N.B. justice minister quits after privacy breach in email from former department

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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FREDERICTON New Brunswick's justice minister has resigned from cabinet as the result of a breach of privacy that occurred when he was minister of local government.
The Opposition Conservatives called for the resignation of Bernard LeBlanc after an email was released identifying a complainant in an animal abuse case.
The email, which was sent to a person convicted in the case in 2005, came from LeBlanc's account and had his name at the bottom of the message.
"While I was not made aware of this email until yesterday, as a minister I am of the view that this breach falls within the principle of ministerial responsibility," LeBlanc said Thursday in the provincial legislature.
"This is a question of accountability, responsibility and honour. For me, this is a matter of principle. For that reason, I have submitted my resignation as member of cabinet."
LeBlanc received a standing ovation in the house following his statement.
Bonny Hoyt-Hallett, deputy minister of local government, says the complainant's name was accidentally released and she's working to tighten protocols surrounding correspondence and emails.
She issued a statement, saying that while the email was sent with the minister's name, he "neither approved nor had any knowledge of the email in question."
She said the file dates back to 2005 when dogs were seized. She said late last year, the individual whose dogs were seized had contacted the department and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"During one of these exchanges, the individual provided a name to the department, alleging the named person was responsible for the seizure of the animals," she wrote. "This name was inadvertently contained in an email of Nov. 19, 2009, back to the individual."
Tory member Jody Carr says the breach of confidentially has caused a lot of grief for the woman who filed the abuse complaint.

Organizations: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Geographic location: FREDERICTON, New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • flipx
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Smart man getting out while the getting is good,the sale of NB Power will sink the re-election dreams of the ones that stay on and vote for it. All I will say is God help us here in New Brunswick in 5 years and to think that NS and PEI sre talking to Hydro Quebec.