UCP website outage just a server issue: party official
The United Conservative Party website was nothing but a broken link Thursday, invisible along with the “Best Summer Ever” hats and the “No Vaccine Passports Survey” link.
Unitedconservative.ca was displaying a “host error” the day after the governing party took a sharp turn by reinstalling COVID-19 restrictions and introducing a vaccine passport of sorts, something the Premier said for months that he wouldn’t do.
- 'I apologize': Kenney says Alta. wrong for COVID-19 pandemic to endemic shift, not sorry for Open for Summer plan
- 'It's so unclear': Businesses groan over complicated measures, understand need for COVID rules
- 'It should never have come to this': Notley on new rules
The UCP said nothing about the outage on its social media channels, and a party official insisted it was just a “server issue,” several hours after being first contacted by CTV News Edmonton.
Speculation about the website bubbled on social media Thursday - fuelled by another UCP MLA speaking out against his party’s decisions.
Richard Gotfried is not the first, and likely not the last, according to a former UCP MLA who has called for Jason Kenney to resign as Premier and party leader.
"There was a lot of dysfunction in the caucus, and I don't think that dysfunction has improved," now-independent MLA Todd Loewen said of the party’s troubles Thursday. "In fact, I think it's probably gotten even worse."
Former deputy premier - and outspoken UCP critic - Thomas Lukaszuk tweeted about the website crash saying the UCP “folded its big tent.”September 16, 2021
Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams said it’s clear there’s cracks in the party.
"Jason Kenney has been desperately trying to hold a United Conservative Party together by basically pandering to those further on the right, and I think it might mean defections,” she said.
But UCP Director of Communications Dave Prisco stated it was a technical issue, when asked if dissenting voices or a hack played a factor on the website crash.
And he didn’t respond to a question about the party scrubbing old policies away.
A survey on that site recently requested feedback “on our fight against vaccine passports,” and asked for donations of up to $150.
A Google link to that survey still exists but returns only an error message when clicked on.
Another UCP-related website went down in 2018 after Kenney overruled his party members on a policy concerning gay-straight alliances.
At the time, Kenney said the outage of his grassrootsguarantee.ca website was due to an “IT issue.”
With files from CTV News Calgary’s Timm Bruch