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NDP questions Premier Brad Wall's continued private email use
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall announces he is retiring from politics during a press conference at the Legislative Building in Regina, Sask., on Thursday, August 10, 2017. (Mark Taylor / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Jennifer Graham, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017 11:23AM CST
REGINA -- The Opposition wants to know why Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is still using a private email server to do government business after saying he would stop.
Wall sent emails to his staff from a private server in September.
The premier's office says that's because his government email was down intermittently for two weeks.
Interim NDP Leader Nicole Sarauer says the party filed a freedom-of- information request for technical difficulties related to the premier's government email in September and was told no such records exist.
"There's no evidence at all of his email being down," Sarauer said at the legislature Tuesday.
"I don't know why he's not being forthright, but it is a question of trust."
Sarauer said the emails were about the Global Transportation Hub, a controversial land deal in which Saskatchewan's auditor said the province significantly overpaid for land to build a hub and bypass Regina.
Sarauer said the NDP is concerned about whether the premier's office is being honest about his government email being down.
"I would assume that the most powerful person in our province should have an email address that's actively working, where he can get emails and send emails," she said.
"And if it's down for one or two days, as his office had said it was, you would assume that would quickly spark a request to have that fixed."
Wall was criticized by the NDP in May for using a private email server to do government business.
At the time, he initially stood by the decision to use personal email accounts while working at home or on weekends, but a spokeswoman from the premier's office later said he would only use government email.
The NDP is concerned that emails sent with a private server aren't accessible to Saskatchewan's privacy commissioner. They would have to be voluntarily turned over by Wall.
The premier's office gave reporters copies of emails sent by Wall's ministerial assistant to a government IT support person in August. The emails said the premier was having trouble with emails on his iPad.
Wall was not available Tuesday for questions from the media.
He did say during question period that he's "undertaken to use the government email ... so long as that it's working."
He also said emails sent on the private server have been made available through freedom-of-information requests.
"Moreover, we're going to ensure they're collected and handed over to the archives."