A common sense revolution?

Earlier, we reported on freshly-imported children and family development deputy minister Lesley du Toit's scratch and sniff session with headquarters staff in Victoria. And now we have learned there was a similar meet and greet for the ministry's Vancouver workers at the Sheraton Wall Luxury Centre Hotel. Accompanied by a powerpoint presentation, the former international contractor of mystery (Public Eye passim) said staff will now be expected to follow a number of non-negotiable (and what many described as admirable) principles including putting the best interests of children first, being respectful, professional and ethical and working in teams rather hierarchies. Ms du Toit also told the audience that everyone's opinion at children and family development was important - from front-line workers to the ministry's executive. And she added her office would have an open door policy. But she didn't want anymore gossiping and backbiting in the ministry. And there was a sense among those in attendance that leaking information to the press had now become unfashionable.

10 Comments

du Toit ...'said staff will now be expected to follow a number of non-negotiable (and what many described as admirable) principles including putting the best interests of children first, being respectful, professional and ethical and working in teams rather hierarchies.'

In other words, du Toit communicated to mcfd staff during her first week as Deputy of mcfd that they are unprincipled with respect to their dealings with children, that they are not respectful, professional and ethical and that they don't work well together?

"And there was a sense among those in attendance that leaking information to the press had now become unfashionable"

That's so funny! Someone leaked to the press that leaking to the press has become unfashionable!

I am not sure what is causing this obsession with reporting the everyday comings and goings on Ms. du Toit on this website but it is getting extremely tiring. Unless something interesting happens (or something happens at all) it is time to get off this one.

I disagree with you Polkaroo. MCFD and the goings on there are of great interest to some of us and I appreciate Sean keeping us informed about some of du Toit's activities.

I would respectfully suggest that if you find this reporting to be "extremely tiring", that you pass on reading these specific posts.

Sorry, Polkaroo, but I think you are dead wrong. Du Toit has yet to agree to an interview with any journalist about what she learned as a consultant to the premier's office, or how she plans to proceed - or anything else.
The government won't provide even a resume or CV.
It's an important job, at an important time. Given the official silence, I welcome any information about her role and activities.
(And, consistent with an earlier entry on accountability, is there a reason for a pseudonym on your post?)

Two hands clapping for Peter who is sensible as always and gets right to the heart of the matter!

Paul,

In this case (and I cannot speak for all semi-regular commentators on this site) the pseudonym does serve a purpose.

With respect to your comments on Ms. du Toit, you raise good points but at the same time, even in MCFD, I think the only person that should be granting interviews is the minister who is ultimately responsible for Ms. du Toit's qualifications and should be able to speak to them.

I think it is clear that the ministry needed a fresh start and bringing in a person previously not connected to the Government is a good start. My main comment was on Sean's apparent obsession with all her comings and goings, I expect we will soon be told what her address and home phone number are at this pace.

I agree with Anon, Paul and Polkaroo on a number of issues they raised.

First, it's not at all unusual for people to want to know more about Ms du Toit and what is going on in MCFD. There have been so many problems in that ministry and so many changes that the staff and the public/families with children in care will be nervous, concerned and perhaps skeptical.

My own view is that Ms du Toit is spending her first weeks learning about mcfd, the players, the problems and all of what anyone else in her position would need and want to know before jumping into changes that could become public. I think that she needs some time to get her feet wet. ANYONE would, not just someone from outside the country - and given that she's come here from South Africa, it's even more important that she take her time and I respect her for taking it.

I don't see Sean as being "obsessive" about anything related to this issue. Under the circumstances I think he's been quite restrained. It's not every day that government looks outside of it's own borders for high level staff. This is new and newsworthy.

Sean, I'd like to see a profile on each of the DMs over time. Any one else?

Good idea Hzawild1 and I'd add to that profiles on the ADMs over time.

Thanks in advance, Sean or anyone else in the know.

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