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Municipal Planning and Management Consultant

Greg Birch Consulting, Sole Proprietorship

October  2016 to Present - Canmore, Alberta


Operated a small consulting firm specializing in land use planning, municipal management, public participation, strategic planning, committee and staff training, and project management.


Chief Administrative Officer

Town of Taber

September 2012 to September 2016 - Taber, Alberta


Undertook the legislated responsibilities of CAO in an urban municipality with a population of 8,400, an annual budget of $22 million, a staff ranging seasonally from 90 to 120 persons, and a municipal police service.


Assistant Municipal Manager

Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8

April 1991 to September 2012 - Exshaw, Alberta


Began as Planning and Development Officer and soon became Assistant Municipal Manager.  Primary responsibility for Planning and Development Department, Community Services Department, and Heritage but responsible for all departments except Finance during my years of service.


Long Range Planner

Yellowhead Regional Planning Commission 

February 1986 to April 1991 - Onoway, Alberta


Provision of long term planning services, day-to-day advice, and economic studies for urban and rural municipalities in the former Yellowhead Planning Region, west of Edmonton.


Farmer Nakatsuru Produce (1979) Ltd.

April 1984 to January 1986 - Bow Island, Alberta


Involved in virtually all aspects of operating a 450 hectare, irrigated farm.  Crops grown:  sugar beets, field beans, wheat, barley and flax.


Socioeconomic Analyst Western Research

May 1980 to April 1984 - Calgary, Alberta


Preparation of socioeconomic and land use impact assessments of major industrial and residential projects, market studies, and special municipal projects including growth studies and annexations.




2016 Certificate in Municipal Management and Leadership

University of Alberta/Alberta School of Business


1998 Certificate in Local Government Administration (NACLAA Level I)

University of Alberta


1984 Master of Environmental Design (Urban and Regional Planning)

University of Calgary


1979 Bachelor of Arts (Economics)

University of Calgary


I believe strongly in the benefits of continuing education, and have taken numerous courses and seminars emphasizing management skills, law, facilitation, emergency management and alternative dispute resolution. I am currently nearing completion of the NACLAA Level II program in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension.




Municipal Leadership

Example: Strategic plan preparation with establishment of values, vision, goals and strategic initiatives


Municipal Management

Example:  Changed organizational structure to flatten the management hierarchy, grow internal engineering capabilities and position the town for future growth


Union Negotiations

Example: Successful negotiation of contracts with two Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) locals and a municipal police association

Project Management

Example: Municipal project manager for a $13 million hamlet water system that won both Alberta and National engineering awards


Operations (Public Works/Transportation)

Example:  Prepared off-site levy bylaws to recover infrastructure costs from developer


Community Planning

Example: Prepared statutory planning documents including municipal development plans, area structure plans and area redevelopment plans, and crafted numerous unique land use bylaws amendments


Subdivision, Development and Building Regulations

Example: Subdivision officer, development officer, and supervisor of Safety Codes Officer - Building


Community Services

Example: Management responsibility for contracted Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), and municipal library, regional housing authority and continuing education council



Example: Implemented safety inspection programs for municipal playgrounds and trails, and procedures for mountain bike trail development


Historic Resources

Example: Led municipality’s heritage resources survey, inventory and management plan projects, and initiated oral history collection



Example: Municipal liaison to numerous committees with municipal, provincial and federal governments on transportation, recreational trail, fire, wildlife, land use and other joint initiatives


Emergency Management

Example: Director of Emergency Management who helped build municipal strength recognized by Alberta Emergency Management Agency



Example: Taught planning to students in various university planning and MBA courses, to visiting professional planners from Zimbabwe and China, and at several conferences 




I am a Registered Professional Planner, a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and a member of the Society of Local Government Managers.



  • Led the team effort that developed and implemented a more sustainable and less costly municipal solid waste management system with a unique composting component

  • Key member of the intergovernmental committee that created conditions to develop the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail between Banff and Canmore

  • Developed with council and a landowner the first adopted Transfer of Development Credits program in Alberta

  • Served on Bow Corridor Ecosystem Advisory Group team that developed ground-breaking guidelines for wildlife habitat and corridor identification and protection

  • Supervised effort that resulted in the first portion of the Trans-Canada Trail system in Alberta to be constructed and designated

  • Prepared detailed economic overview and forecast for Yellowhead Planning Region

  • Undertook state-of-the-art socioeconomic analyses and cost benefit studies for several large oil and gas related projects




Swimming, traveling, skiing, canoeing and woodworking are activities I enjoy. I currently sit on the Disciplinary Committee of the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI) and well as serving as an APPI Oral Examiner. I also serve as a member of the Town of Canmore’s Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. In past years I have volunteered as Region E Representative with the Alberta Summer Swimming Association and was President of the Canmore Coho Swim Club for many years. I also served on a provincial committee to address wildfire issues.

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