Police called in on B.C. government email deletion

Privacy commissioner says BC Liberal culture of secrecy violates information law, staffer lied under oath

Techology

A B.C. Liberal political staffer has resigned and his conduct has been referred to the RCMP by the Information and Privacy Commissioner after an investigation of his deletion of government emails that were being requested under freedom of information laws.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said three investigations showed records were intentionally destroyed to avoid public release. One of those requests was was for records related to public hearings on risks of travelling along Highway 16 in northern B.C.

NDP leader John Horgan said the investigation shows the conduct of B.C. Liberal government staffers, including Premier Christy Clark’s deputy chief of staff Michele Cadario, reveals “a culture of deception, a culture of deceit, a culture of delete, delete, delete.”

Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk told reporters the reference to the RCMP is related to transportation ministry staffer George Gretes testifying under oath to the commissioner. Denham said Gretes lied about his actions while under oath.

Virk said the government has accepted Gretes’ resignation and has called on former information and privacy commissioner David Loukidelis to respond to Denham’s finding that records were routinely deleted in violation of freedom of information legislation.

Denham started investigating the Highway 16 information request after a complaint from Tim Duncan, made after Duncan left his job as executive assistant to Transportation Minister Todd Stone. Duncan told the commissioner that Gretes deleted a series of emails from Duncan’s office computer in December 2014 after they were requested under freedom of information law.

Stone told reporters Thursday he has also “triple deleted” his own emails, and that he disagrees with Denham’s interpretation of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

“I adhere to the act,” Stone said. “I expect all of my staff to adhere to the act.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Overnight paving work near Abbotsford could snarl highway traffic

Fraser Valley motorists told to expect detours as the paving work continues until July 14 at 5 a.m.

Nomination period closing soon for Abbotsford’s Arty Awards

Deadline of Aug. 1 set for 16th annual event which highlights local artists

Virtual Career Panel discusses job challenges faced by newcomers

Archway Community Services in Abbotsford participates in event on July 16

Abbotsford Hospice Society holds community scavenger hunt

Road to Gratitude event takes place on Sunday, July 19 by the carload

New book celebrates people and events that shaped Abbotsford

Pre-sales launched for Abbotsford – A Diverse Tapestry, to be released in fall

‘It’s really frustrating’: B.C. Indigenous groups share impact of border closures

The closures have resulted in disputes between Indigenous groups and local businesses

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Most Read