Last week, The Globe and Mail's Mark Hume reported the provincial government "may have destroyed all cabinet e-mails between 2001 and 2005." This, despite a law that requires government records to be kept for at least seven years unless they are of a frivolous nature and classified as transitory. Indeed, George Copley, a lawyer representing British Columbia's executive council, suggested that classification could explain why those emails may have been erased. Such an explanation may seem incredulous. But, in 2002, a federal access to information review task force reported there is a general "lack of understanding about the treatment of transitory records" under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in British Columbia - a lack of understanding that perhaps continues to exist. The emails had been requested by legislature rail trial defense lawyers.
June 29, 2009