City Undertakes Massive Organization Refit

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The purpose of this memo is to confirm the organizational change and renewal presentation  received by Council today.

As I shared at Council this morning, the organization is experiencing significant change due to  ongoing retirements and leadership turnover, continuous legislative changes from the federal and  provincial governments, new and emerging technologies and ways of working, ongoing economic  and social challenges, and evolving community and workforce needs.

Given these realities, changes have been made to the City’s administrative structure to set up the  organization for success now and in the future.

Creation of a new Strategic Initiatives department

Effective today, a new Strategic Initiatives (SI) department has been created to bring together  expertise in key areas with single points of accountability to deliver on Council’s highest priorities, including economic development, housing solutions and investments, and climate change and  resiliency.

Economic Development Services is responsible for driving the city’s economic growth,  prosperity, diversification and resilience through economic development programs and projects  that will help position Ottawa as a destination of choice to live, work, play, invest, learn and visit.  This team will also work to foster relationships with local, provincial and federal partners to  strengthen the local economy and advocate for the city’s interest.

Housing Solutions and Investments Services is responsible for facilitating investments in new  housing, developing strategies to increase housing options for moderate- and low-income  households, providing innovative real estate solutions as well as managing the City’s real estate  portfolio, identifying and preparing public lands for new affordable housing, and seeking  sustainable funding.

Climate Change and Resiliency Services is responsible for responding to climate change  issues and driving positive environmental results for the City by focusing efforts to advance key  strategies including the Climate Change Master Plan, Energy Evolution Strategy, Climate

Resiliency Strategy, Urban Forest Management Plan and associated priorities, programs,  projects and policies.

SI will also include a new Strategic Projects Office responsible for leading the City’s strategic  planning process and overseeing high-performing, multi-disciplinary teams to respond to new and  emerging priorities and lead short- and long-term transformational projects to support the growth  and evolution of the City of Ottawa.

The new department is designed to be agile and scalable for the purposes of delivering on and  responding to the priorities of Council, the organization and the evolving landscape of the city.

As shared at Council, Ryan Perrault will serve as Interim GM of SI effective immediately. Ryan  brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, having worked for the City for more than  20 years in several leadership positions. Most recently, he served as Manager of the Business  and Technical Support Services team within the Emergency and Protective Services (EPS) Department and as Director of the Vaccine Distribution Task Force. As Director, Ryan’s  leadership, innovation and commitment to team building and public service were instrumental to  the overall success of Ottawa’s vaccine rollout. Ryan also participated in the City’s Associate  General Manager (AGM) Program in 2022, where he served as AGM of EPS for a year-long placement.

A proven leader, Ryan has a demonstrated ability to lead teams to adjust and adapt quickly and  manage challenges and opportunities in a rapidly evolving municipal government. On behalf of  the senior leadership team, please join me in welcoming Ryan to this new senior leadership role.  An executive recruitment process for the new GM position will be launched through Keynote  Search the week of April 22, 2024.

Focused Planning, Development and Building Services department

With the creation of SI, the former Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department  (PRED) will become the focused Planning, Development and Building Services Department (PDBS).

Returning to a true planning department will strengthen the overall city-building agenda and assist  with the recruitment of a new General Manager. The focused department will be well positioned  to respond and adapt to new and emerging legislation from the federal and provincial  governments, and meet statutory provincial targets, while continuing to advance major city-wide  transformative planning initiatives, including the Official Plan, Zoning By-law update and  Transportation Master Plan.

PDBS will include the following services areas: Building Code Services, Transportation Planning,  Planning Services, the Lansdowne Park Project, Right of Way, Heritage and Urban Design, and  Business and Technical Support Services.

Vivi Chi will continue to serve as Interim GM of PDBS while the executive recruitment process  continues for a new GM.

I will provide an update to Members of Council on the outcome of the executive recruitment  process for both the GM of SI and GM of PDBS once they are complete.

It is important to note that the organizational changes are FTE neutral, and the restructuring will  mostly result in reporting changes or service area transfers to the new department. Mitigation  measures are being put in place to ensure the continued effectiveness of operations and service  delivery.

For more detailed information on the organizational changes, please refer to the attached  backgrounder.

I am confident that this new structure will successfully advance Term of Council and City priorities, while enhancing the organization’s responsiveness to new and emerging priorities. The  changes will also help foster an environment of continuous improvement and innovation and assist with the successful recruitment of senior leaders and the attraction and retention of talent  at the City.

I appreciate your continued support as we move forward together. Should you have any  questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.


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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1 Response

  1. Bruce says:

    Find the PEA under the walnut shell! You can bet these “administrative” changes will NOT improve the ethics just make it more difficult to see who is doing what to whom!

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