David Courtemanche

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David Courtemanche
Sudbury City Councillor
In office
Succeeded byCity of Sudbury amalgamated into Greater Sudbury
Greater Sudbury Ward 6 City Councillor (with Mike Petryna)
In office
Preceded byposition created
Succeeded byJanet Gasparini and Lynne Reynolds
Mayor of Greater Sudbury
In office
Preceded byJim Gordon
Succeeded byJohn Rodriguez
Personal details
Born (1964-04-07) 7 April 1964 (age 57)
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Occupationcity councillor, management consultant

David Courtemanche (born 7 April 1964) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is the former mayor of Greater Sudbury, having served one term from 2003 to 2006.


Courtemanche was raised in West End, Sudbury Ontario. A former student of St. Charles College, he played hockey for the Sudbury Wolves and the Kingston Canadians. Though given a tryout with the New York Rangers he chose not to pursue hockey as a career. He completed a degree in Political Studies at the University of Guelph.[1] Courtemanche later returned to Sudbury and worked as a consultant.[2] He was the executive director of Sudbury Heart Health from 1992 to 1997 and was a founding member of Earthcare Sudbury, a partnership between the city and various local agencies in support of a sustainable environmental policy.[3]


Courtemanche was elected to the Sudbury City Council in the 1997 municipal election and was subsequently appointed as a city representative to the Sudbury Regional Council. He chaired the region's Planning and Development Committee,[4] and was part of a group that developed Sudbury's first comprehensive arts policy.[5] He supported the introduction of a Business Improvement Area,[6] and brought forward an unsuccessful motion to deregulate the city's shopping hours in 1999.[7]

Sudbury and its suburban municipalities were amalgamated into the city of Greater Sudbury in 2000. During the transition period Courtemanche was strongly critical of a plan for the new city councillors to be designated as part-time rather than full-time workers. He argued that the demands on councillors would be greater after amalgamation and that part-time status would result in bureaucrats controlling city hall.[8]

Courtemanche was re-elected in the 2000 municipal election, winning a seat in the new city's sixth ward. During this campaign he called for a strategic growth model approach to municipal infrastructure that would benefit the entire city.[9] He was appointed to the board of the Nickel District Conservation Authority in March 2001,[10] and later co-chaired a Mayor's Task Force on Volunteerism and Community Involvement, which led to the development of Community Action Networks.[11] Courtemanche also served on the board of directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and was appointed to chair Greater Sudbury's Priorities Committee in December 2002.[12]

In 2002, Courtemanche proposed that Greater Sudbury's largest park be named after former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.[13] He later brought forward a motion to fly the Franco-Ontarian flag at Tom Davies' Square.[14]


Courtemanche was elected mayor of Greater Sudbury in the 2003 municipal election after the retirement of incumbent Jim Gordon. At 39 years old Courtemanche was the youngest elected mayor in the history of Sudbury.[15] His "Campaign for Change" was highlighted by promises of sustainable growth and collaborative leadership.[16] Courtemanche led in the polls for much of the campaign,[17] and defeated local businessman Paul Marleau and 12 other opponents on election day. (Only Toronto, with 44 candidates, had a larger mayoralty contest.) Following his election, Courtemanche said that he would seek a non-confrontational civil service and better relations with unions and management.[18] A local editorial described him as a candidate who "always seems to naturally find the high road and knows how to stay there".[19]

During his first year as mayor Courtemanche increased the role of public consultation in Greater Sudbury's budgetary and planning processes.[20] He sought to limit average tax increases to 7%, but ultimately introduced a budget with 7.5% increases.[21] Later that year a cut in education taxes reduced property tax rates by about 3%.[22]

In his inauguration speech Courtemanche promised to change the municipal government's senior management structure. He reiterated this pledge after difficulties with his first budget.[23] Three senior staff positions were cut later in the year.[24] The Sudbury Star newspaper criticized the mayor's restructuring plan, arguing that it was not conducted in an open and accountable manner.[25] Courtemanche later engaged in a public dispute with councillor Lynne Reynolds over this and other aspects of his leadership.[26]

Courtemanche worked with councillor Janet Gasparini on programs targeting homelessness.[27] He also supported wind power investment,[28] and sought to develop Greater Sudbury as an attractive destination for senior citizens.[29] In May 2004, the City of Greater Sudbury received an environmental award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and CH2M Hill Canada for its EarthCare Sudbury Local Action Plan.[30] Despite complaints from some business owners, Courtemanche did not change the city's strict anti-smoking bylaw.[31] He again sought to remove Greater Sudbury's shopping hours bylaw in 2004, without success.[32] He helped introduce a municipal health strategy in 2005, after a national survey showed that Sudburians were living shorter lives and were at higher risk of cardiovascular disease than other urban Canadians.[33] Courtemanche launched the Mysudbury.ca web portal in March 2005,[34] and helped to introduce a Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) in the city.[35] Late in his term, he introduced a pilot project to encourage the use of energy efficient products.[36]

In early 2004 Courtemanche met with the mayors of North Bay, Timmins, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie to seek a new deal with senior levels of government for investment in Northern Ontario.[37] The mayors called on the provincial government to solve some of southern Ontario's long-term problems (such as gridlock, air pollution and failing infrastructure) by shifting the focus of development to the north.[38] Greater Sudbury received a significant increase in provincial government transfers in 2006.[39] Courtemanche also lobbied the federal government on the importance of immigration to rural and peripheral regions.[40] He represented his city at the opening of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, which has twin campuses in Thunder Bay and Sudbury.[41]

Workers at Greater Sudbury Utilities (GSU) Inc. took part in an extended strike in 2004, in a dispute over retiree benefits. Courtemanche met Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario leader Sid Ryan in September of that year, which brought about a resumption of face-to-face bargaining.[42] The strike ended a month later. Courtemanche later called on Hydro One to turn over its assets and customers to GSU believing that the city could provide better services for lower rates.[43]

In 2006, Courtemanche appointed former provincial cabinet minister Floyd Laughren to head a local committee stemming from complaints about amalgamation of Greater Sudbury six years earlier. Several residents in outlying areas had previously signed a petition calling for a referendum on de-amalgamation.[44]

Courtemanche was defeated in the 2006 municipal election, losing to former Member of Parliament (MP) John Rodriguez. The local media noted that he failed to inspire voters, and did not effectively counter Rodriguez's populist appeal.[45] Courtemanche later acknowledged that he turned down his team's advice to take a more aggressive approach, arguing that it was not his style.[46]

Courtemanche was mayor during a period of economic growth, which continued into the tenure of his successor.[47]

Since 2006[edit]

Courtemanche returned to his consulting firm, Leading Minds Inc. In June 2008 he was named executive director for the City of Lakes Family Health Team (FHT), a primary health care initiative in Sudbury.[48]

Electoral record[edit]

2006 Greater Sudbury municipal election, Mayor of Greater Sudburyedit
Candidate Total votes % of total votes
John Rodriguez 28,419 51.89
(x)David Courtemanche 16,600 30.31
Lynne Reynolds 8,996 16.42
David Chevrier 429 0.78
Marc Crockford 159 0.29
Ed Pokonzie 92 0.17
David Popescu 76 0.14
Total valid votes 54,771 100.00

2003 Greater Sudbury municipal election, Mayor of Greater Sudburyedit
Candidate Total votes % of total votes
David Courtemanche 19,152 35.56
Paul Marleau 11,360 21.10
Colin Firth 8,096 15.03
Louise Portelance 5,645 10.48
John Caruso 4,693 8.71
Tom Boyuk 1,930 3.58
Brian R. Gatien 1,280 2.38
Richard Doyon 667 1.24
Mary Fournier Pagnutti 405 0.75
David Chevrier 271 0.50
Yvonne Neison 141 0.26
Robert Maurice 102 0.19
Ed Pokonzie 67 0.12
David Popescu 42 0.08
Total valid votes 53,851 100.00

2000 Greater Sudbury municipal election, Councillor, Ward Six (two elected)edit
Candidate Total votes % of total votes
(x)David Courtemanche 4,357 28.64
(x) Mike Petryna 3,329 21.88
Janet Gasparini 2,939 19.32
(x) Ricardo de la Riva 2,494 16.39
Claire Pilon 1,460 9.60
Ernie Savard 636 4.18
Total votes 15,215 100.00

Electors could vote for two candidates. Percentages are determined in relation to the total number of votes.

Courtemanche was first elected to the Sudbury city council in 1997.

The 2000 and 2003 results are taken from the Sudbury Star newspaper. The 2006 result is provided by the City of Greater Sudbury.


  1. ^ Roy MacGregor, "The Suburban Toronto Smile", Toronto Star, 13 March 2004, A6.
  2. ^ Debbie Shipley, "Ward 6 hopefuls bring experience", Sudbury Star, 11 November 2000, A3l; Bob Vaillancourt, "Courtemanche to bring 'passion' to campaign for mayor's job", Sudbury Star, 9 May 2003, A5.
  3. ^ "Courtemanche to lead key city committee", Sudbury Star, 17 December 2002, A3; Rob O'Flanagan, "Courtemanche redefining leadership", Sudbury Star, 10 November 2006, A10.
  4. ^ "Planning group says no to Tim Hortons", Sudbury Star, 2 March 2000, A3.
  5. ^ Rob O'Flanagan, "New policy seeks a higher profile for Sudbury's arts", Sudbury Star, 11 January 2000, A3.
  6. ^ Jim Brown, "New Sudbury businesses pitched on benefits of forming a BIA", Sudbury Star, 1 February 2000
  7. ^ Terry Pender, "Store hours debate angers workers: 'It's time to put the hammer down on city council'", Sudbury Star, 23 November 1999, A3; Rob O'Flanagan, "Battle lines drawn in store hours debate", Sudbury Star, 7 December 1999, A1.
  8. ^ Denis St. Pierre, "City councillor blasts changes to new council", Sudbury Star, 12 June 2000, A3.
  9. ^ Chris Polehoykie, "Ward 6 debate puts focus on water, roads", Sudbury Star, 7 November 2000, A1.
  10. ^ "Bradley to chair NDCA board", Sudbury Star, 8 March 2001, A3.
  11. ^ Robert Keir, "Citizens have role to play in Gordon's offer", Sudbury Star, 30 June 2001, A2; Laura Stradiotto, "City works to establish community 'triangles"", Sudbury Star, 27 March 2003, A3.
  12. ^ "Courtemanche to lead key city committee", Sudbury Star, 17 December 2002, A3.
  13. ^ "Trudeau Park a fitting name", Sudbury Star, 20 March 2002, A8.
  14. ^ "How City Councillors Voted", Sudbury Star, 26 April 2003, A3; Danielle Emond-Theriault, "Franco-Ontarian flag should be cultural debate, not political", Sudbury Star, 14 May 2003, A9.
  15. ^ "Mayor will run again" Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, "Northern Life", 12 September 2006.
  16. ^ Carol Mulligan, "Candidates make their case", Sudbury Star, 4 November 2003, A1; "Mayoralty forum: Where they stand on the issues of the day", Sudbury Star, 7 November 2003, A10.
  17. ^ For instance, see Bob Vaillancourt, "Finish line within sight for candidates", Sudbury Star, 10 November 2003, A1.
  18. ^ Denis St. Pierre, "He'll be a very different mayor", Sudbury Star, 11 November 2003, A1.
  19. ^ Mike Whitehouse, "Two Pauls", Sudbury Star, 15 November 2008, A8.
  20. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "Budget input begins mid-January", Sudbury Star, 20 December 2003, A5; "Sudbury holds input sessions for city's first official plan", Sudbury Star, 20 January 2004, A9; Bob Vaillancourt, "City councillors declare public budget-input sessions a success", Sudbury Star, 28 January 2004, A5; "The people's budget: Already, this year's city budget is an improvement over last year's", Sudbury Star, 19 February 2004, A8.
  21. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "Council did 'a great job'", Sudbury Star, 16 August 2004, A5.
  22. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "Surprise break for city taxpayers", Sudbury Star, 13 May 2004, A1.
  23. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "Shake up of senior city staff on the way", Sudbury Star, 22 July 2004, A1.
  24. ^ Laura Stradiotto, "City to cut three senior staff positions", Sudbury Star, 17 December 2004, A1.
  25. ^ "An effective city: Mayor's plan to streamline city seems fine, but its execution is wanting" [editorial], Sudbury Star, 9 March 2005, A8.
  26. ^ Denis St. Pierre, "Reynolds tired of council's 'bumblings'", Sudbury Star, 28 January 2005, A1; "Excerpts from mayor's criticism of Reynolds", Sudbury Star, 25 November 2005, A2; Denis St. Pierre, "Mayor lashes out at councillor for 'irresponsible' letter", Sudbury Star, 25 November 2005, A1.
  27. ^ Tamsin McMahon, "Sudbury mayor makes case for homeless", Kingston Whig-Standard, 22 April 2004, A5.
  28. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "Mayor bullish on wind power", Sudbury Star, 9 April 2004, A3.
  29. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "City takes steps to attract more seniors", Sudbury Star, 28 May 2004, A5; "City targets seniors in 2005", Sudbury Star, 31 December 2004
  30. ^ "Sudbury's green efforts recognized", Sudbury Star, 26 May 2004, A2.
  31. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "Mayor stands his ground", Sudbury Star, 28 May 2004, A3.
  32. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "Council set to debate store hours ... again", Sudbury Star, 21 June 2004, A1; Frances Caldarelli, Janet Gasparini and Lynne Reynolds, "Not all of council pleased with result" [letter], Sudbury Star, 27 July 2004, A9.
  33. ^ Laura Stradiotto, "Panel to find ways to make us healthier", Sudbury Star, 16 December 2004, A1; "Becoming a healthy city", Sudbury Star, 2 July 2005, A10.
  34. ^ Nick Stewart, "Web portal to bring community closer together", Sudbury Star, 30 March 2005, A3.
  35. ^ Denis St. Pierre, "City endorses mining centre: CEMI project has earned support throughout community", Sudbury Star, 18 January 2006, A8.
  36. ^ "Sudbury plugs into energy program", Sudbury Star, 12 June 2006, A5.
  37. ^ Laura Stradiotto, "Northern Ontario wants 'new deal'", Sudbury Star, 13 February 2004, A3; "Mayors to develop action plan for the North", Northern Ontario Business, March 2004, p. 6.
  38. ^ Dave Dale, "North's mayors offer 'economic solution'", Sudbury Star, 16 September 2004, B12.
  39. ^ "Province 'listened,' mayor says", Sudbury Star, 1 February 2006, A3.
  40. ^ "Mayor talks about immigration", Sudbury Star, 30 April 2005, A2.
  41. ^ Carol Mulligan, "A new day for the North", Sudbury Star, 14 September 2005, A1.
  42. ^ Bob Vaillancourt, "GSU strike could end in days", Sudbury Star, 1 October 2004, A1; "GSU, union to meet", Sudbury Star, 8 October 2004, A6.
  43. ^ Denis St. Pierre, "Hydro One customers pay too much", Sudbury Star, 14 January 2006, A1.
  44. ^ Robert J. Keir, "Committee will report too late for vote", Sudbury Star, 15 May 2006, A11.
  45. ^ "Monday's debate was no snoozer" [editorial], Sudbury Star, 18 October 2006, A10; Rob O'Flanagan, "Courtemanche keeps his cool at fiery debate", Sudbury Star, 25 October 2006, A5; "Courtemanche needs to step up" [editorial], Sudbury Star, 3 November 2006, A6; Denis St. Pierre, "Our reluctant, but passionate, mayor", Sudbury Star, 10 November 2006, A3.
  46. ^ Rob O'Flanagan, "Incumbent gracious in defeat", Sudbury Star, 14 November 2006, A3.
  47. ^ Marek Krasuski, "City's economy is red hot: mayor", Sudbury Star, 18 September 2004, A1; Rob O'Flanagan, "Courtemanche redefining leadership", Sudbury Star, 10 November 2006, A10.
  48. ^ "Courtemanche to be project manager of Family Health Team" Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Northern Life, 25 July 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2008; "Already helping 1,400 who had no physician", Sudbury Star, 2008; Carol Mulligan, "Easing the city's doctor shortage", Sudbury Star, 31 July 2008, A1.

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