Notley puts halt to shredding pending probe of document destruction

Shredded documents in the Alberta legislature, May 13, 2015.
Shredded documents in the Alberta legislature, May 13, 2015. Dean Twardzick, Global News

EDMONTON — Alberta’s incoming premier Rachel Notley has called an immediate halt to all shredding in government departments amid allegations of documents being illegally destroyed.

Cheryl Oates, a spokeswoman for Notley, says the premier-designate asked the senior civil service to impose the ban and it has promised to comply.

Oates says documents have archival value and must be preserved as power switches in the coming weeks from the Progressive Conservatives to Notley’s NDP.

READ MORE: Alberta watchdogs investigating shredding of documents at legislature 

The privacy commissioner and Alberta’s public interest commissioner are investigating a whistleblower’s allegations that documents were illegally shredded in the Environment Department.

Government rules allow routine paperwork to be shredded, but documents dealing with ministry affairs or with access-to-information requests must be preserved.

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There are fines for non-compliance.

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