The B.C. Legislature website and email system has been offline for over a week, and officials are providing no details on the cause, including confirming or denying the existence of a cyber security threat.
“I am simply not in a position to provide further details at this time,” said Artour Sogomonian, clerk assistant for parliamentary services, via email Tuesday. “We anticipate being able to provide more information about the circumstances later this week.”
The Legislature holds any correspondence from the public to their local representatives (constituency offices), as well as sensitive government documents.
The website landing page does have an update that reads: “The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia website and network services were taken offline by the Legislative Assembly’s information technology team late in the evening on Tuesday, November 10, and remain unavailable at this time. Our information technology team is working to securely restore services as soon as possible. At this time, it is anticipated that the outage will continue through the weekend.”
It notes that email directed to users with @leg.bc.ca email accounts, such as Members of the Legislative Assembly, will likely have been returned as undeliverable to the sender.
The apparent cyber problems are occurring as government transitions to a new administration, following the October 24 provincial election.
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) and House Leader Mike Farnworth have been reached for comment but Glacier Media has not received a reply from both parties as of Wednesday afternoon.
Acting Sergeant-at-Arms Greg Nelson deferred questions to Clerk of the House Kate Ryan-Lloyd, who also did not respond to Glacier Media, which will report on any updates the OIPC or the Legislature provides.
The Legislature is not subject to requests for information under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act — a matter that has previously been raised during a corruption scandal involving former Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz and clerk Craig James, who remain subjects to an ongoing RCMP investigation stemming from allegations that became public in November 2018.