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Toronto Community Housing board fires its CEO

Last Updated Feb 21, 2019 at 9:20 pm EDT

Toronto Community Housing (TCH) CEO Kathy Milsom has been removed from her post over a contract with management consulting company Orchango.

“Having carefully considered all of the available evidence, the board has concluded that … Milsom’s conduct throughout this process did not meet the high standard that we set for ourselves,” the TCH board said in a statement released Thursday.

“This conduct included overseeing an RFP process that did not comply with the procedures and protocols expected of a public procurement process and failing to fully cooperate with the investigation that has led to this independent report.”

TCH vice-president Sheila Penny will continue as acting CEO until April 3, when current board chair Kevin Marshman will take over as CEO.

Marshman told 680 NEWS the board decided he would take over after assessing how best to “maintain the momentum of the good things we’ve been accomplishing.”

“It was recognized, that because of my previous corporate experience and my history with TCH as a board member, a board chair and a previous interim CEO, that I could hit the ground running and be able to do that most effectively,” he said.

Milsom said she will be “vindicated of these allegations in due course.”


Related stories:

Timeline: Toronto Community Housing CEOs


“The decision of (TCH)’s Board of Directors is deeply troubling. I can say with emphatic and unequivocal certainty that at all times I acted in the best interest of the organization, its tenants, its employees, and its stakeholders,” she said in a statement.

“I recognize that change in large organizations is not easy, but we had finally started to bring the meaningful, positive change to the organization that I was hired for, whether from a fire life-safety perspective, or being more tenant-centric, responsive and fiscally responsible.”

Mayor John Tory said he believes TCH made the right decision.

“I have met with … Kevin Marshman and I know he is just as determined as I am to ensure the progress we have made at (TCH) continues and wherever possible is accelerated,” he said in a statement. “I firmly believe that everyone involved in the good governance of city agencies must be held to the absolute highest standards.”

Marshman said his main goals are to continue and enhance the culture change aimed at focusing more on tenants.

“I want to look to improve the services and service levels that we provide tenants — our responsiveness of it,” he said. “The tenants are seeing we’re becoming a more responsible organization. We still have a considerable amount of work in that regard and I want to maintain that momentum. I want to empower out employees to react proactively to tenants in their community.”

According to the University of Toronto alumni page, Milsom is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, chair of the Advisory Board for Direct Construction Company Limited, and chair of the Standards Council of Canada.