VICTORIA — The minister in charge of B.C.’s records management apologized Thursday for using her personal email while on the job.
Citizens’ Services Minister Jinny Sims told reporters she should never have used a personal email account to contact her staff, deputy minister and chief of staff to the Premier’s Office. The practice is generally not allowed under B.C.’s Freedom of Information rules because personal emails have in the past been used by some to circumvent the FOI process and communicate government business without leaving an official record.
Sims said she was simply forwarding on Twitter posts and links of interest from her personal iPad, which she uses for social media, to her government staff.
“When I read articles that were interesting to me I forwarded it to my staff because I don’t have social media on my government iPad and phone for a reason,” she said. “That’s what I did. I’ve corrected that practice. I no longer do that. I’ve looked at the emails, it wasn’t government business except for the one email I did send to my staff, which was about the timing of an announcement.”
The email in question went from Sims’s personal account to Premier John Horgan’s chief of staff, Geoff Meggs, in February and asked if it was possible to reschedule an announcement about replacing the Pattullo Bridge to a different date to accommodate Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner’s schedule.