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Whalen denies part in email

The constituency assistant for Deputy Liberal Leader Diana Whalenneither confirms nor denies he was behind an internal email to Liberalparty members bashing leader Stephen McNeil.

The constituency assistant for Deputy Liberal Leader Diana Whalen neither confirms nor denies he was behind an internal email to Liberal party members bashing leader Stephen McNeil.

“I have no comment,” Doug Boudreau said yesterday at Whalen’s Clayton Park constituency office.

When asked if he has any views of McNeil’s leadership, Boudreau responded, “None I’d like to share publicly.” The email has sent Liberal party brass scrambling to investigate how someone got their hands on a secret party mailing list for all registered members, potentially breaking privacy laws. Even MLAs are not privy to that list.

An email attacking McNeil’s leadership was sent anonymously from leadershipreview2010@gmail.com — a reference to McNeil’s upcoming leadership review later this month.

Liberal party sources allege they tracked the IP address to a “D. Boudreau” from the same neighbourhood where Whalen’s constituency assistant Doug Boudreau lives.

The Liberals have hired lawyer Michelle Awad of McInnis Cooper to investigate. Awad recently represented two fire department officials in a high-profile case regarding anonymous online comments on The Coast’s website. One Liberal MLA said almost the entire Liberal caucus suspects Whalen was involved in the McNeil smear campaign.

She vehemently denied that yesterday. “I had nothing to do with that, my office had nothing to do with that,” she told reporters.

However, she said she had not asked her staff members if they were involved, saying she did not want to take part in a “witch hunt.”

“I’m saying that I don’t know who sent that email and that’s the end of it. I don’t know and I don’t think it’s my job to be part of the witch hunt,” she said.

Whalen said the email is a party affair and she didn’t understand why legislature reporters were raising the issue.

“I’m in the middle of answering an email to somebody who doesn’t like the HST hike. You know, why aren’t we talking about things that have more substance?” she said.

In 2007, Whalen lost to McNeil for the Liberal leadership by 68 votes.

McNeil’s leadership review is scheduled for the weekend of May 15.

 
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