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P.E.I. premier apologizes, says no one involved in PNP privacy breach is still in government

Premier Wade MacLauchlan is shown in the provincial legislature Wednesday. The latest Corporate Research Associates poll shows the P.E.I. Liberal party has dropped to its lowest level of support in 13 years. MacLauchlan’s personal popularity stayed almost the same as last quarter with 27 per cent of Islanders listing him as their preference for premier.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan is shown in the provincial legislature in this file photo. - Mitch MacDonald

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Premier Wade MacLauchlan has apologized to three women who were whistleblowers in the Provincial Nominee Program after the government breached their privacy in 2011.

Opposition Leader James Aylward asked for the apology during Tuesday’s question period after privacy commissioner Karen Rose issued a decision earlier in the day.

MacLauchlan said he agreed with the findings, although he added all of the people involved were no longer involved in the current government.

“I will apologize to the individuals whose privacy was breached in contravention of the FOIPP (Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection) law,” he said. 

Related - PNP whistleblower leak during 2011 election violated law: P.E.I. privacy watchdog

Rose’s decision found someone in government leaked private emails, a human resources complaint response and personnel files of three former government employees to the Liberal party.

That leak was a breach of the FOIPP Act, Rose found.

After question period, Aylward said it was good that the premier finally made an apology.

“Somewhat weak, I would think, but at least there was an apology there,” he said.

Aylward said if the premier was sincere on the matter it wouldn’t have taken a call from the leader of the opposition to issue it.

“He should have been man enough to realize that what the government did to these three individuals was wrong and should have come out and apologized, made a statement immediately after this ruling was made public,” he said.

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