Former Librarian and Archivist of Canada Daniel Caron in an article in Saturday's Le Devoir claims to have been the victim of an "administrative assassination". The way he sees it he faced internal opposition within LAC to his modernization and digitization plans, ideological intrusions by the Harper government which prohibited significant new acquisitions, and a lack of support, even hostility, from then Heritage Minister James Moore.
Then there's the Spanish lessons.
While Caron cannot be accused of lack of vision, one can debate whether it was the right vision, the article once again illustrates his lack of leadership skills.
He had difficult challenges to tackle. The fact that he embraced them, where he could have followed the lead of the former head of Statistics Canada, Munir Sheikh, when asked to proceed along a path he thought ill advised, illustrates he lacked the required depth of knowledge of the organization business to properly lead. To succeed he would have needed exceptional skills in selling the changes, internally and externally. He also lacked that skill. He alienated most in the external constituency by his inability to communicate and persuade.
I don't find the situation is any worse since Caron left so abruptly. Perhaps the delay in filling the vacant role is that nobody suitably qualified can be found prepared to assume the responsibilities under the conditions imposed by the Harper government.
Could the delay also have something to do with the virtual invisibility on the file of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Shelly Glover; in fact no news of any type was posted on her website from November 27 to January 31. The more recent posts are routine. When asked in Question Period on 31 January by MP Pierre Nantel "When will they (the Harper government) start to treat our archival heritage with respect and appoint someone competent to run LAC?", the reply came not from Minister Glover but MP Paul Calandra who responded "there is a process under way, and I am sure a decision will be made in the fullness of time..."
No M. Caron, the victim is Canada's heritage.