Transportation Minister Todd Stone

Highway 16 records destroyed, ex-staffer says

Former assistant to Transportation Minister Todd Stone says supervisor deleted emails from his computer after FOI request

The B.C. NDP is calling for an investigation of missing records they have been seeking on community meetings along Highway 16 in northern B.C.

NDP MLAs produced letters from a former assistant to Transportation Minister Todd Stone, who says a supervisor deleted emails from his computer to keep them from being considered for a freedom of information (FOI) request.

A history of missing and murdered women along the remote highway from Prince George to Prince Rupert led to a series of community meetings last year. Opposition critics have been demanding records from the meetings, and calling for additional bus service along the highway to keep vulnerable people from hitch-hiking.

Former executive assistant Tim Duncan wrote to B.C. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Dunham Thursday, saying his supervisor told him to delete a dozen of his emails in November 2014 after an FOI request came to the ministry.

“When I hesitated, he took away my keyboard, deleted the emails and returned the keyboard stating, ‘It’s done. Now you don’t have to worry about it any more’,” Duncan wrote to Denham.

Confronted with the letter in question period Thursday, Premier Christy Clark said records should not be deleted once an FOI request is made. Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk said not every email is considered a government record.

Stone said he intends to have a “frank” discussion with his ministerial assistant George Gretes about the accusation that Gretes deleted the emails.

In an email to NDP leader John Horgan’s office, Duncan acknowledged he had no evidence of the incident or the content of the deleted messages. He said he blew the whistle on the Highway 16 incident because his own father was murdered in a domestic incident in 2010, and he believes the families of missing and murdered people “deserve better.”

Duncan was appointed to his job in October 2014. He told the NDP he left “the cesspool that is the B.C. government in March” and he believes abuse of the FOI process is “widespread and most likely systemic within the Clark government.”

 

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

Just Posted

Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer notes provincial health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

COVID-19: Latest update from City of Parksville

Playgrounds remain closed, bylaw officers to support enforcement of rules

Parksville, RDN moves to Stage 2 watering restrictions as of April 1

‘Snowpack accumulation has been below average’

PQB crime report: Resident provides banking information after email saying they had won lottery

Fraud, theft among 240 complaints received by Oceanside RCMP in one-week period

PQBeat Podcast: Talking cars with Philip Wolf and Peter McCully

Listen: Chat includes best and worst vehicles, dream rides and more

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

COVID-19: List of postponed/cancelled events in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Send your organization’s updates to editor@pqbnews.com

Nanaimo sheep farmer voices fears over flung dog feces

Deborah Wytinck worries parasites in dog feces tossed into pasture could infect her sheep

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

‘This is no joke’: B.C. woman in Alberta hospital asks people to stay home during COVID-19

‘I want people to start listening to what the doctors are saying. This is no joke, please stay home’

Rest stops barring washroom access to truckers a ‘huge problem’ as COVID-19 spreads

Teamsters Canada says truckers are increasingly being denied warm meals

Most Read