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.”

 

Just Posted

37th Annual Gazette Hamper Fund helps make the season bright

Hamper Fund remains more than $9,000 short of its 2017 financial goal

Community support keeps girls hockey alive on the North Island

“A successful program depends on community engagement and support.”

State terminates Cooke’s lease for Port Angeles salmon farm

PORT ANGELES — Meetings are expected to begin this week between the… Continue reading

Environment Canada says snow in the forecast for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for flurries and cold air throughout the next week

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture complements an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. wildfire evacuee admits to setting hotel room fire

A Williams Lake wildfire evacuee admitted to setting Kamloops hotel room on fire

UPDATE: Grizzly bear trophy hunting over in B.C.

Now only Indigenous people can hunt bears for meat

Star Blue Jays announced for Vancouver ‘Winter Tour’ event in January

Toronto’s pro baseball team heads west for two-day event

UPDATE: ‘Multiple fatalities’ as Amtrak derails in Washington State

13 cars jumped the tracks as train made its first voyage between Seattle and Portland

Mental effects of wildfire still linger in Fort McMurray

‘Resilient, but tired:’ Mental effects of wildfire lingering in Fort McMurray

Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

AP Exclusive: Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

Calgary Flames thump Vancouver Canucks 6-1

Mark Giordano, Sam Bennett lead the way as Flames thump Canucks 6-1

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read