Mary Polak has come a long way since being elected to the provincial legislature six years ago. Back then - rightly or wrongly - she was best known for being a book banning Surrey school trustee. But now she's at the big table as the minister of children and family development, having succeeded in not letting her political past define her political future. So what I'm trying to understand is why Minister Polak would jeopardize all the work she has put in to convince voters she's not a social conservative extremist by putting someone who has expressed extremist views on the B.C. College of Social Workers's board of directors.
Like Minister Polak, Ms. Stilwell is known banning books featuring same-sex parents while on Surrey's school board. But, in 1993, she was also the leader of a provincial political party that opposed, in her words, the "practice of homosexuality." And, a year later, she said it was "disgusting" 76 percent of Canadian Catholic-school students approve of abortion for victims of rape.
Now, it's possible Ms. Stilwell won't let her views affect her work on the board. It's also possible those views have changed. But if they haven't and they do affect Ms. Stilwell's work on the board, it will be a scandal Ms. Polak will have to wear - reminding everyone she was a book banning school trustee before she became a cabinet minister. And the political future she could have had will seem a very long way away.