B.C. NDP face backlash after using John Horgan’s cancer diagnosis to collect emails
B.C. NDP face backlash after using John Horgan’s cancer diagnosis to collect emails

A week after former B.C. NDP premier John Horgan was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, the NDP is facing backlash for asking supporters to wish Horgan well, in what appears to be an attempt at amassing email addresses.

Horgan, who now serves as Canada’s ambassador to Germany, announced in June that will be taking a leave from his current job to undergo immunotherapy to treat the cancer.

The B.C. NDP’s X account posted the link to a webpage asking  supporters to “send a message of support” to Horgan, after he was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. 

The webpage prompts their well-wishers to enter their name, email address, phone number, and postal code. 

The British Columbia NDP did not respond to a request for comment from True North about the criticism.

In a statement to True North, Conservative Party of BC campaign director Angelo Isidorou said that the intent of the data mining campaign is to solicit money from those who sign on, and that this was done unethically.

“Using John Horgan’s cancer diagnosis as a mechanism to trick British Columbians into giving their personal information is highly unethical,” said Isidorou.

“We all know the NDP will use this data to profit. Whoever had this idea should be held responsible.”

Users on social media decried the tactic as opportunistic and disrespectful.

“The NDP is using John Horgan’s cancer diagnosis to mine data and use it to raise money. Gross,” reads an X post from the B.C. Conservatives.

BC United MLA Trevor Halford said that while he hopes Horgan makes a quick recovery, the NCP should not use his illness to collect data.

“Every British Columbian is hoping John Horgan makes a full & speedy recovery. Using his illness as a way to data mine is gross,” said Halford.

Former Surrey mayor and BC Conservative candidate Linda Hepner also condemned the NDP’s data collection tactics, calling them “scurrilous.”

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