Former staffer’s allegations expose Clark Government’s focus on secrecy and self preservation, says NDP

John Horgan
John Horgan

A former executive assistant to the Minister of Transportation is alleging he was ordered to destroy more than a dozen emails requested under the Freedom of Information Act in November of 2014.

“These are shocking accusations,” said John Horgan, Leader of B.C.’s New Democrats. “If these claims are true, they speak volumes about this government’s obsessive need for secrecy and its contempt for the public. This is like keeping the paper shredder running in the back room all night; it’s a symptom of a sick government.”

In a letter to Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, former executive assistant Tim Duncan says when he balked at destroying emails related to the Highway of Tears, a ministerial assistant “took away my keyboard, deleted the emails and returned the keyboard, stating ‘it’s done. Now you don’t have to worry about it anymore.’”

Duncan writes that his ongoing concerns were dismissed and he was told, “It’s like The West Wing. You do whatever it takes to win.”

Horgan says Duncan’s letter is one more confirmation that Premier Christy Clark has instructed her government staff to destroy or conceal public documents that may prove embarrassing.

“The letter says it all about how Christy Clark’s government approaches its responsibilities to the people of B.C.,” said Horgan, “’You do whatever it takes to win.’  Even when it involves missing and murdered women.”