsors had indicated there was a conflict between the message that we were promoting and their company's interests," he said. Teneycke says the NCC shouldn't be in the business of caving into corporate pressures and curbing free speech. NCC spokesperson Guy Laflamme says the decision to cancel Corn Cob Bob was not approved by senior management. "We will make sure this doesn't happen in the future. But once again, we are committed to promoting alternative sources of energy," said Laflamme. The NCC called Monday afternoon to apologize to the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, and invited the group to attend next year's Canada Day celebrations. A Shell spokesperson said the company's arrangement with organizers meant it had exclusive rights when it came to fuel products.