Victoria City Manager Gail Stephens Resigns

The City of Victoria has announced that City Manager Gail Stephens will resign in early August. In her letter of resignation, Stephens advised the City that she is taking a new appointment as Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“Four years have gone by quickly,” Stephens wrote in her letter, “and I will miss my colleagues at the City, both the professionals that I have had the good fortune to work with and the Councils and the community that I have had the pleasure to serve.”

The news was announced in a media release sent out by The City of Victoria on Friday afternoon.

“Gail’s departure is an enormous loss for the Capital City and the staff team at the City of Victoria,”Mayor Dean Fortin says in the release. “Gail’s leadership, integrity and professionalism are second to none and we have been extremely fortunate to have her at the helm during an important time in the City’s history.”

Stephens led a City staff team of 1000 employees for the past four years, overseeing all City departments and an operating budget of $130 million. She introduced a new strategic planning and project management process, renewed the City’s commitment to economic development, civic engagement, and customer service, and in her tenure saw the approval of key City policies with a new Official Community Plan, Economic Development Strategy, and Downtown Core Area Plan.

Prior to the City of Victoria, Stephens was the vice-president of finance and services for the University of Calgary, the CEO of the BC Pension Corporation for five years, and was the first woman city manager of a major city in Canada when she led the City of Winnipeg from 1998 to 2003.

The Museum for Human Rights is located in Winnipeg and will open in 2014. The mandate of the museum is to explore the subject of human rights, with special but not exclusive reference to Canada, in order to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others, and to encourage reflection and dialogue.

“As I was involved in the early days when the museum was just an idea by the Asper family, it is truly an opportunity to make this dream a centre of excellence,” Stephens says.