While the Privacy Commissioner investigates the deleted e-mails maybe they could check on the deleted audits from 2014 that aren't part of my FOIP request?
Alberta privacy commissioner investigates deleted government emails
Published on: April 20, 2017 | Last Updated: April 20, 2017 7:09 PM MDT
Don MacIntyre is the Wildrose critic for electricity and renewables. SHAUGHN BUTTS / EDMONTON JOURNAL
The province’s privacy commissioner has launched an investigation into deleted emails related to the cancelling of power purchase agreements with Alberta power companies.
Wildrose MLA Don MacIntyre sent the request to the commissioner in November regarding an email from James Allen, who was assistant deputy minister in the department of energy, to Balancing Pool CEO Bruce Roberts, in which Allen writes that the email is “sensitive and transitory” and to “please delete” it.
Privacy commissioner Jill Clayton confirmed the investigation in a letter to MacIntyre, writing that it “appears from my review of the complaint that information may have been inappropriately withheld in response to access requests made” to the Balancing Pool.
“This is long overdue. This government has been trying their best to keep things under cover. Thankfully, the (freedom of information) system keeps exposing it,” MacIntyre said Thursday.
The power purchase arrangements have been controversial since the government announced a beefed-up carbon levy on large emitters. Four companies that bought coal-fired electricity from generators and resold it to the grid walked away from the agreements, saying they were now unprofitable, leaving the Balancing Pool to borrow more than $2 billion to cover the losses. The government is still battling Enmax in court over the company’s decision to return the contract to the Balancing Pool, with no end in sight. It has reached settlements with the other three companies: AltaGas, TransCanada and Capital Power.
In question period Thursday, deputy premier Sarah Hoffman said the government is “happy to comply and support the privacy commissioner in her work.”
MacIntyre had also asked for a wider investigation into a “culture of secrecy” in the government, but the commissioner declined to take that on, saying she didn’t fully understand the request and wasn’t sure if it was part of her office’s jurisdiction.