Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Accusations of information-leaking and anti-gay sentiment hound B.C. Liberal’s campaign

The campaign of high-profile B.C. Liberal incumbent Mary Polak is suddenly under the microscope, as questions are being raised as to why exactly her campaign manager, Todd Hauptman, suddenly parted with the team on Tuesday.

In a widely distributed e-mail early Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Hauptman said that as someone who is gay he could no longer support the campaign when "the very base of voters who will likely help Mary get re-elected in just one-weeks [sic] time are made up of individuals who hold hateful attitudes towards the community I am a part of."

He said Ms. Polak, who is running for the Liberals in Langley, had always shown him respect and love, but he had been conflicted "beyond words these past weeks."

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Polak told The Globe and Mail later in the day that she met with Mr. Hauptman Tuesday morning just hours before he sent out the e-mail.

She said their meeting was to discuss Mr. Hauptman's "close friendship" with a key member of the local NDP campaign, adding that she had become aware of information that the NDP had come by – including details of her campaign strategy – that she says in all likelihood came from Mr. Hauptman.

"It was my intention at the time to keep him as campaign manager and find a way to work through this and ensure that none of this campaign information was compromised," Ms. Polak said. "I don't think Todd had any malicious intent. He's very new and inexperienced in provincial politics and I think that played a role.

Ms. Polak said she and Mr. Hauptman agreed to talk later in the day to plan out how best to deal with the remainder of the campaign.

"Instead I heard through the media he had sent this letter of resignation," Ms. Polak said.

Ms. Polak said she wouldn't speculate as to whether Mr. Hauptman's resignation had anything to do with their morning meeting, adding that she takes what Mr. Hauptman said in the e-mail at face value.

She said she does not believe her base holds negative attitudes towards the gay community, but said if that's what Mr. Hauptman experienced, she wouldn't question it.

Story continues below advertisement

"The most difficult thing about this is that he wasn't just my campaign manager, he's my friend and has been my friend for quite a long time," she added.

Mr. Hauptman could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Alec Stromdahl, the campaign manager for Langley NDP candidate Andrew Mercier, said no information on Ms. Polak's campaign, to his knowledge, was passed on to the NDP. He did say that Mr. Hauptman is friends with an individual who does "voter contact" work with the local NDP campaign.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
News reporter

Daniel Bitonti is a Vancouver-based reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before joining the bureau, Daniel spent six months on the copy desk in the Globe’s Toronto newsroom after completing a journalism degree at Carleton University. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.