Liberals slam Carr's privacy breach apology as 'political'
Liberal MLA Chris Collins calls Carr's apology driven by 'political calculations'
The Opposition Liberals stepped up their criticism of Education Minister Jody Carr for a privacy breach inside his department, characterizing his response as being politically calculated.
Carr acknowledged on Thursday that a political assistant released a mark that an Oromocto High School student earned on an exam
The student found out her mark — "exceptional" — before the school released it by indirectly finding out through a route that originated with one of the minister's political staffers.
The Liberals called for Carr to resign on Thursday over the privacy breach and continued the criticism on Friday.
Liberal MLA Chris Collins described the breach as a "gross violation of privacy" and the minister's apology as "political."
"If the minister wanted to exercise common sense and treat the victim of this breach with respect and dignity, the minister should have called and personally apologized to the victim and her family," Collins said on Friday.
"Could the minister please advise why the apology he has offered has been driven more by political calculations rather than personal decency."
Carr defended his handling of the privacy breach during question period.
He said he took swift action to halt any further sharing of the informaiton.
"I have mentioned that I have regretted that this is an unfortunate situation … it’s been refered to the independent privacy commissioner," Carr said.
"We will certainly look forward to further recommendations from the privacy commissioner in dealing with this issue in a prudent and responsible manner."
Liberals demand resignation
Earlier in the week, Carr brushed off the issue but on Thursday he outlined the situation to the legislature.
"I have determined that there had indeed been a breach of privacy through certain, limited personal information about an individual," Carr said.
The Opposition Liberals say Carr should leave cabinet and they're pointing to one of their own MLAs as a precedent.
In 2010, Bernard LeBlanc, the justice minister at the time, resigned from cabinet because an email sent out in his name identified the complainant in an animal cruelty case.
LeBlanc said the education minister should quit, especially since Carr was one of those who called on him to resign in 2010.
"I did the honourable thing of quitting my post as minister and this is no different," he said.
A spokesperson for Carr says this case is different from LeBlanc's because Carr did not commit the breach himself.
Carr has asked his deputy minister to review the situation and he said he has referred the case to the provincial privacy commissioner.
"I take this very seriously. It is not acceptable and appropriate measures will be taken so as to prevent this from happening again," he said on Thursday.
"My department will be holding protection of privacy information sessions for my departmental and ministerial staff, to remind our employees of the importance of protecting personal information at all times."