Earlier, we reported on the hiring of international contractor of mystery (Public Eye passim) Lesley du Toit as the new deputy minister of children and family development. But some bureaucrats are still scratching their heads as to how someone from South Africa gets named to one of the most senior and sensitive civil service postings in the province. Well, at least part of the answer has to do with Jim Anglin, the University of Victoria's vice-president of academic and student affairs and former director of the institution's school of child and youth care.
In an interview with your humble organ, Dr. Anglin said he became first became aquainted with Ms. du Toit over 15 years ago when they were both members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's International Federation of Educative Communities. That relationship continued when he was hired in 1995 as a consultant to the South African government's inter-ministerial committee on young people at risk - a position that involved him travelling to the country twice a year. And, coincidentally, that was the same committee Ms. du Toit's was responsible for managing.
As the manager of that committee, Dr. Anglin says Ms. du Toit visited British Columbia. And, during one of those visits, he "took her around to meet all the key people in B.C. because we were involved in all the same kinds of issues she was looking at." According to Dr. Anglin, those key people included the then deputy minister of children and families Bob Plecas and future children's commissioner Cynthia Morton. And "I think it was at that point that she impressed people with her knowledge and her ability" - eventually culminating in her appointment in 2001 to an international panel to advise children and family development. Since then, an information bulletin from the premier's office notes she has "served...in different consulting capacities in British Columbia."