Greg Clark demands fresh probe into Alberta shred-gate scandal

Calgary MLA Greg Clark, who sparked an investigation into document shredding, says he wants a second investigation after the privacy commissioner found that the outgoing Alberta PC government improperly destroyed documents.

Nearly 350 boxes of documents destroyed improperly by outgoing PC government, privacy commissioner says

Alberta Party leader Greg Clark flagged the issue on May 13, after bags of shredded records were seen in the halls of the Alberta legislature. An investigation was launched that same day.

The Calgary MLA who sparked an investigation into document shredding says he wants a second investigation after the privacy commissioner found that the outgoing Alberta PC government improperly destroyed nearly 350 boxes of documents. 

"This report raises several questions that merit deeper investigation," said Alberta Party leader Greg Clark in a statement.

"Albertans deserve to know which files were destroyed and whether some can be recovered," he added.

Clark, the MLA for Calgary-Elbow, filed a complaint last spring when documents in the environment department were being shredded before the NDP government was sworn in.

'Rules broken'

Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton found 344 boxes of documents were destroyed, but no one will be held responsible because no one intended to break the law and the rules were confusing.

Clark says the NDP must bring in new rules and penalties.

"What's important is that the rules are clear about what can be destroyed, and when it's destroyed and why it's destroyed and that we have a record of it having been destroyed and what it was before it was destroyed," Clark told CBC News.

"That has clearly not happened in this case, so those rules were broken, but there's no consequence for breaking those rules. So number one, we need consequences for breaking rules."

PC government rules were a 'mess'

Service Alberta minister Danielle Larivee says the previous PC government rules were "a mess" and the new government will change procedures.

The provincial government says it will implement all of the privacy commissioner's recommendations to stop inappropriate destruction of documents.

Clark says he's suspicious about why those documents were shredded — but he's not pinning it on the bureaucrats.

"I don't blame them in the slightest. I think it's the political staff from the outgoing government [that] bears a lot of responsibility here."

Interim PC leader Ric McIver isn't disputing the results of the investigation.

"Those civil servants should have gotten clearer instructions, had more clear rules to follow and I accept that criticism."

With files from the CBC’s Scott Dippel

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.