Christian Paradis aide was not acting alone

Two other aides may have also vetted information requests

It turns out Sebastien Togneri, the aide to Christian Paradis who resigned following the discovery that he tampered with several access to information requests, was not the only staff member doing as much. Togneri, who served as director of parliamentary affairs for Paradis when he was minister of public works and then followed him to his new portfolio, testified earlier this year that he became inappropriately involved in vetting just one request in July 2009, though documents obtained by Canadian Press show he tampered with at least four. Paradis insisted Monday that he had “nothing to hide” but deflected questions about whether Togneri acted alone. Now, internal emails recently released to the Commons ethics committee probing the affair reveal that two other political staffers were involved in vetting sensitive access-to-information requests. Jillian Andrews and Marc Toupin, policy advisers who also moved with Paradis from public works to natural resources in January, are mentioned in emails between Togneri and civil servants in charge of compiling responses to access to information requests. NDP MP Pat Martin said, “If there is ministerial accountability, then it is the minister’s head that should have rolled — not some junior staffer.” He added: “So, Paradis should resign at least until such time as the information commissioner is finished the investigation.”

Toronto Star

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