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Saskatchewan premier should apologize to care aide for 'breach of privacy:' NDP

04/28/2015 06:16 EDT | Updated 08/03/2015 05:59 EDT
REGINA - Saskatchewan's NDP Opposition says the premier should apologize to a health worker for violating his privacy and discrediting his reputation.

Peter Bowden works at a Saskatoon seniors care home and was suspended with pay last week.

The care aide told reporters earlier this month that residents at Oliver Lodge were at risk of skin infections because they were left in soiled diapers and bedding for up to 10 hours.

Reporters learned of Bowden's suspension in an email sent by a government source.

The email said Oliver Lodge staff had submitted written complaints about Bowden to management. They ranged from alleged patient care concerns to harassment of other staff and residents.

The NDP has repeatedly raised Bowden's suspension in question period and has said it was the result of speaking out against the health region.

Deputy NDP leader Trent Wotherspoon said the breach of privacy is alarming.

"It's become clear that there was very specific information that was leaked to the media," he said on Tuesday. "This is incredibly troubling."

Health Minister Dustin Duncan said Bowden had asked the government for a guarantee that his employment wouldn't be in jeopardy if he publicly criticized his working conditions.

"We provided that in good faith," he said, adding that the Opposition made the request on Bowden's behalf. "We can't control though what else may be happening in the workplace with respect to this individual employee."

Premier Brad Wall has said Bowden's suspension has nothing to do with his decision to speak to the media. He said the government provided information to reporters for background.

Bowden, who has worked at three different care homes over the last 11 years, has filed a complaint with the province's privacy commissioner.

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