She moves in mysterious ways

Your humble organ has spilled much ink reporting on the comings and goings of Lesley du Toit, the premier's international contractor of mystery (Public Eye passim). As our astute readers will already be aware, Ms. du Toit has a number of responsibilities - including assisting "government in developing a response to the recommendations of the Child and Youth Review Panel, headed by Ted Hughes, Q.C." - this, according to an information bulletin sent out last year. And childcare community members have been led to believe she will be one of, if not the prime mover and shaker in that effort. But when we asked Mr. Hughes whether Ms. du Toit had met or would be meeting with him to discuss those recommendations - which were released earlier today - the former conflict of interest commissioner replied "You bring me news. I was not aware she was going to be the implementer of the report. The answer to your question is no. But my executive director to my right had a telephone conversation with her somewhere over the last couple months. But I have no contact. And I was unaware she could be the prime implementer. You bring me news sir."

Asked about that response, Opposition leader Carole James said "I think the most telling point in time was when the minister himself said to our critic that we couldn't ask questions about Lesley du Toit's role in estimates. We had to wait and ask the premier. Because he hadn't met (with Ms. du Toit) and that Lesley du Toit had nothing to do with his ministry. So I think it just adds to the chaos that's outlined in this report.

15 Comments

It may not be a surprise to your readers, Sean, that Lesley du Toit did not meet with the Hon. Ted Hughes. The word is that she is in South Africa, writing her own "plan" and that she herself has said that it matters little to her what is in the Hughes report.

Here we go again. This government will likely build more shelves upon which, this one is placed.

At the same time, congratulations to Ted Hughes for telling it like it is at HQ mcfd.

In his First Words section he writes:

'The strongest impression I have gleaned from this inquiry is one of a child welfare system that has been buffeted by an unmanageable degree of change. There has been a revolving dooor in senior leadership positions; emphasis in practice has shifted between child protection and family support; functions have been shifted out to the regions and then pulled back to the centre......'

He then goes on to detail some of these issues.

MCFD HQ is a mess; Hughes recognizes this. Expect more change with du Toit in the picture. Will it be useful change? Who knows. She's in South Africa!

You should check out Rec. #28 FNW:

"The Ministry accomplishes a great deal and has many successes: if they are not reported on a regular basis, the public forms its impression of Ministry performance and operations on the basis of media reports of rare but tragic events" ...or Opposition Press Releases.

I agree with you completely. As Hughes wrote in the Recommendation you point to, MCFD accomplishes 'a great deal and has many successes' but it is despite very poor Leadership at HQ.

I agree with FNW about the lack of leadership at MFCD in Victoria. Let us hope that Ted Hughes is taken seriously on this issue. A problem I see,however, is replacing a very weak Minister after Hughes points out that there have been endless changes there. Frankly, I think that if the Acting Deputy and ADMs are replaced with strong individuals with a background in the work of the Ministry, Hagen could stay without much damage ensuing.

Where is the apologist de riguer kevin larsen when the true liberal record comes to light. No amount of union bashing , poor bashing, will excuse this one. A little hard to swallow . Hey Kevin.God , let's talk about the fast ferries. Hunting knife, or corruption in the finance ministry.No comment I guess from the consumate Fiberal.

http://www.childyouthreview.ca/report.htm

The place to read the full report by Hughes. I doubt very much, no matter how the New Era gang tries to spin it, that they can ignore this report. After all they begged him to do the study

The biggest problems at MCFD HQ are their marching orders from inept politicians, the political interference, the budget cuts and the revolving door of executive. The problem isn't the people, people.

NotFooled: I agree with you from having a ringside seat on the scenario. In so many instances the politicians tainting the Ministries are "inept" often misguided out of ignorance and/or politically ordered by the Premier's Office. I am well trained, but also held a poitical appointment where I dealt with many Ministries.

I was speaking my mind and spreading the message. What happened? I heard the inept politicians were were going to rescind my appointment so I quit and have continued to advocate various truths.

You are right, it isn't in many cases, "the people, people"; I so admired the individuals shoved further down the ladder and often unable to influence policy, from their vantage points of real understanding of what the heck is really happening. I did my best to get their messages heard.

In the private sector, I have also been on the receiving end of actions from unethical/corrupt politicians/senior bureaucrats who put their own agendas before the public's and cover-ups have endured - NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

We all hold a responsibility to speak out and be heard when we KNOW something is wrong; too often people stick their heads in the sand. This holds whether we are within the government or in the private sector. It is always the power of the people that creates real change.

Reports such as the Hughes Report are a start in airing the truth, but if the people don't speak out in numbers and tell Campbell & Co. where it's at - nothing will change. when Hughes was a Deputy AG, his reports have been known to be less than telling the whole truth. So perhaps his the degree of truthfulness is a factor of his own wellbeing. Remember, he got paid well for this Report.

"Not Fooled" writes:
The biggest problems at MCFD HQ are their marching orders from inept politicians, the political interference, the budget cuts and the revolving door of executive. The problem isn't the people, people.

If you're referring to "the people" working at MCFD in Victoria you make a good point but with a few caveats. Mature and self aware professionals don't accept positions for which they are not qualified. They know that they can't do the job and that they risk their reputations AND the work of the ministry. While it's possible for any excellent and experienced manager to move into various senior positions in SOME ministries, the work of mcfd is highly specialized and requires some specific training, history and a skill set not taught to an accountant or lawyer, for example.


I have little respect for individuals who assume senior positions and presume that they can do the work required without any previous experience, especially when they are reluctant to consult widely within their sphere of influence before making decisions - decisions that are bound to fail. It makes NO sense.

So, I would add to your list irresponsible, self interested senior managers unable to do the job, part of which is letting the Minister know, having consulted widely beforehand with those "people" at mcfd who actually DO the work, that one idea or another coming from on high (politicians)simply will NOT work!


"Mature and self aware professionals don't accept positions for which they are not qualified."

What colour is the sky in that world?

"...part of which is letting the Minister know, having consulted widely beforehand with those "people" at mcfd who actually DO the work, that one idea or another coming from on high (politicians)simply will NOT work"

Ummm....do you seriously believe that makes the tiniest difference?

Hi : Isn't it unrealistic in the first place to expect the State to act in loco parentis? Would Adrian Dix be singing a different tune if the government had seized his children? Is no-one responsible for his or her own actions? Are all crimes and accidents the result of government under-funding and political myopia?

"Are all crimes and accidents the result of government under-funding and political myopia?"

No, just some.

What colour is the sky in that world?:

Blue, sometimes grey, sometimes silvery white, sometimes red or red orange; endless colours, the same as in the rest of the world.

Do I think that telling the truth to Ministers makes a difference? Yes I do, especially if it's communicated clearly, with no self interest and without fear and with all the risks attached.

At the very least one knows that they did their job, they told the truth, they EARNED their tax paid salary. Besides which, SOME Ministers aren't stupid and want to make a positive contribution, not to mention that they want also to save their political skins. I've known some very good Ministers in my day, many of whom didn't get seduced by all the power and perks and remembered, daily, why they were there.

Steve, you're right re personal responsibility. As adults we're responsible for our own actions -but tell that to a 5 year old being abused by their father or mother or being neglected or and and and.... I choose to have some of my tax dollars go towards keeping children, who cannot defend themselves from the psychopathic behaviour of adults, safe.

FNW it's not a question of telling the truth, the question is do the Liberals listen? Not yet would be my answer.

I'd like to know who are the "irresponsible, self interested senior managers unable to do the job" at MCFD HQ?

"Are all crimes and accidents the result of government under-funding and political myopia?"

That depends. The Libs believed this to be the case when they the NDP were government... now, not so much.


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