Extreme ministry makeover?

The ministry of children and family development made $560,120 in renovations to the fourth floor of its Victoria headquarters, Public Eye has learned. That amount was $300,000 more than the original budget suggested the ministry's executive financial officer Sarf Ahmed. This, according to documents obtained via a freedom of information request. And it included spending $41,500 on a consultant who was to "incorporate design elements that create a warm, welcoming environment" for the First Nations community. Among those elements: an $8,500 seven-foot cedar totem pole and additional art pieces totalling $21,877.51.

An information note dated January 24, 2007 also states the renovations were, in part, undertaken to "create a larger meeting space filling in a much needed and long standing shortage of a suitable sized room" to host gatherings of 50 people or more.

In an email, top ministry bureaucrat Lesley du Toit stated the "Minister agrees on why we are doing (the renovations) and is OK with going ahead." Indeed, children and family development communications director Barb Wright defended its cost, saying the renovations are "$68,762 less than a typical project for B.C. government office space of a similar size."

But provincial New Democrat children and family development critic Nicholas Simons slashed out at the expenditure, saying, "I think most First Nations and aboriginal people would like the ministry to focus on more important things like maybe reducing the number of aboriginal children coming into ministry care, maybe making sure social workers are adequately resourced. And they should probably pay a little more attention to substance over style."

10 Comments

But are they improving staff relations? Are the familes getting better service? slap another piant on the old boat and someone will buy it seems to work in that Ministry.

What are they talking about? If they want to make MCFD more comfortable for Aboriginal people then they should spend the money to make additions to the regional offices not Ms. Du Toit's office. The regional offices is where the aboriginal clients are not at provincial office?

The Minister in question Period today was looking like a fool. He didn't know anyhting. Then he started saying the costs were in budget, ect etc. Nobody seemed to agree with him. Hey it's only money, ours. I fould prefer that sort of cash made it down through the ranks a bit to get more results closer to the problems. When does this ladies contract run out?

Funny how they made a meeting room that seats 50 and they refuse to consult with so many of the service providers.

Good picture of part of the reno. Front page of the T/C paper. Way to go Public Eye Online.
Yesterday we got a long letter from the eye specialists are begging for 400,000 for a special machine to reduce blindness, we see 560,000 to make the board room of another ministery look sharp. This government has no shame.

Now we definitely know where the priorities are.
Good to have that cleared up, I was confused for awhile.

While the minister is ultimately accountable, I sysmpathize that you can seldom win. No doubt, the misister hoped that the renovation would solve the well known issues in the department. Unfortunately, renovation of office spaces has little to do with renovation of semior and middle management....

I hate to be (sounding)
like a para-noi-ick,

but like we warned you about the liberals
way back in 2000...

TAKE THE CONTROL AWAY FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S
THEY SAID....!!!!!!!!!!!!

--------- So ,,,,

are we "better off"...?

- The business modle ...????????? ---

turns out to be "MONKEY-BUSINESS"...!!!!!

both in name & actions.

ted...

KS implies that yet another "renovation" of senior and middle management is needed at MCFD. Well how many times do we need to play that game before we figure out it's not working? I only ask because there has been incredible turnover at all levels of MCFD over the past few years. Kinda funny that Gove, Morton, Morley and Hughes never saw that as the problem, don't ya think?

So that's what the endless talk about Transformation was all about. Oh yeah, I'm sure that First Nations folks who come to meet with Dumb Minister Leslie du Toit and her Executive staff will really feel the "warm and welcoming environment" -- or will the warmth they feel be more of a slow burn over their cultural appropriation and the unconscionable waste of $300K when MCFD's funded agencies, native and non-native, could have found much better uses for the money. I hope du Toit thinks of that whenever she admires her luxurious new digs.

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