Government exports imported deputy minister

British Columbia government deputy minister Don Leitch was quietly removed from the public payroll in early December, Public Eye has learned. Mr. Leitch was hired by the provincial Liberals following their 2001 election win under a three-year contract, having previously served as Manitoba Premier Gary Filmon's deputy minister for 11 years. Known by some as the deputy minister's deputy minister for his by-the-book approach, he was given the thankless task of being Rick Thorpe's handler at competition, science and enterprise.

But due to personality conflicts, Mr. Leitch was re-assigned, taking over responsibility for securities, deregulation and special projects under then Minister of State Kevin Falcon. His contract was then renewed for one year, with a six month review period. And when that review came up, the premier's deputy minister Ken Dobell reportedly informed Mr. Leitch there was no further work available for him. Not surprising, say our spies, given that the easygoing Mr. Letich had clashed a number of times with Mr. Dobell over the proper way to run a civil service - criticizing the West Annex's micro-managing tendencies.

9 Comments

Rick Thorpe has been nicknamed the "Thorpedoe" by some.

Rick was greeted by an "angry" crowd this AM in Kelowna. He was loudly booed as the news interviewed his opponent Joyce Procure.

Most in my community actually call him Rick "Throw-up". Not as original as Thorpedo- I'll have to spread that one around.

And yet he will be re-elected in a walk.

Must drive you guys nuts!

That remains to be seen.

My happy memories of Rick Thorpe include being fined $1 by him for calling him "Minister" instead of "Rick". It was kind of an enforced friendliness policy, I suppose.

That, and his alarming tendency to swear like a longshorman from the beginning of a conversation to the end and his habit of scrawling "STUPID" on memos when he disagreed with them make me glad to have left his employ.

Hopefully Don Leitch feels the same way.

Don was well respected in the system. Everyone knows that the first two years he and the whole ministry were held back by 'afraid to make a move' Thorpe. Too many items sat on his desk while he worried what the premier would think. That is not to say Thorpe did not cause a lot of needless work.
Anyway the DM delivered a lot once free from that hackle. Too bad they let him go - we need some outside fresh air in our system. Good luck Don.

Nice should know that Gordon Campbell's inability to remove the non-performing Thorpe from Cabinet has been driving many Liberals nuts for some time.

Public service is funny isn't it ? The Minister is a disaster and the Deputy pays the price. But remember Leitch also successfully worked for Falcon and the two of them got along famously. In fact Falcon became a rising star.

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