Yesterday, we told you the ministry of children and family development's top bureaucrat Lesley du Toit refused to say whether she "sit down and meet and talk" directly with the province's independent child protection watchdog. This, in response to a question from provincial New Democrat legislator Mable Elmore, a member of the legislature's select standing committee on children and youth. So what prompted that question, you may wonder? Well, it may have had something to do with Ms. du Toit's refusal to provide the watchdog, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, with any further personal briefings on her so-called practice change initiative. But it also has to do with Ms. Turpel-Lafond's more recent request for regular monthly meetings with Ms. du Toit.
In a letter sent to the committee on March 1, the representative stated, "Meetings between the senior staff of my office and the Chief Operating Office or ADMs of the ministry are no substitute for a regular process with the Deputy Minister as it has been my experience to receive conflicting correspondence, draft material and other information which does not allow me to develop an accurate picture of the direction of the ministry or its accountability."
The following is a complete copy of that letter and the correspondence that triggered it.