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October 29, 2015

Much Hyperbole in Vancouver Sun

Rob Shaw's October 29th article on Freedom of Information engaged in far too much hyperbole when he described me as a technology advisor and that Dosanjh's government was "caught up in the first mass-email-delete scandal". Only in the imagination of your writer does a one day story constitute a scandal, and while Dosanjh once boasted of my imagined computer skills, I was in no way a technology advisor.

When I worked in the Premier's office the Liberals requested emails I sent or received during a three week period in 1999 and there weren't any because I wasn't involved in any files similar to those that are generating news for the Liberals today. It would have been possible to pick many random three week periods during my tenure without hitting anything newsworthy, but that speaks more to my limited role than to document retention.

Unlike political staff in Premier Christy Clark’s government who stand accused of triple deleting emails dealing with missing and murdered women on the Highway of Tears, emails concerning the firing of health researchers that lead to a suicide and all emails from her director of communications, my role in the late 90s didn't touch on such weighty matters. In hindsight I regret that I didn't keep every scrap on my computer over 15 years ago.

Unlike today, a complaint was not made 15 years ago to the Commissioner backed by the evidence we see daily with respect to Liberal violations of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

It appears the Liberals are feeling so much heat on both the report from the Privacy Commissioner and on subsequent revelations by John Horgan that they welcome any cover they can find, including a story that's over 15 years old.