British Columbia

Christy Clark apologizes for hacking allegations

Premier Christy Clark says she has apologized to opposition leader John Horgan for accusing the NDP of hacking the B.C. Liberal Party website.

Premier says she has left NDP leader John Horgan a voicemail but hasn't spoken to him directly

Premier Christy Clark has issued an apology to John Horgan and the B.C. NDP for falsely accusing them of criminally hacking the B.C. Liberal Party website. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Premier Christy Clark says she has apologized to opposition leader John Horgan for accusing the NDP of criminally hacking the B.C. Liberal Party website.

"Earlier today I called the leader of the opposition and I apologized to John for comments I made earlier this week," the premier said on a media conference call.

Clark said she hadn't spoken directly to Horgan but did leave him a voice mail.

Clark leveled the hacking allegation earlier in the week after a sensitive B.C. Liberal Party document was sent to a journalist. No evidence was ever presented by the premier or the Liberals to support the claim.

Vicki Huntington, independent MLA for Delta South, says the private document at the centre of Premier Christy Clark's hacking allegations was in fact posted on the B.C. Liberal Party's public website, viewable by anyone who clicked on the link. (CBC)

On Friday, Independent MLA Vicki Huntington divulged it was one of her staff members who had stumbled upon the document by merely clicking on a link in the donor's section of the B.C. Liberal Party's public website.

The page in question contained names, emails, addresses and the responses of a number of Vancouver Island residents who had answered a B.C. Liberal Party survey.

Huntington said she decided to go public because of Clark's "outrageous" accusations of hacking.

"Falsely accusing someone of thwarting the democratic process — it's too much,"  said Huntington.

'Diva of deflection'

"Christy Clark is a diva of deflection. What this [hacking] story is allowing her to do is stop the public discussion of Alex Gervais — a young man in government care committing suicide. Now that whole report has been deflected.

"The issue of her own party having private information on a publicly accessible website — deflected."

Huntington said the Liberal Party only has itself to blame for the private document being made public.

"No username, password, or encryption device was required to access that information, which was on a spreadsheet," said Huntington. "I made the decision to alert a journalist, as [data security] questions are in the public interest and deserve broader scrutiny."

The B.C. Liberal Party put out a statement in response to Huntington's revelations.

"We appreciate Ms. Huntington coming forward," it read in part. "Through our review, we have determined that the platform data is the only data that did not meet our full security standard, which we regret."