A Mary time

As British Columbia's new minister of children and family development, Mary Polak is responsible not just for protecting both the province's most vulnerable children one of the government's most politically vulnerable ministries. As such, Public Eye and The Times Colonist's Lindsay Kines had some questions for the new minister following her swearing-in - such how she's going to improve the relationship between her deputy minister Lesley du Toit and the province's children and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. The following is a recording of that scrum.


With a chronic shortage of foster families in recent years, childless same-sex couples have provided an important pool of potential homes for the Ministry to place children in government care. I wonder if Ms. Polak will continue to support that policy?

#1. NOBODY DOES IT BETTER than the Honourable Mary Polak, MLA. I am so proud of one of my heroes for openly, proudly seeking out political danger!!! Naysayers are already saying she is about to die a political death. But then again if anybody in the BCLib caucus can cheat political death... it's her.

#2. I hope PublicEyeOnline is making money, the YouTubes lately are my idea of news - straight, raw, unedited data for news junkies to work with. Not some soundbyte, not something Bridgitte Anderson or Carole James was cooking but the real quote w/ context.

#3. For both: "Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others." It took guts to dive into a hot landing zone of a ministry, it also took guts to invest in this kind of unique journalism.

Wasn't this the woman who when on Surrey school Board spent s lot of folks money at assorted courts trying to ban kids books? Gordo can sure pick em. Children and families have had many so called leaders on the files and not much improvement has been noticed.

Avoter, thanks for the drive-by.

This seems an appropriate rebuttal:

Polak said she stands by her actions with regard to the books.

“I think it is unfortunate that in the heat of controversial issues, labels and names get attached,” Polak said by phone from Victoria. “I am quite confident that anyone who wants to review my record on the matter of the three books will find that I have never been known to hold antigay or homophobic sentiments. I would be one of the first to decry those.”

She added: “I have a very libertarian view when it comes to how public education and the state ought to operate. In my view, the state always has to be very careful not to stray into areas of private morality. Whether or not it is the topic of same-sex families or schools talking about religion, it is that same kind of determination.”

Polak said she would not describe herself as a social conservative, adding that her federal Conservative membership “has probably lapsed”. She said she did work on the 2004 leadership bid of Belinda Stronach, who later crossed the floor to the federal Liberals.

Not quite sure how that is a defense Josef? She stands by her actions? She feels it is in keeping with her being a libertarian to ban books?

I hope you could have found a better quote than that!

No, Andy in Victoria, I hope you find a better intrepretation of events than "ban books". No, she fought a controversial cirriculum move for Kindergarten & First Grade that tweaked many noses in the small-c conservative Surrey community for her constituents by far-left activists.

I always find this sad and pathetic how these trite arguments are made about public servants w/o sources - whether they are MPs, MLAs or local gov't officials. At least PublicEyeOnline airs a lot of original source material.

Let me also add Andy in Victoria that as a libertarian there's always libraries & Amazon.ca & Chapters.ca & used book stores & the Internet to circumvent the lowest common denominator of government education services. Always.

Well Polak has one supporter in JosfK. Time will tell is she really is the saint she or he claimes the person is by her results or lack thereof. Mind you Saint Gordo pulls the strings and rhey obey or else it back to the back row and less money and assorted perks. The kids needs are secondary

Polak: "I have a very libertarian view when it comes to how... the state ought to operate.

Curiouser and curiouser... Why would Campbell appoint a self-declared Libertarian to head the one ministry where state intervention in the lives of families is the raison d'etre and the name of the game? I guess that would be one way to reduce the number of children in care and achieve budget saving, but wouldn't that be missing the point entirely?

Christensen barely kept this ministry afloat and he's one of the finest. There's no way Polak will be able to manage the hundreds of special interests contained in this ministry. Anyone who knows Mary, agrees she's the first to call for a party. There's no party at MCFD. But I like Mary, so I hope I'm wrong. This challenge will determine her political future in my opinion.

Well we're having A Mary Time here.

dawn, we'll just have to see. Premier Platnium as I like to call him said on V-Day 2009 that "We are dedicating ourselves to the next generation. This is their province." Giving more liberty, holding to account gov't to do right by those who need a mom - led by a minister who's been a single mum for quite some time - well, my faith is absolute. Knock on wood. She's the first to fight for what's right, my kind of political hero.

Jim, thanks for that pithy comment of 0937 Hours. Either the Honourable Mary Polak, MLA will go down in Glen Clark-esque PacifiCatastrophe-size infamy... or she will end up being Premier Polak, MLA in 2013. I am certain if she makes this, she'll truly be the heir to Premier Gordon Campbell.

Premier Polak?? Josef, you're clearly unable to determine the political volatility of this Province. No one that far right will EVER be a Premier in this Province. EVER. Premier Campbell's greatest victory (in conjunction with Martin Brown) is not the three consecutive terms but brokering the Liberal party cooperative between the true liberals and the right wing. Polak would send that settlement into ruins so it would never happen. Take her ministership as the victory it is but get a hold of yourself before you have anymore dillusional thoughts of the next step. You're not doing your "hero" any favours right now and I'm sure she'd be the first to tell you that. Sheesh.

Okay Jim, I copy :-). Our hero needs all the favours right now she can get.

It's going to be fascinating to watch du Toit manage a female Minister. Let's see if Minister Polak has what it takes to stand up to her Deputy Minister.

taxpayer, I have about as much doubt in this as I do water is wet. Not news to regulars here thought.

Victoria Times-Colonist did a story on the Honourable Mary Polak, MLA today! I hope fellow Polakites will sortie to counter the spin.

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