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."