A provincial New Democrat staffer will soon be vetting messages sent between constituency association presidents on a private email list established for their use. The decision was made after we obtained a posting from that list in which Abbotsford-Mission president Lynn Perrin asked the party's oversight committee to investigate "the salary/honorarium of President Moe Sihota IMMEDIATELY." That stipend, which is being paid by the party using what it has described as a "generous, earmarked gift from the labour movement," has become a flashpoint for dissent against New Democrat leader Carole James. As a result of the leak, party treasurer Bob Smit has announced "as soon as possible, provincial office will hire the services of an ISP to host the list, and the list will become moderated. That means each post will be pre-approved before it goes to the list by a staff person."
When reached via phone, Mr. Smits wouldn't comment on that announcement because its "internal party material." The following is a complete copy of his email, which was obtained by Public Eye.
I was informed today that sadly, someone on the list has abused the rights of everyone else on the list by forwarding copies of some posts to Sean Holman.
From the beginning, this list has been hosted on my personal server, paid for entirely by me, and it has never been censored. All it has blocked are people not subscribed to the list, and those posts with CC or other attachments that lead to email loops.
This abuse, however, means that we simply cannot carry on as before.
Accordingly, as soon as possible, provincial office will hire the services of an ISP to host the list, and the list will become moderated. That means each post will be pre-approved before it goes to the list by a staff person.
I'm deeply disappointed in whoever has caused this to occur. With the freedom to exchange information by email goes the responsibility to keep internal party discussions internal.
Robert Smits Treasurer, BC NDP