Cathy Bennett

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Cathy Bennett
MHA
Cathy-bennett.jpg
Cathy Bennett in April 2016.
Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board of Newfoundland and Labrador
In office
December 14, 2015 – July 31, 2017
Preceded by Ross Wiseman
Succeeded by Tom Osborne
Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly
for Windsor Lake
Virginia Waters (2014-2015)
Assumed office
May 5, 2014
Preceded by Kathy Dunderdale
Personal details
Born 1964
Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada[1]
Political party Liberal Party
Residence St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Cathy Bennett is a Canadian in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. She represented the electoral district of Virginia Waters in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly from 2014 to 2018.

Bennett was first elected in a 2014 by-election to succeed former Premier Kathy Dunderdale, who had resigned earlier in the year. She defeated her Progressive Conservative opponent by 40 votes.[2]

In 2013, Bennett ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party, coming in third. She served as Minister of Finance in the Ball government.

Background[edit]

Bennett received a High School diploma in 1982.[3]

Bennett is a prominent business person in Newfoundland, owning and operating numerous restaurants throughout the province. She was also a significant contributor and fundraiser for St. John's first Ronald McDonald House. Bennett previously served as the chairperson of the St. John's Board of Trade and governor of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.[4]

Politics[edit]

Minister of Finance[edit]

Bennett became Minister of Finance for the provincial government after the Liberal Party won 31 out of 40 seats in the 2015 general election.

On April 14, 2016 Bennett revealed the provincial government's budget which implements austerity measures.[5] She criticized the high amount of spending by the government from 2003-15 led by the Progressive Conservative Party.[6]

Bennett resigned as Finance Minister on July 31, 2017. Bennett continued as a backbencher MHA from July 2017 until August 2018; most notably her involvement in the debate regarding bullying and harassment in the House of Assembly.[7]

Abuse in office[edit]

In a 2016 article in the National Observer, Bennett shared that she faces body-shaming and abuse from disappointed constituents.[8] Some of these constituents offered that the best solution to her policy would be kill herself or "All Newfoundlanders should put a bounty on her head. She is a witch." She is quoted saying,"Language that starts with the shaming and the insults and the verbal abuse is the beginning steps that lead to [physical violence]." In 2018, following the suspension of two cabinet ministers for harassment, Bennett stated that her resignation as Finance Minister in 2017 was due to bullying, isolation and gaslighting within the Liberal caucus and cabinet.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]

2013 CEO of the Year - Atlantic Business Magazine [10]

2012 Top 25 Women of Influence[11]

Electoral record[edit]

Newfoundland and Labrador general election, 2015: Windsor Lake
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Cathy Bennett 3,182 66.40
Progressive Conservative Ryan Cleary 970 20.24
New Democratic Don Rowe 640 13.36
Total valid votes 4,792 100.0
Turnout 52.59
Eligible voters 9,088
Virginia Waters By-election April 9, 2014 On the resignation of Kathy Dunderdale, February 28, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Cathy Bennett 1932 39.88 +30.33
Progressive Conservative Danny Breen 1892 39.05 -20.99
     NDP Sheilagh O'Leary 1021 21.07 -9.35
Total valid votes 4,895  
Rejected
Turnout
Liberal gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +25.66
Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador leadership election, 2013
Ballot 1 Ballot 2 Ballot 3
Candidate Votes % Points % Votes % Points % Votes % Points %
Dwight Ball 10,944 45.94% 2,130.05 44.38% 11,306 48.45% 2,257.15 47.02% 12,598 60.64% 2,832.29 59.01%
Paul Antle 6,340 26.61% 1,321.15 27.52% 6,600 28.28% 1,397.86 29.12% 8,178 39.36% 1,967.71 40.99%
Cathy Bennett 5,252 22.05% 1,089.05 22.69% 5,431 23.27% 1,144.99 23.85%
Danny Dumaresque 670 2.81% 131.69 2.74%
Jim Bennett 617 2.59% 128.05 2.67%
Total 23,823 100.00 4,800.00 100.00 23,337 100.00 4,800.00 100.00 20,776 100.00 4,800.00 100.00

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government of Dwight Ball
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Ross Wiseman Minister of Finance
December 14, 2015–July 31, 2017
Tom Osborne
Susan Sullivan Minister Responsible for the Status of Women
December 14, 2015–July 31, 2017
Siobhan Coady