Halifax CAO Jacques Dubé to resign at end of year

Click to play video: 'Global News Morning Halifax: May 18'
Global News Morning Halifax: May 18
The online edition of Global News Morning with Paul Brothers and Ashley Field on Global Halifax – May 18, 2022

Jacques Dubé, the chief administrative officer for Halifax Regional Municipality, will resign from his position at the end of the year.

In a statement Wednesday morning, the municipality said Mayor Mike Savage and members of Halifax regional council accepted Dubé’s notice of his resignation, effective Dec. 31, 2022.

Dubé has held the position since September 2016.

“Jacques’ contributions to our organization and the Halifax region have been very significant,” said Savage in the release. “He has been a strong leader and led the initiation and delivery of programs and projects that support Regional Council priorities.”

The statement said Dubé will continue his duties over the next six months and “assist with the eventual transition process.”

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It said regional council will launch the process of hiring a CAO, with support from the municipality’s human resources division, in the coming weeks.

Click to play video: 'Advocates rally, demand public apology over Halifax encampment evictions'
Advocates rally, demand public apology over Halifax encampment evictions

Dubé has come under scrutiny over the last several months for his role in orchestrating the police-led encampment evictions of four sites in Halifax last summer — and the “conscious decision” to not inform service providers of the city’s plan.

City officials initially said those displaced were offered alternative housing options, but later admitted that was not the case.

Following the Aug. 18 evictions, service providers scrambled to help displaced occupants find resources.

Dubé is the city’s highest-paid municipal employee, having taken home $295,783.36, plus another $2,380.21 in benefits, in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

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‘Mixed emotions’

In an email to HRM staff Wednesday morning, Dubé said he had “mixed emotions” in announcing his resignation.

“Since September 2016, I have been privileged to lead such a dedicated staff team,” he wrote in the email, provided to Global News.

“During that time, HRM experienced record-breaking demographic and economic growth and became one of Canada’s top municipalities from a number of metrics and a truly multi-cultural city. Many important policies, strategies, programs and projects were adopted, delivered or are in flight that will benefit our residents for decades to come.”

He went on to say they have “promoted our values of respect, diversity and inclusion so that all our colleagues feel safe, supported and fully included.

“We worked collectively with our African Nova Scotian communities and the Halifax Partnership in establishing the ground-breaking Road to Economic Prosperity for African Nova Scotian Communities. Our important work to open the path towards reconciliation with our First Nations will help deliver on our commitment to an equitable and inclusive HRM,” the email said.

“I am particularly proud of the staff and senior leadership teams I have built, the succession plan and the opportunities it opened and the very positive evolution of our work culture at HRM. It is an honor to have shared in your many successes and I will always remember your priority support of my office.”

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Dubé ended the email by saying he will always “cherish the memories that were made in HRM and the legacy we built together.”

The municipality declined Global News’ request for an interview with Dubé Wednesday, but in a statement to Global News, the CAO said he has “accomplished what I came here to do.”

“But after having worked full-time in the public sector for almost 40 years in senior roles, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, especially my grandchildren; traveling to participate in triathlons and swim/bike races; and catching more fish at my camp with close friends,” he said.

“I am open to what the future might bring.”

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