Word emerged today that the only person charged in relation to the BC government deleted email scandal will plead guilty to two counts for lying under oath.
For reaction, we connected with Tim Duncan, the man who spoke out about the deletions in the first place.
LISTEN: Whistle-blower Tim Duncan reacts to guilty plea
Duncan was working as an Executive Assistant to Transportation Minister Todd Stone when the incident happened.
He says in 2014, then Ministerial Assistant George Gretes directed him to delete email records connected to missing women on the Highway of Tears that were being sought in an FOI request.
When he resisted, he says Gretes took the keyboard out of his hands, deleted the emails himself, then said “It’s done. Now you don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
Duncan then wrote a letter to the Information and Privacy commissioner which kicked off a wide-reaching investigation, one in which Gretes allegedly lied under oath, and was caught.
Duncan says he’s pleased to see the saga finally come to a close, but that he’d expected this type of conclusion, rather than a trial.
That said, he’s doubtful about the impact of the penalty.
“How to you compare these penalties to other crimes? What the penalty is right now is $5,000 per count, for each of the crimes, each lie under oath.”
Duncan says he feels like the justice system lets people off too lightly.
He says he hopes it sends a message not to perjure, but adds he thinks the Liberals might pick up Gretes’ tab.
“I definitely think its a black eye [for the Liberals]. The question is what do they do with it. Are they going to reimburse him for the fines he’s incurred or is he personally paying for it?”
He adds its important to note that Gretes is being charged for lying under oath, not for deleting emails. He says he doesn’t feel like the Liberals have done enough to curb that practice since.