Ass-covering

Speaking of politics and such, I received a couple of responses to a message I sent out. You’ll recall that I was extremely displeased about the memo written by Pubic Works Deputy Minister David Marshall. Don’t even get me started again. Just follow the link if you want more details. The most amusing thing about the situation is the Director himself didn’t know about the memo his overzealous Deputy wrote. I can imagine Marshall got an earful! Anyway, the key part of the memo read:

All persons recruited externally must be from designated groups (persons who are visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and women), except for cases having received ADM/CEO written approval. This measure will be in force until March 31, 2006, at which time we will re-assess our progress.

I flipped out and wrote a tersely worded message to the Public Works comment e-mail address and also sent a carbon copy to my MP. Public Works replied two weeks ago describing what happened followed by an explanation:

However, as a result of the concern expressed in this regard, the Department has rescinded this special measure. We apologize for any confusion this proposed measure may have caused.

Confusion? So I read it incorrectly when I understood the directive to discriminate by race and/or sex? Bullshit. It’s ass-covering that flies in the face of reason. It’s insulting. Those who contacted Public Works in outrage understood exactly what the directive meant.

My MP replied last week, but did so via post with a paper letter:

Thank you for writing to me with your concerns. As you might have heard, Public Works Minister Scott Brison rescinded the directive you referred to on Monday, November 21, as soon as he became aware of it.

I trust that this action swiftly responded to your concerns. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

He signed it and wrote in pen,

Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention — I need your input.

It was very nice, and I feel almost guilty for saying this, but I can’t help wonder if the letter, and especially the handwritten comment, is because an election is coming next month. How’s that for cynical? Either way, I still do appreciate the letter. It’s far better than the idiotic Public Works response.

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