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New Westminster names its new climate action, planning and development director

It’s official: After serving in an acting role in one of the top jobs at New West city hall, Jackie Teed lands the job
Jackie Teed has been named as the City of New Westminster's new director of climate action, planning and development.

The City of New Westminster didn’t have to go far to find its new director of climate action, planning and development.

Jackie Teed, who has served as the department’s acting director for months, has now been appointed as its new director.

Teed said she’s proud to take on the role and looks forward to continuing the progressive work on addressing the housing and climate crises that she’s undertaken with city council and her colleagues during her 11 years with the City of New Westminster.

“This is a challenging time for the city; like so many municipalities, council and staff are working hard to address significant crises of climate change, affordable housing and homelessness, and challenges related to the mental health and substance use diseases of our unhoused community members,” she told The Record. “I’m proud to be chosen to help lead this work in a city and with a council and staff that looks for progressive and compassionate solutions.”

While serving as acting director, Teed said she’s had incredible support from the senior management team and council in the last year, to do what’s necessary to continue to advance all of the city’s important work. She said that moving into a permanent role will bring stability to the staff team, and better support them in carrying out that work.

Teed said her key priorities are working to structure the department’s team and budget in such a way that resources are focused on addressing council’s strategic priorities plan, which includes the crises of climate change, affordable housing and homelessness. With senior leadership, Teed said she’ll continue working to advance the city’s asset management work and reconciliation and diversity/inclusion/equity/anti-racism initiatives.

Mayor Patrick Johnstone said he’s happy to see that Teed has been named as the city’s the new director of climate action, planning and development.

“She has been a leader in our planning and development department for several years, stepping up to the challenges the city has faced, and building the trust of both her staff and council,” he said. “It is an important position, especially as we have a lot of work to do to continue the city’s leadership in the housing file.”

Johnstone is confident Teed is up to the challenge.

“I know Jackie has the leadership skills, the mind for innovation and the heart for community service that we need during these challenging times for the community and the region,” he said.

According to the City of New Westminster, Teed has 26 years of experience in land use planning, urban design, and development regulation, for both the municipal and private sectors. Prior to joining the city, she was senior manager for the Design Centre for Sustainability at the University of British Columbia and she worked at EKISTICS, a design and consulting studio where she managed urban design projects in Canada and China.

Teed joined the City of New Westminster in 2012 as a senior planner and was promoted to manager of planning in January 2014. She later served as the acting director of development services (as the department was then known) for nearly two years.

Most recently, she has been serving as the acting director of climate action, planning and development since December 2022. That role was previously held by Emilie Adin, who joined the city in 2018 and went on medical leave in late 2022, before notifying the city in the spring of 2023 that she would be leaving that role.

“I am thrilled with the promotion of Jackie Teed as our new director of CAPD,” said Lisa Spitale, the city’s chief administrative officer. “During her years with the city and in various management positions, Jackie has demonstrated leadership excellence in all aspects of planning, land use, development, and climate action public policy and implementation.”

In August, The Record spoke with Spitale about the three vacancies in the city’s senior management team: the director of climate action, planning and development; the chief financial officer; and the chief librarian. The City of New Westminster has now hired its new finance director and CAPD director.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of New Westminster has faced staffing challenges in several departments. In a mid-2022 update to council, the climate action, planning and development department reported “a significant” staff resource challenge at that time, with the overall department averaging a 67 per cent reduced capacity.

Following the October 2022 civic election, council developed a strategic plan for its term in office.

“We have a handful of unfilled positions, which we’ve strategically left vacant while we look at reorganizing our team to best align resources with council’s priorities,” Teed said in an Oct. 24 update to The Record. “As we formalize new internal structures, I will prioritize the related positions for recruitment.”