Thomas Lukaszuk is feeling vindicated after a report from Alberta’s privacy commissioner concludes that a leak, that eventually wound up on the hands of the Edmonton Sun, on thousands of dollars of roaming charges on his government issued cell phone, originated in the office of former Premier Alison Redford.
The deputy premier at the time said that while he was on vacation in Europe he could not use public WiFi on a sensitive issue as several video conferences, calls and transfers of documents using up reams of data were held dealing with the situation.
The bill for the government issued phone was with the executive council of government, namely the Premier’s office.
“It was actually her through her chief of staff who made those documents available,” Lukaszuk said in a phone interview from B.C. “It doesn’t speak to who they gave it to and who further leaked it and what caused it but at least we know where it came from.”
What still isn’t known is who was behind a secondary leak to the paper, that was designed to harm Lukaszuk’s leadership bid. An envelope was passed along through a cabinet minister, first to opposition parties, and when they didn’t bite, it was given to the Sun.
Lukaszuk admits he wasn’t a favorite of the Redford administration after he called her out on her personal behavior and on some of her policies. “I had called on her to resign. I challenged her a number on a number of policy and personal issues,” he said about some things that were talked about behind closed doors in caucus.
“She in the middle of my speech at Lethbridge College demotes me from Deputy Premier and minister of advanced education to this new portfolio that they created, and unceremoniously walks me down to an office in the basement — as you recall I was making a lot of fun of that — this speaks to the fact, what will happen if you stand up to the Premier’s office.”
“They’ll try to use any information they can against you at the most opportune time, knowing that I could’t speak to any of it, and I still can’t because documents are court sealed.”
“In a way I hope it’s the last of it. I don’t think there’s much more to be gained. I think Albertans know that this was a case of vendetta for speaking up against the Premier and challenging her on a variety of issues. This is what actually can happen in politics and leadership races.”
The Alberta Privacy Commissioner found the information was leaked in contravention of the Freedom and Privacy Act. She did not determine who leaked the information saying it was outside the scope of the investigation.
(630 CHED News)