City Solicitor, City Clerk David White Retires

The parade of senior city personnel leaving the municipality continues;

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

M E M O / N O T E D E S E R V I C E 

To / Destinataire Mayor and Members of Council File/N° de fichier:  

From / Expéditeur Wendy Stephanson 

City Manager 

Subject / Objet David White Retirement Date: January 29, 2024

The purpose of this memo is to inform Members of Council that David White, City Solicitor and  Interim City Clerk, will be retiring from the City of Ottawa effective April 13, 2024.  

David has dedicated 30 years of municipal public service and his entire legal career to the City of  Ottawa, having started as an articling student at the former Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton in 1993. He later joined the Legal Department as a labour and employment lawyer and supported the amalgamation of police services in 1995. In that capacity, David became involved  in a range of initiatives, including the Provincial Offences Act transfer, legal issues arising out of  the 2001 municipal amalgamation, and he also led the Provincial Legal Working Group for the  introduction of Red Light Cameras in Ontario.  

David became manager of Litigation and Labour Law in 2008, later assuming responsibility for  the Labour Relations Group in the wake of the 2008-2009 OC Transpo strike. In 2016, David took  on the full Legal portfolio as Deputy City Solicitor and later became City Solicitor in 2019. 

David has long championed the City’s Ethics Framework, starting with the introduction of the new  Employee Code of Conduct followed by the creation of a dedicated Ethics Specialist for the  organization. Most recently, his work has included the update to the Code of Conduct and the  City’s Shared Values which are foundational elements of the City’s Ethics Framework. He is also  the co-author of Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act: A Handbook (2nd ed.) and the  Conduct Handbook for Municipal Employees & Officials. 

David will be missed by his team for his exceptional leadership, in-depth knowledge of municipal  law and unwavering support of his people. He will be particularly missed for his witty sense of  humour and compelling speeches and presentations. Around the senior leadership table, David  has been a constant source of invaluable knowledge, sound advice and wise counsel. He will be  greatly missed by colleagues and friends across the organization. 

Please join me in thanking David for his commitment and lasting contributions to the City of  Ottawa and wishing him all the best for his next chapter.  

The City Solicitor position will be advertised with key organizations and on platforms including the  Ontario Bar Association, Municipal Information Network, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Association of Municipalities Ontario and LinkedIn, effective tomorrow, January 30. 

As announced in December, an executive search for a new City Clerk was launched on  December 11 and closed earlier this month. David will continue to serve as City Solicitor and  Interim City Clerk while the recruitment process for both senior leadership roles takes place, and  the Mayor and Members of Council will be advised on the outcome once complete. 

The senior leadership team (SLT) has invested significantly over the past several years in  building a robust succession plan and talent management strategy to ensure the long-term  success of the organization. Succession planning continues to be a key strategic priority for SLT  to ensure potential successors are equipped with the leadership skills and capabilities required to  compete for new career opportunities as they arise, stabilize the workforce and prepare for the  future in the face of ongoing retirements at the leadership levels. 

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.  Sincerely, 

Wendy Stephanson 

City Manager 

cc: Senior Leadership Team 

 Extended Senior Leadership Team  

Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General 

 Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library 

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health 

Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services


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4 Responses

  1. Been There says:

    Did the Bulldog shaking the tree and the possibility of a suggested investigation prompt White’s decision to retire? Was the kitchen getting too hot? This type of exit has worked well for Watson and crew.

  2. Ken Gray says:

    Been There:

    I don’t know but the timing is interesting.

    cheers and thx


  3. MM says:

    I’ve created a new first sentence for a certain document:

    The purpose of this memo is to inform Members of Council that out of an abundance of caution, David White, City Solicitor and Interim City Clerk, will be retiring from the City of Ottawa effective April 13, 2024.

  4. The Voter says:


    That is a perfect amendment! Adds a little truthiness to the memo. Good work!

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