Forget him not?

Last year, the province's child protection watchdog concluded the ministry of children and family development had abandoned the Hughes Review recommendations. This, according to correspondence exclusively obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information request. The ministry's top bureaucrat disputed Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond's conclusion. Although, Lesley du Toit conceded those recommendations weren't being used as "blueprint."

In April 2006, former conflict of interest commissioner Ted Hughes released 62 recommendations to improve the province's child protection system following the tragic death of toddler Sherry Charlie. The government committed to acting on those recommendations.

But, in a July 19, 2007 letter, Ms. Turpel-Lafond stated her understanding - following earlier meetings with Ms. du Toit - was that the deputy's plans to reform the ministry weren't "particularly informed or inspired by the Hughes Review but by a different set of transformative principles."

In fact, according to Ms. Turpel-Lafond, during a July 16, 2007 meeting between herself and Ms. du Toit, the deputy "clarified that many of the recommendations were not possible to achieve" because the Hughes Review was "informed by ideas which are entrenched in an old system."

"I take from this that the Hughes Review recommendations are something which should be left behind in light of transformation," continued Ms. Turpel-Lafond in her letter to Ms. du Toit. But, despite that change, the representative noted there had been no "public indication" the Hughes Review recommendations had been "set aside in part or in whole."

Responding to the representative's observations, Ms. du Toit stated her plan was "strongly influenced" by the Hughes Review. But she acknowledged the review won't "be used as a blueprint for transformation."

The reason: according to Ms. du Toit, "Hughes himself makes the point that his report is not a blueprint." Instead, "the principles and process we are using have arisen out of the various reviews (of which Hughes is one) and the multiple consultation" the ministry has had with stakeholders - including service providers and First Nations leaders.

Four months later, the representative released a scathing report that found "too little evidence" within the ministry of children and family development "of a coordinated effort to implement numerous Hughes recommendations where its leadership has been required." Indeed, according to that report, the ministry had achieved no or limited progress on 22 out of the 43 recommendations directly related to children and family development.

The Campbell administration has since released a ministry action plan that states the Hughes Review "continues to inform MCFD's planning." In an April 14, 2008 letter to the representative, Ms. du Toit states "The Premier's Office has played a strong role in assisting in the finalization" of the plan.


It is infuriating that this Ministry continues to suffer from absolute mismanagement. Ms. DuToit's disingenuity and condescension are obvious and painful. How much more can these in-need children take?

It is incumbent upon the Premier of this Province to fire Ms. DuToit immediately, since it is readily apparent that nothing is working correctly in this most critical Ministry and hasn't since DuToit has been there), but unlike the Tin Man in desperate search of a heart, whose determination wins the day, the Premier is likely to locate one when it's all too late (if at all!).

How sad that the most vulnerable children in this province suffer so deeply as a result of a do-nothing Deputy Minister and an ignorant, aloof and megalomaniacal Premier.

What a disgrace.

Of course, Carole James and the NDP will be immediately on about a week and a half, after they've laid out enough pillows, in case she falls. Again.

So very tragic...

Oh I dunno A. G., the NDP and Carole James office have stated that they only respond to concerns like these if there is media coverage. This hopefully qualifies - so maybe they will get around to responding... someday.

I wonder - can the children in this province possibly be represented by a class action lawsuit to force the government into taking action to protect them?

Sean: Is Ms. DuToit among the chosen who are in line for overripe salary increases? Just thought I'd ask. And as for the Minister - two rolling heads are better than one.

DuToit is a Deputy Minister.

The 43% increases in pay apply to Deputy Ministers and Assistant Deputy Ministers.

So, yes. Yes she is getting a big fat raise in pay.

The challenge is finding anyone who cares that can actually do something about this travesty (MCF or the 43% raises).

This government sickens me with their lack of accountability.

Quote: In an April 14, 2008 letter to the representative, Ms. du Toit states "The Premier's Office has played a strong role in assisting in the finalization" of the plan.

Did Ms du Toit advise the Premier's Office and the Minister responsible for MCFD that the Regional Directors had not yet completed their Plans for the Regions for inclusion in Ms du Toit's "plan"?

Or did the Premier's Office decide that input from the Regions wasn't going to be useful for its' purpose and took over the development and writing of the Plan because they believed that she and her Senior Staff are incapable of writing an email, let alone a PLAN?

If the latter is the case, why are the tax payers subsidizing her incompetence through a "Living Allowance" and a mega salary if she is not competent to steer a plan through a process that will lead to a successful conclusion?

I'm not impressed by the fact that the Premier's Office played a "strong role in the finalization of the plan". On the contrary, it's alarming. It tells me three possible things:

1. du Toit is not competent to run MCFD, write a Plan or to undertake and facilitate "Transformation".

2. the Premier's Office is as much of a control freak as is Ms du Toit and has a political agenda for MCFD that has not been shared with the tax payers.

3. the Premier's Office has NO confidence in the abilities of Ms du Toit, in which case the Premier must fire her and replace her with an individual who IS competent rather than continuing to waste tax dollars.

I expect that the Premier's Office has actually CHOSEN to keep her which means that once they are out of office next year, the whole process will start again with a new Deputy and Senior Staff.

What a tragic waste of tax payer money on the backs of BCs children and youth.

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