Christy Clark demotes Harry Bloy
in pre-session cabinet shuffle

Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun, Sept. 26, 2011


Premier Christy Clark shuffled the B.C. cabinet Monday.
Photo: Wayne Leidenfrost, PNG.


VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark demoted her beleaguered minister of social development Monday, telling reporters that Harry Bloy had not measured up to the demands of communicating program changes that were affecting developmentally disabled clients and their families.

“I thought it was time to make a change,” Clark said, explaining her mini-cabinet shuffle.

“Particularly in this ministry, it’s important that the minister is communicating changes, which are very difficult, particularly for vulnerable clients, they’re communicating those changes to the clientele and to the families that might be affected.”

Bloy, the only Liberal MLA to support Clark’s bid for the leadership, has drawn strong criticism from the NDP and advocates for the disabled ever since Clark appointed him to the job.

He will remain in cabinet as minister of state for multiculturalism, a junior role with a low profile.

In an interview Monday, Bloy said he thought he was doing a good job as minister, but understands why Clark had to shuffle him out.

“I think my performance was good, but I think the perception will be the total opposite,” he said, adding he believes the media placed an intense focus on only one aspect of his performance.

“The media perceived my performance as minister based on question period responses or some scrums, where most of the work is done at the cabinet table, working within my ministry, with individuals and going out and meeting stakeholders,” he said.

Bloy added that once criticism began to mount over his communication skills, he felt “there was no stopping it.”

“I was always being attacked — if that’s the right word — on how I communicated,” he said.

“It didn’t matter what I said, it was always about how it was delivered, and I think that’s such a small part of the job.”

Bloy said he is proud of his accomplishments while minister, including some decisions he said have yet to be announced.

He added that while he’s disappointed to lose the job, he is excited about his new role and doesn’t take issue with the decision.

“The Opposition have just been lining up [criticism against] the ministry since the beginning of September and it was time for a change,” he said.

“I understand, just the way it snowballed and where it was at, the premier had to make the decision and I respect that.”

Community Living B.C. — a government agency that had been under Bloy’s control — has been closing group homes and cutting programs, all moves Bloy was called upon to explain to the public in his capacity as the minister responsible.

With the legislature reconvening next Monday, the New Democratic Party would have consistently held Bloy’s feet to the fire during question period.

On Monday, New Democratic Party leader Adrian Dix called Bloy’s demotion “an admission [Clark] made a very serious mistake and continued on with that for some time.”

Dix said he thinks it sends the wrong signal to keep Bloy in cabinet, even in a junior role.

“She took care of Mr. Bloy. He continues to be in the cabinet,” he said, adding he believes Clark did not take similar care of the families affected by changes the ministry was making.

“We’ve seen these dramatic closures to group homes, we’ve seen a ministry that’s failing to deliver and provide even the most basic of services in that area and the premier is very focused on the Liberal family, but seemingly not very focused on those families.”

On Monday, Clark said that while she needed to make the change, she believes Bloy contributed greatly during his time as minister.

“He really advocated for the community and he worked incredibly hard,” she said.

“CLBC has done a lot of things right and I think Harry can take some of the credit for that.”

Stephanie Cadieux, who had been minister of labour, now becomes minister of social development. Margaret MacDiarmid, whom Clark dropped from cabinet when she became premier, will take over as minister of labour, citizen services and open government.

The changes full are as follows:

Stephanie Cadieux becomes Minister of Social Development.

Margaret MacDiarmid becomes Minister of Labour, Citizen Services and Open Government.

Harry Bloy becomes Minister of State for Multiculturalism.

Ron Cantelon becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health.

Gordon Hogg becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Non-Profit Partnerships to the Minister of Social Development.

Donna Barnett becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Communities to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Richard Lee becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Asia-Pacific to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.

Harry Bloy is very stupid, very dishonest and very typical of the MLAs
who serve B.C.’s police status quo. To read more about hapless Harry Bloy’s
blundering and the unelected sociopath who controls him, click here.
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