Bennett resigns finance portfolio
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.