Deceit-and-delete scandal spreads, proves culture starts at the top

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CC_Note_FOI_Emails_webVICTORIA – New Democrats revealed more evidence that the culture of cover-up and deceit in the B.C. Liberal government starts at the top, and exists throughout the political level of government.

“Premier Clark has created and encouraged a culture of deception, deceit, and delete, delete, delete,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan. “We asked for emails from the Premier’s office and got none, then discovered more than a hundred existed and disappeared. We asked for emails from the LNG ministry and got exactly three. Then we found out 800 existed and, again, disappeared.”

New Democrats made a Freedom of Information request for correspondence in November of 2014 from Tobie Myers, Chief of Staff to LNG Minister Rich Coleman. The request resulted in three emails being released. But newly uncovered message tracking logs showed 800 emails , many of them to key figures in the LNG industry during a period when the B.C. Liberals were finalizing the details of their generational tax giveaway to Petronas.

“Ms. Myers appears to have been determined that the public would never read these emails,” said Horgan. “Why was the senior adviser to Minister Rich Coleman so dead-set on deceiving the public? What was in those emails?”

The revelations come hard on the heels of a damning report from the Information and Privacy Commissioner, who found the illegal practice of triple-deleting emails was widespread in the office of Premier Christy Clark and throughout her government. The commissioner also sent the file to the RCMP, after a Liberal staffer admitting to lying under oath.

“Now we know that even on Premier Clark’s top priority, dishonesty is standard operating procedure by her political operatives and ministers.”