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Alberta MLA charged and facing fines for breaching province's Health Information Act

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Edmonton-Southwest MLA Thomas Dang (centre) laughs along with his colleagues during an introductory meeting with all newly-elected MLAs in Edmonton on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The Alberta RCMP Cybercrime Investigative Team said Friday it had laid charges against Dang for illegally attempting to access private information contained in the Alberta Health Services vaccine portal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

EDMONTON — An Alberta legislature member investigated by the RCMP after admitting to hacking into a government health website is being charged under the province's Health Information Act.

The Alberta RCMP Cybercrime Investigative Team says it has charged Thomas Dang for illegally attempting to access private information contained in the Alberta Health vaccine portal.

If convicted, the second-term MLA could face a fine up to $200,000 and is scheduled to appear in court July 27.

Dang resigned from the NDP caucus when he became aware of the RCMP probe in December 2021.

Police investigated after Dang admitted to using his computer to follow up on a tip from a constituent about possible loopholes that were allowing access to people's private health information on the province's COVID-19 vaccine website.

He later said that when he ran into roadblocks trying to breach the vaccination site, he used Premier Jason Kenney's birth date and vaccination dates -- both publicly available _ which allowed him to breach the site's privacy safeguards.

He has been sitting in the house as an Independent but says he wants to return to caucus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 24, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story; An earlier version, based on information in an RCMP news release, said Dang was charged for illegally attempting to access information on the Alberta Health Services vaccine portal. In fact, the portal is operated by Alberta Health.