Canada's spy service destroyed a Cold War dossier on Pierre Trudeau in 1989 instead of turning it over to the national archives, The Canadian Press has learned.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the secret file on the former prime minister was scrapped because it fell short of the legal threshold for retention by either the service or the archives.
News of the decision to purge the file, which is coming to light only three decades later, has stunned and disappointed historians.
"It's just outrageous, there's no other word to describe it," said John English, who wrote an acclaimed biography of Trudeau. "It's a tragedy that this has happened, and I think the explanation is weak."
Steve Hewitt, who has spent years chronicling the country's security services, called the destruction "a crime against Canadian history."