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NDP Says Destruction Of Evidence Starts With Premier Clark And Her Inner Circle

Strong Claims Christy Clark Has Been Deleting Her Own Government e-mails!

NDP alleges Premier Christy Clark’s inner circle deliberately also destroyed all traces of staff communication during high-profile Liberal embarrassments, including the yoga-on-the-bridge debacle, the ongoing health firings scandal that led to a man’s suicide, and whistleblower Tim Duncan’s revelations about the widespread destruction of public records relating to the Highway of Tears.

By R. Paul Dhillon

With News Files

VICTORIA – The deleted emails controversy deepened as the NDP took a shot directly at the Premier Christy Clark’s office, saying B.C. Liberal culture of deceit, deception, and delete, delete, delete begins with Clark herself.

“Premier Clark and at least four of her closest hand-picked advisers have had their emails hidden from the public and destroyed,” said John Horgan, Leader of B.C.’s New Democrats.

“The premier, her deputy minister, her chief of staff, her deputy chief of staff, and her executive director of communications – every one of them has gone to extraordinary lengths to deceive the people of British Columbia by either avoiding documentation on key decisions, deleting the info, or both.

“The premier can’t get her story straight about why her advisers’ emails can’t be found. Today we learned that she’s still trying to play a shell game with public records that she knows have already been destroyed,” Horgan said Wednesday.

Clark’s inner circle deliberately also destroyed all traces of staff communication during high-profile Liberal embarrassments, including the yoga-on-the-bridge debacle, the ongoing health firings scandal that led to a man’s suicide, and whistleblower Tim Duncan’s revelations about the widespread destruction of public records relating to the Highway of Tears.

According to the NDP, the minister of transportation even bragged about making sure no one would ever be able to recover his emails.

Other senior Liberal staff have also been caught destroying their correspondence with LNG proponents Petronas, Shell Canada, and Alta Gas.

Horgan said his party has requested government records on a number of sensitive topics, only to be told no such records exist.

Those topics include the Ministry of Health’s firing scandal from 2012, where seven researchers lost their jobs over a highly-flawed misconduct investigation.

The government has since apologized, but not before one of the employees, Roderick MacIsaac, committed suicide.

“One would think, with all of the activity around that file, that someone in the Premier’s office would have kept a scrap of paper, but that is not the case,” Horgan said during question period.

Another topic where record requests came up empty was the planned “Om the Bridge” yoga event on the Burrard Street Bridge, which put Premier Christy Clark in hot water in late spring, reported CTV News.

The province eventually reversed course and cancelled the event, which coincided with National Aboriginal Day, in the face of public outcry.

“I would have thought that the chief political fixer in the Premier’s office would have maybe dispatched an e-mail or two to some subordinate saying, ‘We should fix this,’ but apparently not,” Horgan said.

Last week’s report, released by B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, alleged a government staffer deleted emails about the notorious Highway of Tears after receiving a Freedom of Information request to release them.

It also uncovered negligent searches for records, failure to keep adequate email records, and other concerns regarding record requests.

In response, Clark ordered all staff and ministers to start retaining emails immediately, and called on former privacy commissioner David Loukidelis to advise the province on how to move forward.

On Wednesday, the Premier reiterated that she was working to address the problem.

But the NDP isn’t buying any of Clark’s empty words.

“This reveals the true character of Premier Clark,” Horgan said. “A premier whose first instinct is to deceive cannot be trusted. Surrounding herself with people whose first instinct is to cover up the truth for the boss just shows who Christy Clark is really there for – herself.”

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