College buddies

Earlier, we told you Children and Family Development Minister Mary Polak had appointed longtime ally Heather Stilwell, an outspoken social conservative, to B.C. College of Social Workers's board of directors. But Ms. Stilwell isn't the only new member of that board with a connection to the Campbell administration. Lorna Dittmar ran as a provincial Liberal candidate in Prince George-Mount Robson during the 1996 election - something not mentioned in the biography provided by the government's board resourcing and development office.


Is anyone really surprised by the stacking of a committee by the King Gordo team

I am really grateful for the coverage that the College of Social Workers is getting within it's first year of operation. As a former Chair of the Board of Registration for Social Workers, I think that it is unfortunate that the coverage has been focussed in this manner. The other 11 College Board members are an amazing collection of some of the best social work practitioners and public members that the profession could ask for!! With the election of Elizabeth Jones as College Board Chair, I know that the profession and the public are in great hands.
As to the appointment of Heather Stilwell, I applaud this appointment as a social worker!! For my numerous years on the BRSW, it was impossible to get the ear of the Minister of MCFD who is responsible for regulating social work as well as running MCFD. Guess which gets more attention? Having someone as well connected as Ms. Stilwell to the Minister means that social work issues will get a slightly better chance to get in front of Mary Polak.
As to concerns about Ms. Stilwell's politics, I am also unconcerned. She is one member of a 12 member board that is run by Roberts Rule of Order. Her input will be valuable to understanding the broad spectrum of concerns and issues that the public face in relation to the provision of competent social work practice. She will add value to any committee because of her parliamentary experience (in government), her views, if dissenting will strengthen the discourse and provide an opportunity for broader discourse.
If we truly believe that the function of a College of professionals is to regulate the profession and ensure the safety of the public when it comes to the practice of that profession, then having a strong (perhaps adversarial) public voice on the College Board is absolutely necessary for the proper functioning.
Ed Berry, RSW

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