Chris Holden fired as City Manager by City of Regina

The City of Regina has fired longtime City Mangier Chris Holden.

City council held a special meeting to discuss a report on “long-term planning.” After having over an hour in-camera session, council members voted 9-1 to let go Holden, with only Ward 3 Councillor Andrew Stevens voting against the motion. Councillor Dan Leblanc was absent from the meeting.

Holden had been with the City for over 40 years holding various roles before being named the City Manager in 2016.

Mayor Sandra Masters said that the decision to ‘let go’ Holden was strategic.

“It’s very much focused in on the strategic priorities that council has identified, the amount of culture shift and innovation and experimentation and growth that the city needs to undertake.”

Holden’s four-year contract was set to expire in March 2024, something Masters said was unlikely to be renewed. She stated that it made more sense to make a change now rather than wait two more years.

She said the move had nothing to do with Holden’s capacity to do the job, rather the council’s future long-term projects and they didn’t want to have to bring someone new in 2024.

The City will honour Holden’s contract with 17 months severance pay plus statutory requirements according to labour law.

Masters thanked Holden for his service.

“On behalf of City Council and the residents of Regina, we would like to thank Chris for his dedication and valued service to the community,” she said. “He is a city builder and has made a significant impact on Regina. We value his commitment to public service. Under Chris’ leadership, significant civic infrastructure projects were developed, including the mâmawêyatitân centre, Co-operators Centre, International Trade Centre and Liebel Field. These key community spaces create significant social impact and have positively transformed Regina today and for many years to come.”

Jim Nichol has been appointed as the interim City Manager with the search for a permanent replacement expected to take six to nine months.

Nicol is currently a city clerk who joined the City of Regina in 2007 after spending 19 years with the Government of Saskatchewan.

More from Play92