Chris Leach is a Regional Manager with the Community and Regional Planning Branch of Manitoba Municipal Government. His 40-year career in public sector planning spans New Brunswick, the (then) Northwest Territories, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. Since joining the Community and Regional Planning Branch, Manitoba’s urban and rural communities and their councils and administrations have been the benefactors of the knowledge and experience Chris gained through working in a variety of natural and human environments. He is respected among his municipal clients for employing a collaborative approach to urban and regional planning that encourages inter-municipal cooperation and contributes to better planning and development management and decision making.
His community planning office has provided a training ground for University of Manitoba planning students who have obtained summer employment and internships through Chris as well as entry-level planning positions upon graduation. Many of these planners have remained in the province, moving on to senior planning positions in provincial and municipal governments as well as the private sector. Chris has mentored many of these young planners who have benefited greatly not only from his broad range of knowledge and work experience, but from his professional insight, political intuition and, just as importantly for a good mentor, his gentle nature, calm demeanor, legendary patience and sense of humour.
Chris has shown a tireless devotion to the work and affairs of CIP at the national level as well as its affiliate organizations including API, APPI and MPPI over his long career. He is a former President of CIP, MPPI and API and has served on or chaired many national or affiliate committees with a focus on membership standards and practices. He currently serves as the MPPI appointee to the Professional Standards Board and Chair of the Board’s Professional Education and Examination Committee (PEEC). He also chaired the Organizing Committee for the very successful 2008 CIP National Conference in Winnipeg. Chris’ contribution to planning and the profession has been significant.