Transportation Minister Todd Stone

Highway 16 records destroyed, ex-staffer says

Former assistant to Transportation Minister Todd Stone says supervisor deleted emails from his computer after FOI request

The B.C. NDP is calling for an investigation of missing records they have been seeking on community meetings along Highway 16 in northern B.C.

NDP MLAs produced letters from a former assistant to Transportation Minister Todd Stone, who says a supervisor deleted emails from his computer to keep them from being considered for a freedom of information (FOI) request.

A history of missing and murdered women along the remote highway from Prince George to Prince Rupert led to a series of community meetings last year. Opposition critics have been demanding records from the meetings, and calling for additional bus service along the highway to keep vulnerable people from hitch-hiking.

Former executive assistant Tim Duncan wrote to B.C. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Dunham Thursday, saying his supervisor told him to delete a dozen of his emails in November 2014 after an FOI request came to the ministry.

“When I hesitated, he took away my keyboard, deleted the emails and returned the keyboard stating, ‘It’s done. Now you don’t have to worry about it any more’,” Duncan wrote to Denham.

Confronted with the letter in question period Thursday, Premier Christy Clark said records should not be deleted once an FOI request is made. Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk said not every email is considered a government record.

Stone said he intends to have a “frank” discussion with his ministerial assistant George Gretes about the accusation that Gretes deleted the emails.

In an email to NDP leader John Horgan’s office, Duncan acknowledged he had no evidence of the incident or the content of the deleted messages. He said he blew the whistle on the Highway 16 incident because his own father was murdered in a domestic incident in 2010, and he believes the families of missing and murdered people “deserve better.”

Duncan was appointed to his job in October 2014. He told the NDP he left “the cesspool that is the B.C. government in March” and he believes abuse of the FOI process is “widespread and most likely systemic within the Clark government.”

 

Just Posted

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

BC Parks Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

12 crews of four student rangers will work in regions throughout the province including Bella Coola.

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read