Earlier this month, children and family development deputy minister Lesley du Toit announced she had appointed Vancouver Coastal regional executive director Donna Knox as her chief operating officer. Ms. Knox has been charged with "oversight of the day-to-day running of the ministry." Following that announcement, some wondered whether this might be an indication Ms. du Toit is having some trouble managing her workload. But our astute readers may be interested to know this isn't the first time the ministry has had a chief operating officer. When Bob Plecas was put in charges of children and families in September 1996, he subsequently hired Thea Vakil to do the same job.
In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Plecas explained he was brought in to decentralize the ministry. And "between my desire to spend 40 percent of my working time in the field and a very large span of control" - which included around 25 senior bureaucrats reporting to him "I needed someone who could be in charge of operations - like a COO in a private sector company."