Conservative party leader hopeful Erin 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.

Conservative party leader hopeful Erin 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.

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

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

OTTAWA — 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.”

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.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Kyla Gibson with her boyfriend Gavin Hardy. (Photo used with permission)
Sylvan Lake couple lose ‘fur babies’ to house fire

‘They were our world and nothing will ever replace them,’ Kyla Gibson said of her three pets

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 456 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Businesses are getting creative to keep cash flowing. (File photo)
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. Public opposition to the Alberta government’s plans to expand coal mining in the Rocky Mountains appears to be growing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File
Alberta cancels coal leases, pauses future sales, as opposition increases

New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt welcomed the suspension

File photo
Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit recovers valuable stolen property

Property valued at over $50,000 recovered by Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit.

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File)
First Nations seek to intervene in court challenge of coal policy removal

Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

Most Read