Leduc’s campaign website ‘hijacked’ by political rival

Ward 11 candidate Christopher Duncanson-Hales leases the domain of the BillLeduc.ca website, the site of his political rival, which he linked to his own campaign website, forward-11.ca

Try connecting BillLeduc.ca to your website browser.

Rather than check out the Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc, the link will reveal the page of his only political rival, Christopher Duncanson-Hales.

Calling the move “underhanded”, “unethical” and “dirty politics”, Leduc said Duncanson-Hales had “hacked into” his website, the address of which he printed on various campaign ads, including lawn signs.

“It’s just very disheartening to see someone take over someone else’s website,” Leduc said. “At the end of the day, you might as well go and take my Facebook page too. Where is your moral?

“It tells me that you are very deceptive to your people, to the city, that you are willing to try to win an election at any cost, even if you have to deceive people.”

Duncanson-Hales told Sudbury.com that he was leasing the domain name from a local man, Richard Eberhardt.

“I thought it was worth more than it cost to buy it,” Eberhardt said of his decision to buy it. “The previous owner left the domain available for purchase. The cost was less than $3. Once purchased, the domain was dormant until I was contacted by the candidate. He offered to lease the domain for fair value. I agreed.”

“I don’t know if it’s underhanded,” Duncanson-Hales said in response to Leduc’s criticism.

“As an incumbent, he exploited his incumbent advantage, and getting my message out only informs voters,” he added. “You try to get your name out there and you try to get out there what you stand for, and you use the tools that are available to you.”

BillLeduc.ca appeared as a blank page placeholder until Duncanson-Hales said he succeeded, feeling that he was not serving local voters anyway.

“If you can’t secure your website for an election, that’s a level I would expect for any campaign — the first thing you would do,” Duncanson-Hales said. “If he has a problem with it and wants to discuss it with me, I would be welcome to talk to him about it.”

Although disappointed to have inadvertently announced his political rival’s campaign, Leduc said there was a bright side to the situation: “People know exactly who they are voting for now.

This isn’t the first time Leduc and Duncanson-Hales have faced off.

The two were notably at odds over the Kingsway Entertainment District. Leduc has long supported the project, which would have included a municipal arena alongside a private casino and hotel on The Kingsway. Duncanson-Hales has long opposed the project because of its casino component.

Duncanson-Hales was one of the key figures in the failed Local Planning Appeal Tribunal appeal of the project, which Leduc blames for delaying it until costs skyrocketed to so much so that the city council voted to withdraw from the project earlier this year. .

Last month, Duncanson-Hales criticized a Grandparents Day event hosted by Leduc as looking more like a campaign event for Leduc than the public community event it was billed as, which Leduc refuted.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.

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