Conservative leadership candidates Erin O’Toole and Peter MacKay used every chance they had to poke holes in each others’ records and promises, in a June 18, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Peter MacKay campaign dismisses O’Toole team’s theft allegation

No proof or documentation has been provided about this investigation or its findings

Tension between the two perceived frontrunners of the Conservative leadership contest reached fever pitch this weekend with Erin O’Toole’s campaign accusing leadership rival Peter MacKay of stealing confidential campaign data — charges MacKay’s team is dismissing as a preposterous political ploy.

O’Toole’s campaign issued a late-night press release Friday, saying it has filed a formal complaint with three police agencies seeking an investigation into MacKay’s organization.

The complaint involves an alleged theft of confidential campaign and strategy data uncovered by an internal investigation after the O’Toole team’s systems were reportedly hacked earlier this week.

No proof or documentation has been provided about this investigation or its findings, nor have any details been released about how this investigation was conducted, except that it included data collection and in-person interviews.

The O’Toole campaign alleges the MacKay team obtained confidential O’Toole login information for virtual campaign meetings held over the popular video conferencing application Zoom, and that at least some of them were downloaded.

MacKay’s team is dismissing the allegations as a “desperate, last ditch strategy.”

ALSO READ: Erin O’Toole camp seeks police probe, accuses MacKay camp of theft

It issued a statement Saturday calling it “mildly amusing” to be on the receiving end of this accusation late on a Friday of what they believe was a “bad week for 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.

“Their campaign telegraphed immediately after the debates that they had given up on their unity message and were going to tear down their opponents as a desperate, last ditch strategy.”

MacKay’s team further noted that if someone from the O’Toole campaign leaked information, the O’Toole campaign should be talking to its own volunteers.

The O’Toole allegation names MacKay campaign organizer Jamie Lall and says details have been shared with RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto police.

The police agencies did not immediately respond for comment.

In a brief tweet, Lall said not a single word of the allegation is true.

Lall did not immediately respond to an interview request from The Canadian Press.

“We call on Peter MacKay and his team to immediately return and delete any stolen data or video’s currently in possession of staff and volunteers,” the O’Toole campaign said in a Friday release.

“We further insist on swift co-operation from Mr. MacKay and his campaign with the RCMP, OPP, and Toronto Police Service and the immediate termination of all involved in this potentially criminal action from their campaign.”

The allegations come after MacKay, O’Toole and fellow candidates Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan squared off in two leadership debates this week.

The debates will likely be the final faceoff between all four candidates before the ballots are sent out to party members early next month.

The four candidates now have two months left to convince thousands of party members they are the best person for the job.

Ballots will go in the mail in July and must be back at the party’s headquarters by Aug. 21. A winner will be announced shortly after.

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delview Thanks4Giving committee members Alexa Liptak (left) and Amanda Quibing stand with the donation box outside the school’s front entrance. (James Smith photo)
Thanks 4 Giving food drive going drive-thru due to COVID-19

Organizers hope North Delta residents will come to them for Delview Secondary’s annual food drive

(counterclockwise from top-left) Candidates for Delta North Jet Sunner (BC Liberals) Neema Manral (BC Greens) and Ravi Kahlon (BC NDP) take part in a virtual all-candidates meeting hosted by Delta Residents Association director Christina Shyong on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. (Delta Residents Association/YouTube.com screenshot)
Health care, taxes, education discussed at final Delta North all-candidates meeting

Virtual meeting hosted by the Delta Residents Association on Oct. 17

(Image: CDC)
Fraser Health orders Surrey food-processing facility to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility also tests positive for the virus

Three people are running to represent the riding of Delta North in the B.C. Legislature: (from left) Ravi Kahlon (BC NDP), Neema Manral (BC Green Party) and Jet Sunner (BC Liberals). (Photos submitted)
Get to know the candidates for Delta North

We sent candidates a questionnaire to help voters learn more about them. Here’s what they had to say…

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read