A grand old time

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.

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Sigh! The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Here I am procrastinating on the Internet because I don't know what to say to a young Mom near the end of her rope who left a message earlier today saying her request for emergency assistance has been refused, and I read that there's enough money for the Big Bosses to take off and enjoy a fabulous fall retreat in wine country to bond while discussing regionalization.

Moving towards regionalization? MCFD has had regionalized operations & budgets since forever--otherwise why are there colleagues in Kelowna to get to know?

Perhaps by "moving towards regionalization" they mean what they just did with community living and that flagship of regionalization/devolution, CLBC. That is, relocate HQ from Victoria to Vancouver; close all regional offices and open all new ones; gut all new offices, renovate and install new cubicles at great expense; retire all old staff and hire/ train new ones; consolidate all key decisions at HQ, divide and rename all staff roles, putting all "facilitators" in one new office and all "quality analysts" in another so that the right hand can never know what the left hand is doing... $100 million dollars later, send all new staff to Compassionate Letter Writing 101 so that they can tell children & families there's no money left in language that is both eloquent and compassionate.

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