Alberta MLA Thomas Dang resigns from NDP caucus after RCMP searches home

Edmonton-South MLA Thomas Dang has resigned from the Alberta NDP caucus after the RCMP executed a search warrant at his home Tuesday.

NDP leader suspects search related to a privacy breach on Alberta's vaccine record site

Edmonton-South MLA Thomas Dang was first elected to the Alberta legislature in 2015. Dang resigned from the Alberta NDP caucus Tuesday after the RCMP executed a search warrant at his home. (Trevor Wilson/CBC)

Edmonton-South MLA Thomas Dang has resigned from the Alberta NDP caucus after the RCMP executed a search warrant at his home Tuesday. 

Dang, who was first elected in 2015, will remain an MLA but will sit as an independent in the legislative assembly. 

The news was announced by NDP leader Rachel Notley who said Dang contacted her Tuesday morning. 

"Our caucus has a long standing policy that members under active police investigation will not sit in the caucus, and Thomas understands this," she said.

"I cannot really say more at this point as the investigation is ongoing, but I want to be upfront and straightforward with Albertans." 

In a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday night, Dang confirmed police had executed a warrant and he believed it was related to vulnerabilities with the Alberta Health COVID-19 vaccination record site.

"In September, a concern was raised to me as a Member of the Legislative Assembly about the security of the vaccination record system," he wrote. "I tested these concerns and found that a security flaw did exist. 

"I immediately notified Alberta Health with the relevant information so that vulnerability could be corrected. It was resolved shortly thereafter."

Dang said he offered his resignation to the NDP caucus while the investigation is ongoing.

Dang noted he was not home when police came to execute the warrant. 

Notley said she doesn't know what allegation prompted RCMP to obtain a search warrant. 

Dang was skiing with his partner at the time, Notley said. 

RCMP said in a news release Tuesday evening that the Alberta RCMP Cybercrime Investigative Team (CIT) started an investigation after "receiving information regarding suspicious activity related to unlawful access of private information related to the vaccination records portal."

RCMP said it had reasonable grounds to apply for a warrant to search the residence in Edmonton. It did not name Dang in the news release. No arrests or charges have been laid so far, RCMP said. 

"The Alberta RCMP CIT would also emphasize that this is a very complex investigation that involves the examination of a significant volume of forensic digital evidence. This work will take a considerable amount of time to thoroughly complete."