Snooping disgusts ex-judge, Energy Board eavesdropping ‘repulsive’

Snooping disgusts ex-judge, Energy Board eavesdropping ‘repulsive’ by Archie McLean, September 18, 2007, The Edmonton Journal
The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board’s use of private investigators to eavesdrop on landowners’ phone calls was “repulsive,” a report concluded Monday. Energy Minister Mel Knight responded by appointing a new board chairman, but opposition critics charged that the government had failed to hold anyone accountable for the board’s actions in the spring. Those actions, which saw the EUB use private investigators to conduct covert security on landowners worried about a Wabamun-to-Calgary powerline, were investigated by Del Perras, a former Court of Queen’s Bench justice. In his report, Perras said he sympathized with the board’s security needs, but found the undercover investigations to be unnecessary and wrong. In particular, eavesdropping on landowners’ phone calls was “repulsive,” he said. It was the second time in a week a provincial government report has blasted the EUB’s security procedures. Last Thursday, the information and privacy commissioner’s office said the board breached the privacy act by passing along personal information about the landowners.

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