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

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

In photos: The 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Images from Friday evening and Saturday at the festival grounds.

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

North Okanagan-Shuswap Liberal candidate responds to Trudeau ethics report

Prime Minister’s immediate response to commissioner’s findings appreciated

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read