Yesterday, in a news release, the provincial government announced British Columbia Buildings Corp. would "shift from (being) a Crown corporation to part of the Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services." Not mentioned in that release, though, was the fact that British Columbia Buildings chief executive officer John Beales and executive vice-president Sharon Halkett were being summarily exited from the corporation - this, according to a memo leaked to Public Eye. Ms. Halkett, astute readers may remember, had previously served as the chief executive officer of the Crown agencies secretariat under the Campbell administration. She is married to 21-year civil service veteran Phil Halkett, who was the deputy minister to Premier Ujjal Dosanjh before the Liberals won office and had him sacked. According to an article published in 2001 by then Vancouver Sun reporter Jim Beatty that sacking resulted in a $366,000 severance package. So one wonders how much Ms. Halkett received for her trouble? The following is a copy of that memo.
Subject: Announcement - BC Buildings Corporation (Message from John Heath, GM for BCBC)
Announcement - BC Buildings Corporation
Thank you very much for your contribution to the 2005 Core Services Review for the BC Buildings Corporation. Government has decided that it wishes to move to a Ministry model for the delivery of accommodation and real property services. It has also decided that it wishes to implement the recommendations respecting increased business and customer focus over the next 12 months. In the meantime, BCBC continues as a Crown corporation, providing services to its customers with minimal disruption.
As a first step in the transition, the existing Board of BCBC has been dissolved. Gordon Macatee, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Labour and Consumer Services, has been appointed as the sole Director and Chair of the Board. In turn, he has appointed me General Manager of BCBC. John Beales and Sharon Halkett have left the organization effective immediately.
The balance of the BCBC Executive remains in place.
I am expected to provide the Deputy/Chair with an implementation plan for the transition, which meets the needs of customers and reflects effective implementation of the Core Services Review recommendations. I cannot do this without your expertise and advice. I look forward to meeting with you over the coming weeks to obtain your perspective and advice on how this transformation can be managed to best meet your needs.
BC Buildings Corporation