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<as a municipality, don't you have a further concern related to Public Records?>

And any Freedom of Information regulations set for municipalities in Canada.  I also think there are some local and federal Canadian laws and regulations regarding retention of certain records.  You would have one heck of a list of "exceptions" in order to meet most legal requirements.  If you plan to cover as many record values as possible with one retention for all emails, you will be keeping a huge amount of emails for a very long time - adding to the search burden when required to produce particular correspondences.  What you are proposing is not a "different approach."  It has been put in place in many government and private sector organizations, usually by IT policies, to the detriment of the organization.  Take a look through many of the RAIN postings to see how the courts view a short term "unified" retention for all emails.  

Ginny Jones 
(Virginia A. Jones, CRM, FAI) 
Records Manager 
Information Technology Division 
Newport News Dept. of Public Utilities 
Newport News, VA 
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