The professional and the personal

Donna Knox, children and family development's respected chief operations officer, has left the ministry - just eight months after being appointed to that post. In an email sent to ministry staff, Ms. Knox (who was charged with "oversight of the day-to-day running of the ministry") writes "Over the past several months a combination of personal and professional challenges have caused me to reflect on my future. While I still feel a great deal of energy and commitment to the delivery of public services, I feel that my experience and skill may be better utilized in a completely new environment" - news, which we're sure will come as something of a surprise to children and family development community members.

Ms. Knox's email goes on to state "the Ministry is currently positioned with a vision to make some significant and important changes in how service will be delivered." And she remains supportive of that vision. The following is a complete copy of that email, along with a follow-up message from deputy minister Lesley du Toit.

***

Dear friends and colleagues,

It is with very mixed emotions that I announce today that I will be leaving the Ministry of Children and Family Development. As many of you are aware I have spent the majority of my past 31 years of service moving through a variety of jobs in this organization. I am profoundly honoured and proud to have worked in this field and in the public service. I have worked with people at all levels in the organization both at a regional level and a provincial level, and the passion and commitment of those I have had the privilege of working with always impresses me. The lessons I have learned from the children, youth and families we serve will never leave me.

The Ministry is currently positioned with a vision to make some significant and important changes in how service will be delivered over the next number of years. I remain commited and support that vision and believe that when it is achieved children, youth, families and communities will achieve better outcomes. I wish Lesley and all of you the best as you now move forward with implementation.

Over the past several months a combination of personal and professional challenges have caused me to reflect on my future. While I still feel a great deal of energy and commitment to the delivery of public services, I feel that my experience and skill may be better utilized in a completely new environment. As a result I have asked the Deputy and the Public Service Agency to support me in pursuing other opportunities. I am grateful that both Lesley and staff in the Public Service Agency have agreed to support me to make this change.

I look forward to the opportunity to continue to make a contribution to public service in a different capactiy. I wish all of you the best in moving the change agenda forward and every success in the important work you do.

***

Dear colleagues

By now you will have received a message from our Chief Operations Officer, Donna Knox, indicating that she will be leaving MCFD. It is with sadness that I have accepted Donna's desire to pursue other opportunities, although I deeply respect that this is Donna's decision to make.

Donna has served this ministry and government for many years and in many ways has given a life-time of service to the children, youth and families of this province. While most of these young people will never know this, they have been blessed to have Donna act on their behalf as a strong advocate and someone who has always cared deeply for their well-being.

I know that many of you who have worked for so long with Donna will miss her dearly.

On behalf of myself and the leadership team I want to thank Donna for the courage and support she demonstrated in taking on the COO role. It has meant a lot to us all at the PO to have someone of her calibre and experience provide additional leadership in this office.

We wish Donna good things for the future and know that she will remain a friend and support to this ministry.

Kind regards

Lesley du Toit,
Deputy Minister,
Ministry of Children and Family Development

9 Comments

Great spin!!! Truth, however, always wins out and we will find out if there are other reasons Donna Knox chose to leave MCFD at this particular time.

So, the COO chose to leave just as the "Action Plan" was provided to senior staff.

Needless to say, this is a very bad time for her to be leaving MCFD, given that she would be the key player responsible for implementing the “Action Plan”.

How do you say “time to bail out”?

After 18 months on the job it is a DRAFT Action Plan. "Key player"? Nobody is a "key player" but the DM.

It’s one thing to leave for a lucrative job offering in the private sector, but quite another to leave for simply “any” other opportunity within the ranks of the public service. It almost smells like a cry for anywhere but MCFD. Not that I blame her, but clearly the MCFD door continues to revolve.

If we continue to demonize this Ministry I suspect the trend will continue

hey kevin, You sound like Gary Mason.it is the journalists and opposition that do not leave Abbott anytime to deal with health issues and it is the demonising that causes these issues to not be fixed.Poor poor people, being harasses by the big bad bullies.You need to hear what your illustrious leader use to say in opposition about MCFD, everything opposite to what he is practicing now.
Hey, nice spin though, maybe they will give you a raise.

I worked with Donna for a brief period on the Ombudsman's Child and Youth Team (now defunct). She impressed me as a very fair person always concerned about the health, well being and interests of children and youth. Enjoy the break Donna and hopefully you will return to child welfare(as you did after your Ombudsman stint). Eric Jones

SB,

I don’t know who Gary Mason is, and I was around when Campbell used to rail against MCFD, very harshly I might add. I thought his attacks then were every bit as wrong as they would be today. This ministry is about children and the lousy things that can happen to them. I don’t think the people who work in the Ministry have an easy job, but I think it is time that everyone; including the media and the politicians started showing more support for the difficult work that has to be done here.

I don't know who Kevin Larsen is, and I was around when Gary Mason used to write the same kind of pro-Liberal news copy for the Sun.

"I think it is time that everyone; including the media and the politicians started showing more support for the difficult work that has to be done here."

A fine sentiment from a very unlikely quarter, Kevin Larsen! I wonder if he realizes that effective support from the politicians would mean, more than anything else, fully adequate staffing levels, i.e. more government employees on the public payroll?

As for Gary Mason printing Liberal propaganda, my favourite episode of that was his thoroughly silly pro-Emerson puff piece in the 2006 election, which soon had to be turned into one of the more peevish and scorned anti-Emerson rants a few weeks later! But Gary's not alone. There's now Keith Baldrey pumping out a steady stream of pro-Liberal material on everything from the Tsawwassen Treaty to the MLA pay raise. There was a time, about ten to fifteen years ago, when Baldrey took a lot of heat for being too pro-NDP, or at least too pro-Glen Clark. Clearly those days are long gone, perhaps because Baldrey, like some posters here, has taken an intense personal dislike to Carole James and her staff.

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