Du Toit Motor City?

Promoting Bike to Work Week has become a long-standing tradition within the civil service. Bureaucrats routinely use their government email accounts to encourage colleagues to get out of their cars and onto their two-wheelers. But children and family development deputy minister Lesley du Toit seems to want to put an end to that electronic tradition. Responding to one of those emails last Thursday, Ms. du Toit notified her headquarters staff, "I would please like you to not use this official email network to advertise or send unnecessary messages to all staff. I appreciate the importance of the week however."

Of course, some might find it odd Ms. du Toit would be discouraging the government email promotion of Bike to Work Week. After all, according to event coordinator Stephanie Johnson "The provincial government has been a strong supporter of Bike to Work Week for the past 12 years. They've always been our key supporter," kicking in $40,000 this year alone. And some of the posters promoting the event - which encourages values consistent with the Liberal's election promise to "lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness" - feature a photo of Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon astride a bike.

Said New Democrat health critic David Cubberley, "Someone should show (Ms. du Toit) the poster. It's an official government project. It's employer sponsored...It's very odd" that du Toit wouldn't want her employees to use their email accounts to increase Bike to Work Week participation. "And the moreso because one of the biggest benefits from this kind of activity is sense of team spirit and an opportunity for people to de-stress from the pressures of work. Because the ministry of children and family development is a ministry that needs it."

22 Comments

Good for her. No matter how noble the cause, spam is a curse and it's good to see productive people trying to prevent it.

"Productive people" - give me a break - go back to your "hole" in the Rockpile - how can you garner higher staff productivity with such a negative and anal retentive understanding of reality.

Wow, NDP people can make a fuss out of just about anything. I dont think they understand how insignificant matters as such are. Anyways, I hate spams too, so I too like the above poster would like to say this, good for her.

So will Ms. du Toit learn Management Lesson Number 1. from her lack of judgement and as such, retract her directive and apologize to her staff? If I were betting on this.....experience tells me I think not.

I would even take odds!

Sean, keep us appraised...

Yikes!
So ya had a bad day...
Lighten up Ms. du Toit!

This will fire up the troops and inspire them to get on board with her transformation vision and principles. Now that's what you call leadership. You can't buy the kind of loyalty this will foster.

If my sacrcasm comes off a little strong, good!

I for one am very encouraged that someone with vision and a track record of going up against reluctant bureaucrats is here to kick their self
preserving butts. If the focus of their work is not rooted in a clear understanding that while they sit in their little cubicles and leak emails for 80k plus benefits there are kids lost in the foster care system or on the street that need the system for support then maybe they should bike to another line of business where professional ennui doesn't have such a negative impact on those who the system is really meant to protect ( hint, maybe it shouldn't be your rights you spend your day trying to advance prior to driving home...what some kids wont do just to have a bike...get to work folks)

Wow. These types of weeks foster greater team building and cooperation. By the sounds of it, the Ministry could use some of it. She should trying lightening up.

Hey Fan-Hsin Kung , who is making the fuss here, Public Eye or the NDP...seems to me Public Eye was asing the questions (no hard feelings Sean).
I know that spam is a pain but promoting something in the the same workplace that is sponsoring the event with so many benefits for the workplace, the roads, peoples health and maybe even savings to the Minstry of Health and taxpayers by convincing people to live healthy lifestyles is hardly a waste of time.
du Toit is not going to clean up the that mess by being petty with her staff.

Lighten up folks. A mistake was made. Who among you have not made mistakes?

Take into consideration the issue of spam and then extrapolate it to the fact that Ms du Toit is from an entirely different culture and working very hard to make her way through the maze of cultural differences.

While she comes to Canada from a very different, but evolved and sophisticated culture in South Africa, there are some things here that we do that may not occur there - the Bike to Work Week may be just one example.

Cut the woman some slack and welcome her and her very clear commitment to children and families to British Columbia. She is going to make mistakes - we all make mistakes - but let's get real here. This isn't about Bike to Work Week - it's about disgruntled people and their "Gotcha" mentality.

I'd like to hear from those of you who are being so critical as to when any Leader at MCFD - or anywhere else in government - ANY government - has called together folks from all over the province and representing every level of employment at MCFD and elsewhere to talk about how they might contribute their ideas to building a better system for children and families. The bottom line is that Ms du Toit cares and cares deeply about children and their well being.

MCFD leadership approach up until recently - and likely with the participation from some posting here - has been NO planning, NO consultation, No strategic thinking. Some refer to it as "Fire/Shoot/Aim" and for good reasons as we have seen over the years.

In the end, most of what I'm reading here is sour grapes, nothing more.

Move over folks - get over yourselves and give the new team at MCFD the space that you've taken up for far too long and of which you've made a horrible mess that will take some time to clean up.

"Ms du Toit is from an entirely different culture and working very hard to make her way through the maze of cultural differences."

Obviously from a culture that dates from the 1950's. Workplaces are supposed to be productive and made so that the employees can work in co-operative environment.

This is public service wide.

So what exactly is shown by her "apperciation"?

Saying or writing that one "apperciates" something is a bit weak.

Done one too many times.

Try something new. Show it.

No John, YOU show it. If you HAVE anything to show other than patronizing (speaking of the 1950s), hateful and unproductive comments.

Indigo is right on.

Besides which, John can neither spell nor read - nowhere did du Toit write "apperciation" or "apperciates".

Speaking of South Africa - I choose to use South African physicians working here - they are very well trained and thorough, unlike many of their Canadian counterparts.

This is intersting. So we have someone here from another culture (Leslie du Toit). My questions would be why? Leslie has done some great work in South Africa ...but folks BC is not South Africa. When we look abroad and bring some one from across the globe into BC to make changes and also advance the interests of children & families it sends a message...that we don't have that capacity here at home. We do.. I can think of lots of people of inspiration here in Canada and BC that could have done a bang up job....without these "cultural misunderstandings".

Is this the right way to promote the employees' morale? Way to go... Maybe she should read the government's service plan before shouting an email like that. Lighten up South African lady.

Give me a break - this has nothing to do with a cultural misunderstanding. This is about the Premier PERSONALLY hiring people who don't have provincial level experience. Just look at who he has appointed as his own Deputy Minister from Ken (collect the garbage cans on time) Dobell to Jessica (the Manager in the Lands Branch) McDonald - the record speaks for itself.

Jimbo, if you believe that Canadians ought not to hire South Africans, would you also suggest that Canadians ought not to be hired for responsible positions in countries other than Canada? There are Canadian social workers who've been offered and who have accepted jobs in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the United States (as just one example, wasn't there an MCFD Director of Child Welfare who is now working in a similar position in the US?) - lots of countries where there are already qualified professionals in the field. One could argue that there are cultural differences between those countries as well.

One could also argue that there are significant cultural differences among Canadians!

I understand where you're coming from but I don't support your argument.

"No John, YOU show it. If you HAVE anything to show other than patronizing (speaking of the 1950s), hateful and unproductive comments."

Indgio let it go dude. John has a point.

The lady is probably a strict bureaucrat. The Bike Week event is public service wide. She really should lighten up and should have written a message to get people involved, rather than write a message like that.

The Ministry is stressful as it is and it is up to her to foster a productive environment in an otherwise miserable Ministry.

Hey Winney-the-Pooh. I appreciate your comments. Leslie was hired because of her experience with Indigenous peoples (see press release around her appointment). There are numerous Aboriginal people here in BC and Canada who have the same expertise as she does. When we hire abroad and ignore our Aboriginal peoples..it sends a message. we don't think there are any qualified Aboriginal peoples here in BC and Canada that can do the job. I don't want Leslie to fail. the task she has to accomplish is too important. But in her appointment and all that has occurred around it reeks of "cultural chauvinism". I am surprised that people like Debbie Foxcroft would buy into it.

Leslie is the male version of Lesley. I understand that du Toit is a woman. Maybe THAT is your problem, Jimbo.

that sure is a cheap shot

FNW, why don't you Google "Leslie women" and see if there are any women named Leslie?

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