Sask. Opposition blasts premier for doing government business with private email

Premier Brad Wall will no longer use a private email account to deal with government business.

From now on, the premier will only do government business using a government acccount, spokesperson says

Premier Brad Wall was criticized on Thursday by the NDP for doing government business using a private email account. (Mike Zartler/CBC)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall will no longer use a private email account or private server when it comes to dealing with matters pertaining to government business, according to his spokesperson.

In a statement Thursday, Kathy Young, Wall's chief of operations and communications, responded to concerns raised by the NDP about the premier's use of a private email address, as opposed to a government one. 

The Opposition questioned Wall about this after receiving a document under freedom of information legislation in which the premier's email had been redacted.

Wall responded that he would continue to use the personal account, saying "I don't intend to change the practice."

Later, Young's statement said that the "Premier had indicated he will be using a government of Saskatchewan e-mail account for government business."

She said that Wall's emails, whether sent from a government or personal address, are subject to freedom of information legislation.

Young also said the premier's private email is secure.

"The Premier's personal email is not on the government server, it is on a private server. Appropriate steps are taken to ensure this email account is secure using an IT security company that uses the same security standards and software as the government servers," the statement reads.

"The IT security company checks regularly for potential breaches. There have been no such breaches in the past." 

Information in emails is 'not the premier's to keep': NDP

NDP interim leader Trent Wotherspoon said the protection of the information contained in Wall's emails, which could contain commercially sensitive or confidential content, is only one issue he has with the premier's use of a personal account.

NDP interim leader Trent Wotherspoon said he wonders why the premier would be dealing with government business using a private email account in the first place.
The other has to do with questions about why Wall would be dealing with government business with a private account in the first place.

"This is serious information. It's paid for by the people of Saskatchewan. It's not the premier's to keep," Wotherspoon told reporters.

"Clearly this is information that has been gained through the spending of dollars of Saskatchewan people and this is supposed to be in the interest of Saskatchewan people."

He said he was disappointed the government did not direct the privacy commissioner or conflict of interest commissioner to review Wall's use of personal emails, as was called for by the NDP.

Wotherspoon believes if the government insists Wall's private account is secure, it should be subject to a review.

With files from Stefani Langenegger