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Government accused of destroying Highway of Tears emails

In a complaint to BC privacy commissioner, a former staff member in Minister of Transportation is accusing the government of destroying internal records before they become public.

In the letter, Tim Duncan identifies himself as a former “executive assistant” to Todd Stone. He says last November he was asked to find records on public consultations on the Highway of Tears for a Freedom of Information Request.

After searching his email and finding over a dozen hits, Duncan says the Ministerial Assistant in the office directed him to delete them. When he hesitated, Duncan says the official took away his keyboard and deleted them saying; “It’s done. Now you don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

Duncan says he questioned this tactic to a BC Liberal caucus research Director who told him; “It’s like the West Wing. You do whatever it takes to win.”

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In the letter Duncan closed by telling the Privacy Commissioner that he doesn’t believe that this was an isolated incident, and that the practice is systemic and widespread, urging Elizabeth Denham to investigate the matter further.

In released statement the Privacy commissioner said they received the letter yesterday and are looking into the accusations

“My Office has been in touch with the individual who raised these allegations, and I am
now determining next steps in an investigation under section 42 of the Freedom of
Information and Protection of Privacy Act.”

The full letter, which was released today by the BC NDP in the legislature, is shown below.

During question period Premier Christy Clark said the government would fully cooperate with any investigation following these accusations.


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