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Former privacy commissioner report tells B.C. to stop triple deleting emails

VICTORIA – A former privacy commissioner says British Columbia’s government must drop its policy of deleting potentially sensitive emails in an effort to improve its freedom-of-information practices.

But David Loukidelis says the government doesn’t have to save every email among the hundreds of millions it receives annually — a exercise he compares to hoarding.

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His report makes 27 recommendations, including ensuring public servants — not political staff in government offices — are designated to process freedom-of-information requests.

Loukidelis was appointed by the government last fall after B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner delivered a stinging report that concluded the government mismanaged potentially sensitive information.

That report was launched after a whistleblower claimed that his former supervisor in the Transportation Ministry deleted documents requesting information about the Highway of Tears investigation into murdered and missing women the northern B.C. route.

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Premier Christy Clark ordered her cabinet ministers and political staff to stop triple deleting their emails after the privacy report was released in October.

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