Manitoba

Beleaguered Winnipeg property department fills 2 vacancies at the top

The City of Winnipeg's beleaguered planning, property and development department has filled two vacancies at senior positions.

New head planner hired from private sector; new permits boss moves up internally

David Jopling is moving from consulting firm WSP to the City of Winnipeg to serve as the city's new manager of urban planning and design. (Manitoba Professional Planners Institute)

The City of Winnipeg's beleaguered planning, property and development department has filled two vacancies at senior positions.

David Jopling will start as the city's new urban planning and design manager on Aug. 10, while Alana Crocker was confirmed on July 20 as new manager of development and inspections, Winnipeg communications director Felicia Wiltshire said Monday.

Jopling, who moves over from private-sector consulting firm WSP, replaces departed chief planner Braden Smith.

Crocker, who has served as acting manager of development and inspections since September 2019, replaces departed permits and inspections manager Stan Dueck.

Both inherit difficult portfolios. Winnipeg's ability to make land-use decisions has been weakened by new provincial legislation that allows the provincially appointed municipal board to adjudicate appeals. City planners also weathered criticism in court in a protracted dispute with the developer of the Parker lands.

City permits inspectors, meanwhile, faced even greater scrutiny after unnamed developers hired a private investigator to demonstrate some were conducting personal errands on the job.

Crocker was promoted internally to her new position in charge of developments and inspections.

The city conducted a national search before hiring Jopling as the new planning manager, Winnipeg planning, property and development John Kiernan said in an email to senior city staff and councillors on Monday.

Jopling worked as a provincial planner for nine years before he moved to WSP, where he was in charge of the firm's planning staff in Winnipeg, Kiernan said. 

"He is well versed in the application of planning legislation and has provided advice and support to planning authorities, senior officials, council, provincial cabinet and the ministry with respect to land-use planning and sustainable development," Kiernan said.

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