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HomeBusinessClarification and apology to Matthew G. Watson

Clarification and apology to Matthew G. Watson


Bob Mackin

On June 26, 2018, reported that the name of Matthew G. Watson, the chair and chief executive officer of Victoria, B.C. company SendtoNews, was on a Province of British Columbia Registry Services Statement of Registration of General Partnership or Sole Proprietorship form for Adreach Networks. 

The statement of registration for Adreach, a supplier to AggregateIQ, the Victoria company associated with Cambridge Analytica, was filed May 26, 2015.

The original story published June 26, 2018 contained factual errors and did not meet standards of quality. As such, it has been replaced with this statement of clarification and apology to Watson.

The story was connected to the May 16, 2018 testimony of AggregateIQ principal Jeff Silvester to the United Kingdom Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in which Silvester said: “Adreach is a company in Victoria. They are folks that we work with frequently to run ads.”

There is no evidence that Watson had any other involvement with Adreach beyond the filing of the registration form. There is also no evidence that Watson did anything improper. apologizes for any misunderstanding.

Watson was appointed, by order of Minister Mike de Jong, as a director of the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), under Ministerial Order M030, on Feb. 1, 2012. Also, by Order in Council 747, on Dec. 4, 2015, Watson was appointed to the board of British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) by recommendation of Minister Mike de Jong.

Watson remained a member in good standing of both public bodies. Watson left both public bodies on good terms. In a Sept. 22, 2017 news release, he was thanked for his service to VIHA by Health Minister Adrian Dix. His appointment to the BCLC board expired on Dec. 31, 2017. There is no evidence that Watson’s appointment to the boards of public bodies or attendance to observe a sitting of the Legislature on June 27, 2013 was related in any way to personal donations totalling $510 in 2011 to the BC Liberal Party. apologizes for any misunderstanding.

In testimony to the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, on Sept. 27, 2018, AggregateIQ principal Zack Massingham described Watson as “just a mentor of mine,” but he was not part of the corporate structure of AggregateIQ.

Massingham later testified that Watson had been an AggregateIQ shareholder and that his son had been a co-op employee. At the hearing, Massingham did not specify the start and finish dates for either relationship.

In February 2017, campaign disclosure statements showed that Vote Leave had paid AggregateIQ GBP£3.5 million ($5.75 million) for services in the campaign for the June 23, 2016 referendum on the U.K.’s membership in the European Union, better known as Brexit. unsuccessfully sought comment from Watson, Massingham and Silvester in May and June 2018 and continues to extend an invitation to them for an interview.

In June 2019, Watson and SendtoNews were profiled by the Canadian Press wire service, under the headline “SendtoNews is the biggest sports video service you’ve never heard of.” Here is a link to the Canadian Press story.

In September 2019, SendtoNews was recognized by Canadian Business and Maclean’s magazines as the fastest-growing company in the marketing and media sector, and fourth overall, on its ranking of 500 Canadian companies, with 13,898% growth between 2013 and 2018. Here are links to the Canadian Business story and the ranking.