Ex-provincial staffer charged in email affair

Two charges of making false statements to information and privacy commissioner laid against George Gretes by special prosecutor

Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham

A former ministerial assistant to Transportation Minister Todd Stone has been charged with two offences under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for his role in a complaint about deleted government emails.

A special prosecutor approved two charges against George Gretes for “willfully making false statements to mislead, or attempt to mislead” the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham referred the case to police after Gretes testified in her investigation that he didn’t delete a series of emails from a subordinate’s computer during a search in response to a freedom of information request.

Gretes resigned in October 2015 when Denham released her report on the 2014 incident, which found that Gretes had used another employee’s computer to “triple delete” a series of emails.

Stone has maintained that the deleted emails were not the official records dealing with community meetings about improving travel options along Highway 16 in northern B.C., which was the subject of the request. The ministry has since released hundreds of pages of records about the project.

The incident prompted Premier Christy Clark to order all political staff in the government to keep all emails as the procedure for handling electronic communications is updated.

Former privacy commissioner David Loukidelis reviewed the case and recommended that non-partisan public servants should decide what records should be kept and what can be destroyed as duplicate or transitory messages.

Loukidelis warned that with hundreds of millions of emails sent and received each year, trying to evaluate every message would cause the B.C. government to “grind to a halt.”


Just Posted

VIDEO: Accident on Warfield Hill outside Trail

There was an accident on Warfield Hill Road on Thursday night.

Better pre-hospital care could save treatment costs in long run

The yearly cost of injury exceeds $2.8 billion according to Provincial Health Services Authority.

Personal stories offer insight into why change is needed

One woman shared her family’s experience after her mother became ill in 2016.

John White: Looking to the STARS for a solution

B.C. just needs to reach out to get the ball rolling

Eritrean family says goodbye to Rossland

Rossland’s Eritrean family is relocating to the Lower Mainland.

VIDEO: Accident on Warfield Hill outside Trail

There was an accident on Warfield Hill Road on Thursday night.

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Most Read