Toronto – February 21, 2017 – After spending an entire week accusing the New Democrats of hacking the B.C. Liberal Party website, without providing any evidence to support the claim, Premier Christy Clark has been forced to apologize to B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan for her libelous claims.
The saga began when a reporter was informed by an unnamed source that private donor information was easily available on the Liberal Party website in what appeared to be a violation of privacy laws. When the reporter informed the Liberal Party of the privacy breach, the link exposing the data was disabled. But instead of admitting to an internal error, the B.C. Liberals commenced a bizarre, week-long campaign to convince the public that their website had been hacked. Without a sliver of evidence to prove her assertion, Clark claimed that the B.C. NDP were attempting to subvert the democratic process by hacking into Liberal Party computers, which is considered a criminal offense.
Reporters demanded evidence of her outrageous claims, but neither Clark nor the Liberals were able to provide any proof to support their accusations. Eventually, independent MLA Vicki Huntington had enough and revealed herself as the source who informed the reporter of the apparent privacy breach. It was Huntington’s staff who came across the private information on the Liberal Party website, and she explained that there was no need to hack the website because the information was publicly available for anyone to see.
Clark’s accusations that the B.C. NDP tried to criminally hack into the Liberal website infuriated Huntington. “When I heard the premier’s comments, accusing the NDP of criminal activity and saying this ‘hacking’ of their website was subverting democracy – I couldn’t take it anymore,” said Huntington. At this point Huntington decided to go public. She was outraged that Clark would falsely accuse her political opponent of undermining democracy when the premier’s own government has been involved in numerous scandals while in office.
By the end of the week, Premier Clark’s attempts to smear the B.C. NDP had totally unraveled, and Clark was left with only one way out of the mess she had created: apologizing to NDP Leader John Horgan.
Back in late 2016, B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Bill Bennett had this to say about the upcoming B.C. election: “I anticipate the ugliest campaign we’ve ever seen – and the ugliness will come from the NDP.” But it appears that the ugliness is instead coming from Premier Christy Clark and her Liberal government.