Premier Christy Clark says she seldom uses email for government business.

Keep all emails, Clark tells cabinet

Premier Christy Clark says procedures have changed little in the past 10 years, and she thought information law was being followed

Premier Christy Clark has ordered all cabinet ministers and their political staff to keep every email they send until new procedures are in place to decide what is necessary for the public record and freedom of information requests.

Clark issued the instruction Friday after B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner condemned the widespread practice of “triple deleting” emails so they can’t be stored in daily computer backups.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said her investigation showed records were intentionally destroyed to avoid public release. One of those requests was for records related to meetings with leaders of remote communities on risks of travelling along Highway 16 in northern B.C.

Clark said Friday she accepts Denham’s recommendations, but there are different legal opinions on what is a “transitory document” that is required to be destroyed and a record that is required to be kept.

“We thought, I thought that everything was being done properly, and that’s because there has been really almost no change in the way things have been done for a decade,” Clark said.

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.”

Clark said she is taking no action against Cadario, who told Denham she deletes almost all of her sent emails every day. Clark now wants everything kept until former privacy commissioner and deputy attorney general David Loukidelis reviews the situation and decides what must stay and what must go.

Clark said she seldom uses email for official business, preferring face-to-face meetings, official records kept for cabinet and its committees, and phone calls.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said Friday he has made a practice of triple deleting emails that he considers transitory.

A complaint from Tim Duncan, Stone’s former ministerial assistant, triggered Denham’s investigation of a freedom of information request regarding Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert.

 

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Nanoose Bay woman celebrates 90th birthday with Model T ride as neighbours line streets

WATCH: Pandemic ruined plans for a party, so friends got creative

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by Qualicum Beach musician Phil Dwyer

COVID-19: No clear timeline for replacement shelter solution in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Workers and people affected by homelessness call for immediate help

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

COVID-19 PQB business update: looking for takeout food?

Email messages to editor@pqbnews.com

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read