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Byrne Calls for Action on Missing E-Gaming Records

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Charlottetown November 28.. The Leader of the PEI New Democratic Party wants to know what the King Government is doing about the two years of Brad Mix’s e-gaming records that mysteriously went missing.

Brad Mix is the Senior Director of Business Attraction with Innovation PEI and has held that position for over 20 years. He was involved in the e-gaming file in 2010-12, and was also a named defendant in the CMT lawsuit recently dismissed by PEI Supreme Court Justice Gordon Campbell. CMT is appealing that decision.

Byrne says the government knew those government records were missing since early 2015, but kept that information secret. That fact was only discovered recently, as a result of an Access to Information Review with the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Karen Rose.

The NDP Leader also noted that it’s the same PC MLAs who were demanding that the previous Liberal Government impose much tougher penalties for government records destruction just a few months ago who are now Cabinet Ministers apparently saying and doing nothing about a much worse case of document destruction under this Government’s watch: “For a government employee to have the same two-year period of e-gaming records go missing in two separate email archives, and remain Senior Director at Innovation PEI drawing a salary from the public purse, without any consequences, or a single word from the government, well that’s just not acceptable.”

“The PCs weren’t happy that the fine was only $10,000. They wanted $50,000 and for the person to lose their job.” said Byrne. “What’s changed?”

The NDP leader noted  that when Robert Ghiz had his Chief of Staff’s records deleted he signed a form and had Information Technology staff delete them. They thought that he had backed up those electronic records, but he hadn’t. “Although there is still some highly questionable issues relative to the deletion of records at that time,” Byrne pointed out: “Brad Mix’s case is totally different. He was at all times still at his job when the records went missing.”

“I understand the Premier might prefer to ignore the past e-gaming mess, but this isn’t about what previous governments did, this is about what this government is supposed to be doing and is not doing,” added Byrne. “ The PC Party promised Islanders it would be fully transparent and tackle cover-ups and corruption head-on. What we’ve gotten so far is more of the same. A public statement on what the Government plans to do about those two years of missing records would be a good place to start to honour that promise.”

Byrne noted that there are currently four separate outstanding Supreme Court Enforcement Orders for “failure to produce documents” against the Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture. “This refusal by the King government to release documents under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act is unprecedented. I’ve been told that has never happened in PEI before” said Byrne.

“Collaboration among all political Parties and moving ahead together on positive initiatives is wonderful, and I’m all about getting aboard that train. But we can’t turn a blind eye to what must change within Government, and that unfortunately appears to be what the King Government is doing. Unpleasant issues also have to be addressed, even if addressing them is uncomfortable.”

Byrne is also questioning why the Official Opposition members have not asked any questions on this or other related e-gaming matters: “Myers and Fox asked the previous government day after day how much Island taxpayers have spent on the e-gaming lawsuit, and never got an answer.

“I don’t get it. We have a PC Government promising to answer every question honestly and forthrightly….and no one in the Opposition bothers to ask a single question about those missing records! There’s a big difference between collaboration and collusion.” said Byrne.

“There’s lots the King Government should tell Islanders about e-gaming, now that they can look into all the Liberal files, but it’s unacceptable to stay silent on Brad Mix’s missing government records and just pretend it never happened.”

“It’s now more than four months since the Guardian reported Brad Mix’s missing government records, noting at the time that Government had no explanation for the missing files. There’s been silence since” said Byrne. “That’s not good enough. If the King government doesn’t know how those important documents went missing, it’s time to give the RCMP a call.”