Catherine Matheson, Greater Sudbury's manager of community development, is leaving her post to become the commissioner of corporate services in the Region of Peel.
The departure comes at a critical time, since Matheson had the overall responsibility of shepherding the city's big projects – the Kingsway Entertainment District, the Junction and the Place des arts. In a news release, the city said an interim replacement would be named soon, and a process to hire a permanent replacement would follow.
The release said during her time at the city, Matheson was responsible for the development of a seniors’ campus at the site of Pioneer Manor, which included the City of Lakes Family Health Team, the Northeastern Ontario Specialized Geriatric Services, and the recruitment of northeastern Ontario’s first specialized geriatrician.
“In addition, Catherine was responsible for leading the Healthy Community Strategy and Population Health Call to Action, achieving United Nations University recognition for the City of Greater Sudbury as a Regional Centre of Expertise,” the release said.
“It is no surprise that Catherine’s accomplishments at the City of Greater Sudbury would be attractive and useful to the Region of Peel,” Greater Sudbury CAO Ed Archer is quoted as saying in the release. “I am sure they will benefit from her expertise, intelligence and strong leadership. She is joining an excellent organization and leaves a strong legacy here. I’m thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to work together and wish her every success.”
“I am very excited to be joining the Region of Peel leading their corporate services team,” Matheson is quoted as saying. “I am proud of the work Greater Sudbury city council, the City of Greater Sudbury, and our staff have undertaken for the community of Greater Sudbury.”
In a statement, Mayor Brian Bigger congratulated Matheson on her new appointment.
"On behalf of city council, I would like to sincerely thank Catherine Matheson for her outstanding service to our community and to the City of Greater Sudbury," Bigger said in the statement. "She will be missed tremendously.
"It has been an absolute pleasure being able to work with Catherine whose experience, expertise, professionalism and leadership skills have been instrumental in the success of this organization."
Matheson has been with the city 2002, and with the Regional Municipality of Sudbury before that. As GM of community development, she was responsible for transit, housing services, social services, long-term care services, leisure services, and children and citizen Services. The department has approximately 1,500 employees and an operating budget of $215 million.
A post on Peel's website said she begins Dec. 3.
“The Region of Peel welcomes Catherine Matheson as the new commissioner of Corporate Services,” a news release said. “In this role, Catherine joins the members of Peel's executive leadership team, and will be responsible for overseeing the Region of Peel's central support services.”
The new job is a major promotion for Matheson, who goes from working at a city of 165,000 to Peel, which has a population of 1.32 million people.
This is the second time Matheson has left the city. She was manager of community development until March 2015 when she left on a secondment with the North East Local Health Integration Network, returning to work for the municipality in 2016.
“Catherine joins the Region of Peel as a seasoned leader with extensive experience in the public sector,” David Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer at the Region of Peel, is quoted as saying in the release. “Her background in leading various public programs will help us continue to properly manage the Region as a future oriented and accountable government.
“We are confident that Catherine’s expertise will help us build a Community for Life in Peel that is based on the cornerstones of collaboration, innovation and environmental sustainability.”
Matheson has a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelors in Social Work, both from Laurentian University. She will lead the “central supportive departments at the Region of Peel, optimizing service delivery and operations, while ensuring the Region remains an accountable and transparent government,” the news release said.
Peel includes the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon.