Deletions violate citizens’ rights

With the federal election done and over, it would have been nice to have received a bit of a break, a breath of air not tainted

With the federal election done and over, it would have been nice to have received a bit of a break, a breath of air not tainted by news of political wrongdoing. No such luck here in B.C., where residents are currently receiving an education on the process of “triple deleting” emails and the ramifications this has when done by those in power who at one point, offered some semblance of promise to be more transparent.

The gist of the story is how the B.C. government, particularly staff in the Ministry of Transportation thoroughly deleted their email history related to the infamous “Highway of Tears.”

As for the significance of the deleted emails, while there is no longer a record of their contents, their deletion constitutes a violation of B.C.’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has also asked police to investigate a former ministry assistant for allegedly lying under oath after deleting Highway of Tears emails.

Premier Christy Clark has since ordered all political staff and cabinet ministers to save all emails, pending the completion of a review of problems relating to freedom of information.

In interviews after Denham’s report, Transportation minister Todd Stone nonchalantly admitted to having triple deleted his own emails from time to time, noting that is “how all British Columbians manage their email.”

Of course, most British Columbians aren’t paid by the taxpayer to serve the province.

 

 

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