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Victoria city manager resigns

Gail Stephens to take on new role at Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg

The City of Victoria's top staffer is leaving for a job in Winnipeg.

In her June 27 resignation letter to Mayor Dean Fortin and councillors, city manager Gail Stephens said she is taking on a new position as Chief Operating Officer for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

"I am very proud of the numerous accomplishments that we, as a team, have managed to deliver during (the past four years)," she said.

Stephens oversaw the development of several key policies including the Official Community Plan and Downtown Core Area Plan, and said she's proud of the progress made on the Johnson Street Bridge project.

"The JSB project is the largest and most complicated project ever undertaken by the City of Victoria. We have managed to meet right timelines despite very scarce resources and significant public interest and input," she said.

Fortin called Stephens' departure "an enormous loss" to the city and its 1,000 employees.

"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," he said in a statement.

Stephens oversaw all city departments with an annual operating budget of $130 million.

Prior to her position with the City of Victoria, Stephens was vice president of finance and services for the University of Calgary, CEO of the B.C. Pension Corporation and in 1998 became the first female city manager of a major Canadian city in Winnipeg.

More to come.