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

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Most Read