Shared pain

The ministry of aboriginal relations and reconciliation is being restructured as a result of the "current economic situation." And that restructuring means the ministry's corporate services assistant deputy minister - Barbara Reuther - will be "leaving" the bureaucracy. This, according to an email authored by aboriginal relations and reconciliation deputy minister Bob de Faye.

Writing to staff, Mr. de Faye stated the government is establishing a new group to provide corporate services to the aboriginal relations and reconciliations, healthy living and sport and the BC Olympic and Paralympic Games Secretariat. One assistant deputy minister will be leading that group. And that means Ms. Reuther is "leaving the Public Service to pursue other opportunities."

Earlier this month, Premier Gordon Campbell told reporters "our executive ranks will be reduced by 20 percent" because of budget tightening. The following is a complete copy of Mr. de Faye's email.

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From: de Faye, Bob ABR:EX
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:45 AM
To: ABR excl Minister's Office
Subject: Deputy's Message

MARR Colleagues,

As all of us in the public service are aware, government is currently working to address challenges presented by the current economic situation; I want to share with you how MARR is being impacted.

As part of government's efforts to address budget challenges, Corporate Services at MARR is being restructured to be part of a shared service across three ministries - MARR, Healthy Living and Sport, and the Olympic Games Secretariat. One ADM will be leading this new group, and as a result of this, Barbara Reuther is leaving the Public Service to pursue other opportunities.

I would like to sincerely thank Barbara for her service to MARR since 2005 and to the broader public service. For the past ten years, Barbara has held a number of senior positions across government. Her leadership has directly contributed to the success of this organization and Corporate Services and we benefitted from her work in many areas including business planning and treaty accounting to cite just two examples. We will all miss her, and wish her all the very best in the future.

At this time I do not know how this restructuring will impact day to day operations. More information will be provided in the coming days on new reporting lines for the Corporate Services team. I want to reassure you that we are working hard to support our people during this transition especially those in Corporate Services. The goal during this challenging time continues to be minimizing impacts to our workforce. Look for more communication from me once details of the shared service arrangement are known. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor or call me directly.

While the upcoming budget activities are important, our commitment to continuing the ministry's crucial work with Aboriginal people remains strong. Yesterday, your executive held their quarterly executive retreat. It was my first opportunity to participate with the executive team in a day-long session focussed on our work and discussing ministry priorities over the coming months.

We had a very productive session led by Julian about the vision for the ministry, our tools and how we need to position ourselves for the future. We also talked about our workload, priorities, budgets, staff engagement and improving internal communications.

Over the coming weeks I have asked the executive team to provide more opportunities for dialogue with you, including a series of themed policy and planning sessions to define key priorities, approaches and directions. These sessions will engage a broad cross-section of staff for creative input and encourage more open discussion between divisions, stimulate creative and innovative thinking and help define some new approaches to doing business.

The ministry has achieved an incredible amount of success over the past several months; in fact more than has ever been realized in the treaty process in British Columbia. As we lead up to the election we will have a natural pause that allows us the chance to regroup and think about where the new opportunities are and how we're going to get there and build upon this success together.

Bob

1 Comment

Campbell sure has an interesting approach to fiscal stimulus: Tightening governnment budgets and laying off a bunch of government staff to help get you out of a deepening recession?!

Who's he getting his economic advice from - John McCain or the ghost of Andrew Mellon?

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