Leak case

Ottawa’s city council asks integrity commissioner to investigate journalist sources after leaked memo

Ottawa city council voted on May 26, 2021 to ask the city’s integrity commissioner to investigate who had leaked a confidential memo to the Ottawa Citizen.

The Ottawa Citizen’s Jon Willing reported on the memo in a story that revealed new information about the costs of a sinkhole which opened in downtown Ottawa on June 8, 2016 during construction of an LRT line. 

The confidential memo described a lawsuit the city was preparing against companies that had insured an LRT construction project in Ottawa, Willing reported. 

City council voted 18-6 in favour of asking the integrity commissioner for an investigation. The commissioner, Robert Marleau, said that the investigation, if opened, would not target journalists. 

Ottawa’s city manager also said he had asked the city’s chief information security officer to investigate city staff to track down the source of the leak, reported the Citizen.

Marleau cancelled the investigation after Coun. Tim Tierney said in a council meeting that he had inadvertently leaked the document when he accidentally included it among other documents he emailed to a journalist, reported the Citizen