Information Commissioner should investigate Liberal document destruction
Queen’s Park – NDP MPP Peter Tabuns has written to Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, asking her to investigate what appears to be a breach of protocol and a violation of the Archives and Recordkeeping Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
“People are tired of watching arrogant governments treat public information like it’s their private property. Liberals need to know that the government exists to serve the people of Ontario, and not the interests of the Liberal party,” said Tabuns. “It sounds like senior Liberal political staff were destroying information because they thought the truth about their decisions might not look good for them.”
The Archives and Recordkeeping Act is clear that “A public record shall not be transferred, destroyed or otherwise disposed of except in accordance with the applicable approved records schedule or with the written consent of the Archivist.” And the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is clear that “information should be available to the public… [and] decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.” Finally, the Common Record Series, which sets out the rules about keeping records, is clear that all material related to policy and budget decisions should be maintained by Minister’s and their staff for 5 years, and then transferred to the Archives of Ontario.
“Ontarians expect their government to be accountable for their actions. You can’t just destroy information because it’s a political problem,” continued Tabuns. “Commissioner Cavoukian has a vested interest in an open, transparent and law-abiding government. I’m asking her to get to the bottom of why senior Liberals were destroying information to hide it from the public.”
Andrea Horwath, NDP Leader
Ontario’s NDP Caucus, Queen’s Park