The provincial government has a somewhat controversial track record when it comes to organizing retreats. Back in 1994, then social services minister Joy MacPhail got into a spot of trouble for spending the weekend (and an estimated $3,390) with 11 bureaucrats at the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort and Conference Centre. And, nine years later, then children and family development minister Gordon Hogg took a tongue-lashing when his bureaucrats racked up a $4,000 bill at the same resort. So some suspicious minds may wonder about the wisdom of having a two-day leadership retreat for executives from that ministry at The Grand Okanagan Lakefront Resort and Conference Centre - which is scheduled to wrap-up tomorrow. But, evidently, the government was able to negotiate discount prices for meeting and hotel rooms at that resort. And, as the ministry moves toward regionalization, it was felt important to hold that get-together in Kelowna where headquarters staff can meet with their counterparts from the heartlands. So eyebrows are being advised to raise themselves elsewhere.
October 11, 2006