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Peter Goldring, Edmonton MP, Denies Hacking Into Private Emails

08/22/2015 11:10 EDT | Updated 08/22/2015 11:59 EDT

Peter Goldring, the outgoing MP for Edmonton-East, has dismissed accusations from former campaign workers that he had spied on them as "ridiculous."

Dan Johnson, the co-chair of Goldring's 2011 campaign, and Matthew Altheim, a former riding executive, have accused the Conservative MP of installing spyware on computers and accessing Johnson's private email account.

Goldring told The Edmonton Sun on Thursday that the allegations are "ridiculous" and "completely untrue."

Johnson and Altheim appeared on current affairs web show "To The Point" Thursday night and presented an audio recording made during an emergency board meeting on April 14, 2011, a month before Goldring was re-elected.

In the recording, the MP refers to Johnson as "a rather evil person who had been kicked out of our campaign for racially slurring on the computer."

Goldring was reportedly referring to a joke about his wife — who is Caucasian — that was sent in a private email by a campaign worker.

Altheim questions how the MP got hold of the email, and suggests that Goldring used spyware to capture people's passwords and then log into their email accounts.

Goldring responds by laughing, and then later replies, "I'll tell you what, we did. We booted his ass out of the campaign."

The MP is also heard saying, "It was after the campaign. It was done forensically."

Listen to the exchange below, starting at 1:05:57:

Altheim said the riding association took the information to the Conservative party and Prime Minister's Office, but nothing was done. He said he and Johnson are bringing attention to the case now to highlight how willing the party is to "cover things up, to protect their establishment, and protect the party brand."

Illegally accessing someone's computer or private data is a criminal offence, but Johnson said he is not taking the matter to the police. Instead, he wants to see a cultural change within the federal Conservative party.

"I don't see the point in any criminal procedures being initiated, just like I don't see the point in an apology. Actions speak louder than words and we need to know that these kinds of things just won't happen again," he said.

HuffPost Canada's requests for comment from the Conservative party have not been answered.

First elected in 1997, Goldring is not running in the Oct. 19 election. He is known for carrying a spy pen, which has a tiny video camera, to record his interactions with people.

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