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October 29, 2015

No Bulk Email Deletion Here

I usually enjoy reading Mike Smyth's columns, but his claim on October 29th that I bulk deleted emails over 15 years ago when I worked in the Premier's office is wrong. 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 are searching anywhere for cover. 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 emails from her director of communications, my role over 15 years ago didn't touch on such weighty matters.

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. I regret 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 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.