Ben­nett re­signs fi­nance port­fo­lio

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. - New­found­land and Labrador’s em­bat­tled fi­nance min­is­ter abruptly called it quits Mon­day, six months after she com­plained about being con­stantly bul­lied online by crit­ics who used death threats and body sham­ing to ridicule the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment’s harsh bud­get mea­sures.

On the job for only 19 months, Cathy Ben­nett was chief ar­chi­tect of the Lib­er­als’ first bud­get since they won the pro­vin­cial elec­tion in Novem­ber 2015, a wildly un­pop­u­lar doc­u­ment that at­tempted to deal with the prov­ince’s eco­nomic malaise amid slump­ing world oil prices by in­tro­duc­ing sweep­ing tax in­creases and spend­ing cuts.

Ben­nett could not be reached for com­ment Mon­day, but she is­sued a state­ment say­ing she re­signed for “nu­mer­ous per­sonal rea­sons.” The state­ment did not of­fer de­tails.

Within a few hours of Ben­nett’s an­nounce­ment, Pre­mier Dwight Ball fol­lowed up with a ma­jor cab­i­net shuf­fle, which in­cluded re­plac­ing Ben­nett with vet­eran politi­cian Tom Os­borne - a for­mer Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive who once served in Danny Wil­liams’ cab­i­net. In all, eight cab­i­net min­is­ters as­sumed new port­fo­lios.

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