Du Toit out as top bureaucrat at kids ministry

"Sadly, I am writing to let you know that as of today I am no longer the Deputy Minister of MCFD and will be leaving the BC Public Service." That's how Lesley du Toit said goodbye today after it was announced she wouldn't be serving under the new Clark administration. Her political boss, Mary Polak, meanwhile fared a bit better - being reassigned to be the minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation. Ms. Polak is succeeded by Mary McNeil. Meanwhile, former health services chief administrative officer Stephen Brown has taken over as the top bureaucrat at children and family development. The following is a complete copy of Ms. du Toit's email.

Mon 14/03/2011 1:07 PM
Subject: Message from Lesley du Toit

Dear Colleagues,

Sadly, I am writing to let you know that as of today I am no longer the Deputy Minister of MCFD and will be leaving the BC Public Service. It has been a real honour and privilege to serve the children and families of BC alongside you. All of you, no matter what your role in MCFD, can be immensely proud of the work you do and manner in which you do it. This Ministry's heroes (you), and the heroic work you do may go unrecognised publicly, but that does not make you less than what you are. Most importantly you are the heroes that the most vulnerable children and youth look to and when they do, your eyes need to be on them and their families. In the greater scheme of things that is really all that matters. Their evaluation and opinion of you and this ministry is what truly makes the difference.

I have learned so much from all of you in these 5 years and have enjoyed every opportunity I have had to meet you and talk with you. Thank you for the opportunity and for what you have contributed to my life and ongoing work for and with children. No matter your role in MCFD, I know that your hearts and minds are focussed on what is best for children and that you have all worked tirelessly to bring about change so that we could continue to improve outcomes for children and families. The principles and values we hold with regard to children, families and communities make us who we are and I have no doubt that you will continue to be who you are and need to be, and that you will do what you do with strength and courage.

I want to thank all who sit on our Leadership Team, including those staff in my office for their complete dedication to children and to the development of the entire ministry. I realise that our ministry is so large that many of you would never had a chance to meet the full team. What you should know and can be sure of is that they are a team that will give you all the support you need. They are full of courage, enthusiasm, commitment, vision, leadership, they go above and beyond what their duties demand and they do it with love and determination, and most of all; they will put children and families first while managing significant responsibilities. I have worked with many teams over many years in this field, including the team in South Africa, under Mandela, and I can say I have never been prouder than to have worked with those who lead this ministry in regions and in the provincial office.

Thank you to you all.

Take care



Ding Dong the Witch is dead!

Triple Ding Dong for the departure of Du Doit, Polak & MacDiarmid. Finally, a slim ray of hope for BC's at-risk kids.

Pity that Moira Stillwell got the cold shoulder from the new boss though - she seemed one of the few with both smarts and heart and her leadership campaign demonstrated thoughtful ideas grounded in reality vs. dogma or populist rhetoric.

I wonder what will be McNeil's new take on the endless mission of MCFD restructuring, or whether one might hope for a new focus on simply helping families and children in need (proactively, effectively, etc) instead of on the endless quest for the perfect bureaucratic structure?

A great day for humanity. Du Troit just created trouble, trouble and more trouble.

Shame Polak had to go, but her resume & experience & interests & time in MCFD will help in aboriginal affairs.

Pretty sure not many are heartbroken about this turn of affairs!

After many years working to get modern treaties, I simply cannot see Ms.Polak as being the person to gain much ground in treaty making. Glad to see her ex deputy got the boot? Wonder how much it will cost us to get rid of her?

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