Nova Scotia

Halifax's chief planner no longer working for city, reason why unclear

Bob Bjerke had his final day on Tuesday, but neither he nor the city will say whether Bjerke was fired.

'I wasn't planning to change course anytime soon,' says Bob Bjerke

Bob Bjerke, the former director of planning for Halifax, worked his final day on Tuesday. (Twitter)

Halifax's first chief planner is no longer working for the city, but it's not clear whether he was fired or if he resigned from his position.

Neither Bob Bjerke nor the city would discuss the details surrounding his departure, which became official on Tuesday.

Bjerke, who was also the director of planning and development, told CBC News he was disappointed he wouldn't be around to see the completion of several major projects he was overseeing.

"I wasn't planning to change course anytime soon," said Bjerke.

City won't say why Bjerke left

City spokesperson Brendan Elliott said in an email that the municipality is not in a position to share details of Bjerke's departure.

Elliott said the city will start recruiting for the job soon, but Kelly Denty has been named the acting director to replace Bjerke.

Elliott said Bjerke's departure won't have an impact on workflow.

"Existing staffing resources will be reassigned, as necessary, to ensure uninterrupted service delivery," said Elliott.

Modernizing the city's planning department

Bjerke was brought to Halifax nearly four years ago to modernize the city's planning and development department, which covers everything from animal control to building permits to taxi licensing, urban design and transportation planning.

Last year, Bjerke asked for — and was granted — a $350,000 budget increase for the planning department to hire a dozen new staff over two years.