(EDMONTON, AB) July 13, 2022: Newly unsealed court records released by the CBC suggest NDP Leader Rachel Notley misled Albertans when she denied knowing that Edmonton-South MLA Thomas Dang hacked Alberta’s vaccine records system using information that was not his own, former police officer and Chief Government Whip Brad Rutherford said today.
Provincial Court Judge Shelagh Creagh unsealed damning court records that show Notley’s office knew Dang conducted a shocking 1.78 million illegal health record searches in September. Previously, Notley denied knowing anything about Dang’s hacking activities until his home was raided by RCMP in December. Notley only admitted to knowing about “anecdotal reports,” in September, while her communications director referred to having been tipped off by “a party”.
According to the unsealed records, however, “Dang reached out to [Notley’s communications director] and [Notley’s chief of staff] to inform them of the security issue,” following the illegal searches in September.
“This is pretty much a smoking gun,” Rutherford said. “It is next to impossible to believe Notley’s senior staff knew about this sophisticated hacking scandal while she didn’t. These court records suggest Notley and her staff knew and misled the public. Notley must come clean with Albertans about exactly what she knew and when she knew it.”
Dang is set to appear in court on July 27, after he was charged by RCMP for illegally hacking Albertans’ private health information.
According to the unsealed records, Dang conducted 1.78 million illegal searches from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23. RCMP had considered charging him criminally with section 342.1 of the criminal code (unauthorized use of a computer). Dang told RCMP in a Jan. interview that he got a hit on the premier’s private information early in the morning on Sept. 23. The investigator believes that 20 minutes later, Dang performed a manual confirmation using the same information. Approximately two hours after that, Dang performed what is thought to be a third confirmation. Eight minutes after that is when Notley’s staff informed the health minister’s office.