Christy Clark has replaced the head of the provincial public service, Allan Seckel. Rob Shaw and Cindy E. Harnett report for the Times Colonist:
Allan Seckel, the province’s top bureaucrat and deputy minister to the premier, will be replaced by John Dyble, now deputy minister of health services, Clark announced Friday.
The change will take effect when Clark and her new cabinet are sworn into office, which is expected to be on or around March 14.
“It’s natural for the new premier to appoint the top bureaucrat,” a spokesman for the premier-designate said.
Seckel would not talk about the circumstances around his departure, saying that should come from the premier-designate’s transition team.
However, in an email to deputy ministers and on his blog, which is one way he has communicated with the public service, he indicates he was pushed out.
Dyble will now head the 30,000-member public service, the capital region’s biggest employer. The job, which also includes the title of cabinet secretary, is a kind of go-between for the non-partisan civil service and the politicized cabinet of the B.C. government.
Dyble has been in the public service since 1989 and held senior positions in transportation, forests and health ministries. He is also a registered engineer with a master’s degree in business administration.
Clark thanked Seckel for “making a major contribution to public service over the last eight years.”
A full copy of Seckel’s goodbye email is available thanks to Sean Holman’s efforts at Public Eye Online:
There was a Dutch expression that my mother often used that translates to this: “There is a time to arrive and a time to leave, and now the time to leave has arrived.”
She usually used that expression when I didn’t want to leave, so it seems appropriate at this time for on March 14th I will be leaving the BC Public Service
When I arrived in the public service in 2003, I was struck by how hardworking, dedicated and committed everyone was. So many people all motivated to facilitate and provide public services, unified by a common engagement with the idea of making a difference. Moreover, I was impressed how resilient the institution is. Ideas come and go. Fiscal fortunes ebb and flow. But public servants soldier on.
My deputy colleagues at the time, and all of my colleagues since, have been first rate professionals. We recently had a reunion dinner of all deputies since 2001, and I said then that I had never been in a room with so many high quality people. I meant every word.
I leave the BC Public Service an advocate for the many people that make up its ranks. Our plan for the public service is called “Being the Best.” I think we can drop the word “Being”.
I am very proud of my time in the BC Public Service. I feel like I was able to participate in some great accomplishments while at the Ministry of Attorney General and while Deputy Minister to the Premier. All of these accomplishments were because of you.
I enjoyed meeting so many of you, and wish I could have met more. Good luck and “tot ziens”.
Meanwhile, Sean Holman is reporting that John Dyble, Seckel’s incoming replacement, has ties to Kevin Falcon:”John Dyble was named deputy transportation minister in June 2005, back when Mr. Falcon was responsible for that department. Then, four years later, Mr. Dyble became the province’s top health services bureaucrat when Mr. Falcon was put in charge of that ministry.”
This is particularly interesting considing recent speculation about what Christy Clark is going to do with Kevin Falcon himself – what role he will fill in cabinet, say. This is not to suggest that John Dyble isn’t a perfectly qualified candidate for his new position, but could his appointment have anything to do with keeping the Falcon camp included in the BC Liberal Party?