POLITICS

Saskatchewan privacy commissioner investigates release of whistleblower's file

05/02/2015 12:03 EDT | Updated 05/01/2016 05:12 EDT
SASKATOON - The Saskatchewan privacy commissioner is investigating whether the provincial government violated a care home worker's privacy when it released parts of his personnel file to the media.

Peter Bowden, a care aide at Oliver Lodge in Saskatoon, was suspended with pay last week.

Bowden told reporters in late March that residents at the home 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.

Bowden filed a complaint with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner alleging his privacy was violated when details of his personnel file were emailed to reporters.

The province says Bowden was suspended because of an investigation into allegations of misconduct in the workplace, not because he went public with his allegations.

The commissioner will investigate the premier's executive council, Saskatoon Health Region, Oliver Lodge and the Ministry of Health.

Premier Brad Wall said the government is comfortable with the investigation. He said the information was sent to reporters to show that Bowden's suspension had nothing to do with his whistle blowing.

“There's a provision in the act that allows for the disclosure of some information if it's in the public interest," Wall said.

Saskatchewan's privacy legislation allows the government to share personal information if the public interest outweighs any potential invasion of privacy.

Bowden said he was “quite happy” that there will be an investigation.

(CJME, CKOM)