PCs call for former Liberal staffers to turn over USB sticks containing e-mails
Ontario Community and Social Services Minister John Milloy. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO/Toronto Sun files)
Ontario Liberals won’t say how many political staffers zapped their e-mails in contradiction of their own recordkeeping law.
As the list of e-mail deleters grew Monday, Progressive Conservative MPPs called on Premier Kathleen Wynne to force the former employees to turn over any portable USB keys that might hold the missing records.
“This is part of the culture of the Liberal Party. They can spend public money to stay in power, they can hide documents, they can remove documents irretrievably and put them on USB sticks, never to be seen again,” Tory MPP Rob Leone said Monday. “This is all done to stay in power, this is the MO of the Liberal Party.”
Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian probed the destruction of e-mails by senior staff in the office of former premier Dalton McGuinty and the energy minister, and concluded the Archives and Recordkeeping Act had been violated.
Government House Leader John Milloy said the protocol has been changed since Wynne’s arrival in the premier’s office to ensure that staff is trained and records are kept.
But he could provide no information on whether it was standard practice among Liberal political staffers to kill their e-mails.
“As a minister I left a lot of that up to my staff, as I think other ministers did,” Milloy said. “We’ve instituted training for all of the political staff but at the same time, quite frankly, the existing rules need to be strengthened.”
OPP are investigating a complaint by Ontario Tories that public records were stolen by Liberal staffers, including premier’s office chiefs of staff who are alleged to have downloaded their records onto USB keys before their computers were erased.
A government committee had ordered the Liberals to produce documents related to their decision to cancel gas plants in Oakville and Misssissauga, dinging Ontarians for $585 million.
“For nine months, we have been saying, ‘there’s something missing.’ Yet 32 of the Liberal MPPs, including cabinet ministers and including Kathleen Wynne stood up and said, ‘you have all the documents, ” Tory MPP Vic Fedeli said. “They have a lot to account for.”