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

LETTER: Why are mobile lab workers not getting hazard pay?

A Pitt Meadows essential service worker questions why she and coworkers are not being compensated

PHOTOS: Maple Ridge Cubs conduct porch-based food drive

A Scouting from Home effort sees kids collecting non-perishables for the Friends In Need Food Bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

LETTER: Hear your postie’s plea about dogs

When a canine bites, it’s seldom the animal but rather the owner at fault

Gifted tablet help connect patients with loved-ones

Amid COVID, Ridge Meadows Hospital continues to receive a variety of different kinds of donations

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read