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Tracie Smith speaks to media on July 13th 2023, as part of a presentation of the city's new strategic plan (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

Strategic director resigns mid meeting

By Adam Riley Jul 25, 2023 | 4:00 PM

Citing disrespect by members of council the city’s Strategic Initiatives and Engagement Director, Tracie Smith, has abruptly left her position with the city.

Smith, who was hired two years ago, announced her resignation while speaking to council Monday evening.

It came one week after the city’s new strategic plan was presented to council, where several members harshly criticized it, even questioning on whether or not it was a proper reflection of priorities held by staff or council.

In her address to council, Smith suggested the display of public criticism was unexpected, as the elements of the plan that were targeted were approved prior in private.

“Council decided on the strategic pillars and the goals back in December, you did the work in February to focus the plan, you chose to remove goals related to the economic development mandate of the CEDC.”

Noting council opted to focus on goals which addressed the root causes of growth barriers, to which she stated she both encouraged and followed direction.

Adding council had the right to change its mind.

I respect that right. I not respect or accept the insinuation the plan was prepared without council’s involvement or guidance. I will not tolerate disparaging and disrespectful comments towards me from members of council, particularly when those comments were inaccurate.

Following that statement Smith stated she would be stepping down from her position and tender her resignation.

A look of shock could be seen on Current River Councillor Andrew Foulds’ (Right) face the second Thunder Bay Strategic Initiatives and Engagement Director Tracie Smith (left) announced her resignation Monday evening (Council Video Feed)

She also thanked members of city staff, praising them for their dedication to Thunder Bay before walking out of the meeting, leaving some members of council with visible signs of shock on their faces.



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