Clark leaves voicemail apology after blaming breach on NDP
Published Friday, February 10, 2017 9:04AM PST
Last Updated Friday, February 10, 2017 7:00PM PST
Hours after an independent MLA called Christy Clark a "diva of deflection" over her handling of the BC Liberals' privacy breach, the premier offered an apology for blaming the scandal on the opposition.
That apology took the form of a voicemail to NDP leader John Horgan, who was apparently not available when Clark tried to contact him Friday morning.
"When we jump to conclusions and we make a mistake, we should own up to it and I have no problem saying sorry because I made a mistake," Clark told reporters.
"I'm hopeful still that he'll find time today to call me back so I can also speak to him one-on-one."
Earlier in the day, MLA Vicki Huntington revealed her office had discovered sensitive personal information unprotected on the Liberals' website over a week ago.
For several days, the Liberals have claimed the data, which was gathered through a public policy consultation on Vancouver Island, was stolen in a hack over the weekend and passed on to journalists.
Huntington said she was actually the one who decided to contact a reporter, because she was concerned about the apparent lack of online security the Liberals had in place.
"I am not a hacker, I wouldn't even know how to begin to hack," she told CTV News.
"We got into that information with the click of a mouse. There was no password, no username, no encryption devices, it was just readily available – and that's the issues that has been deflected so well by the premier. The Liberal website had… private information accessible to anybody in the world."
Clark blamed the NDP for the alleged hack on Tuesday, despite having no evidence to offer to back up the criminal accusation.
She also suggested forces were attempting to undermine the democratic process, which Huntington said was the last straw in her decision to come forward.
"Here's a premier whose office is engaged in triple-deleting, who has used government employees to develop strategies for quick wins in ethnic communities, who invites wealthy donors into her offices, who has refused any attempt at parliamentary reform," Huntington said.
"Really what we're talking about is the pot calling the kettle black."
Clark, after issuing her apology, thanked Huntington for coming forward and promised the Liberals will be reviewing how the information was handled.
"The privacy of personal information, it's a really serious matter and the party is going to ensure that the proper protocols were in place to protect information in its possession," Clark said.
Horgan, who had been demanding an apology since hearing the premier's accusation, spoke to reporters outside an event at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Friday afternoon, but said he had yet to hear Clark's message.
"I have not had an opportunity to check my voicemails. I've been otherwise engaged this morning," Horgan said.
The NDP leader said he can't accept the premier's apology until he's heard it, but argued that regardless of what she said Clark's conduct has already called her credibility into question leading into this year's provincial election.
"This is a storm that was created by a premier who, when she gets into trouble, makes stuff up," he said.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan
Independent MLA Vicki Huntington via statement: staff saw sensitive info on Liberal website, blames Libs for breach, says it wasn't a hack.— CTV Bhinder Sajan (@BhinderSajan) February 10, 2017
Huntington calls premier's suggestion someone was trying to subvert democracy, "outrageous" & points to triple-delete and quick win scandals— CTV Bhinder Sajan (@BhinderSajan) February 10, 2017