City manager Steve Kanellakos steps down, effective immediately

Ottawa city manager Steve Kanellakos, seen here testifying before the Public Order Emergency Commission last month, has announced he’s stepping down, effective immediately.

Just two days before the report for the LRT public inquiry is to be released, city manager Steve Kanellakos announced he is leaving his job as Ottawa’s top bureaucrat Monday, effective immediately.

In a memo to city employees, Kanellakos acknowledged there would be “speculation” about the timing of his departure.

“This decision is mine and mine alone,” he wrote.”No one asked me to leave. I’ve always deeply believed in leadership accountability. As City Manager, I am ultimately accountable for the performance of the organization. I have always deeply believed that my role is to have your backs and that it is my duty to accept ultimate responsibility for our performance.”

The city does not have an advance copy of the report, but Kanellakos said based on the line of questioning from commission lawyers, he believes “the report will be critical of the city of Ottawa and city staff.”

“Despite this, I know that City staff did their best under very difficult circumstances to ensure that the light rail system would meet all of our expectations.”

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