PortandTerminal.com, June 20, 2020
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Canada’s conservative party is in the midst of a leadership race and is now suddenly embroiled in a dirty tricks scandal involving two of its candidates.
In the past week the four candidates vying for leadership of Canada’s official opposition party, the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), debated each other on national TV.
Conservative party members will vote to chose their next leader of their in August. The winner will in all probability be the person who challenges Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the next national elections.
One of the candidates in the running, Erin O’Toole, claimed on Friday that his campaign was hacked via Zoom by fellow conservative party rival Peter MacKay. O’Toole has filed formal complaints with the top policing bodies in Canada.
Canada’s conservative party badly trails Trudeau’s party in the polls and can ill-afford an election scandal. But now, that’s just what they’ve got.
Claims of Campaign Zoom hacking
Just after midnight today, Erin O’Toole, who is one of the front runners in the conservative party leadership race, tweeted that his rival Peter MacKay stole confidential campaign and strategy data via a computer hack of his campaign’s systems.
The O’Toole campaign has filed a formal complaint and a request for an investigation with Canada’s RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police and the Toronto Police Service. That’s about as big as it gets in Canada.
O’Toole alleges the MacKay team obtained confidential login information for virtual campaign meetings held over the popular video conferencing application Zoom, and that at least some of them were downloaded.
It’s a serious allegation and reminiscent of the Nixon Watergate scandal from the 1970s in which the Democratic headquarters were broken into at the Watergate Hotel at the behest of President Richard Nixon. Nixon famously resigned in shame as a result of the debacle and its ensuing investigation.
Response from Peter MacKay
In an article published today by Canada’s CTV, MacKay dismissed the allegations as a “desperate, last-ditch strategy” by the O’Toole campaign.
“It is not surprising that this is a tactic being trotted out the same week that Erin O’Toole performed very poorly in the debates in front of party members and Canadians,” the MacKay campaign said in their statement.
PortandTerminal.com has contacted the Peter MacKay campaign for further clarification on the allegations made against him but have not received a response.
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