Debate between candidates gets personal

James McLeod
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Liberal leadership hopefuls have resolved conflict

Danny Dumaresque isn’t revealing what exactly was said, but in a conversation Monday night following a Liberal leadership debate at Memorial University, he says it got personal between him and fellow candidate Cathy Bennett.

Danny Dumaresque. — Telegram file photo

Dumaresque said he was “surprised and shocked” when Bennett made a comment about a member of his family.

“I took exception to it and I made her quite well aware,” he said.

“When I got home this morning, I found a message on my answering machine from Ms. Bennett sincerely apologizing for the comments she made to me last night.”

During the debate earlier on, things got tense between Dumaresque and Bennett. At one point, during a one-on-one debate between Dumaresque and Paul Antle, he steered the conversation towards temporary foreign workers.

Dumaresque accused Bennett of saying that she brought in temporary foreign workers to staff management positions at her fast food restaurants because Newfoundlanders were only qualified for the front-line jobs.

Bennett was not able to respond directly, but in the background, she could be heard muttering that Dumaresque was misrepresenting her comments and not being fair.

“I believe we have thousands of people that can be managers of the fast food business,” Dumaresque said. “There was nothing personal about me holding another candidate to account.”

On the other hand, Dumaresque said Bennett made it personal.

“Ms. Bennett chose to make a derogatory comment about a member of my family. So from there, there’s no question you can conclude it’s personal. But she’s the one that went there, not me,” he said. “That being said, I accept her apology.”

Bennett was unavailable to do an interview for this story, but a spokeswoman sent a statement on her behalf.

“I have apologized for any comments that Mr. Dumaresque perceived as derogatory,” the statement from Bennett said.

“It was not my intention to upset him. As far as both parties are concerned, the matter has been clarified and resolved.”

Twitter: TelegramJames

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Dianne
    September 19, 2013 - 06:15

    People your letting your thought get out of control. This isn't about Ms Bennett hiding foreign workers, Just that our young people don't want to work anymore. Because their parents give them everything, And with the help of the government, we have young women and men home, just sitting around, waiting for a cheque to come in twice a month. Ask Mr Dumaresque, did he every receive government funding for his fish plant. Or Mr Antle why do he like dealing with foreign company. Ask Mr Ball why do he see a future in marystown, at the same time he only see make work project in his district. Yes Mr Ball would make a great leader, some what like the one we got now

  • Scott
    September 19, 2013 - 05:20

    Hope people understand this was stage by Dumaresque and Antle, to make Cathy look bad. Dumaresque is still mad because he lost his seat to a woman...Antle don't want people to take notice of his dealing with foreign country.

  • James
    September 18, 2013 - 11:51

    McBennett - leave a candidate's family members out of political debates or people will think you are cheap - like your $1.39 menu

  • Greg
    September 18, 2013 - 10:49

    It is no secret that Mr. Dumeresque's wife is a foreigner. It is also no secret his eldest son has developmental challenges. Dumeresque has been open on these facts. For Cathy Bennett to take a cheap shot at either of them demonstrates just how low she is prepared to go to get what she wants.

  • filly
    September 18, 2013 - 09:24

    “I have apologized for any comments that Mr. Dumaresque perceived as derogatory,” Perceived as derogatory? Sad excuse for an apology. Sounds like a Jerome Kennedy apology. McBennett is in over her head if she can't even keep her cool during debate. This isn't McDonalds Cathy. You aren't in charge and you must play nice. Best you quit now.

  • Virginia Waters
    September 18, 2013 - 09:18

    Move past what Nicole? We don't even know yet the substance of the comment for which Bennett was forced to apologize. I can pretty well guess what it was, but I think the Telegram needs to enquire further from the people who were there. I think the story is important because it goes to the issue of personal suitability for the job of party leader and ultimately premier. I don't think there's much about Cathy Bennett that is Liberal or liberal. The admission that she train Newfoundlanders for the low paying positions at MacDonald's - but not the higher paying jobs - tells us volumes about the approach she would take as premier of this province. I don't think this is the person the Liberals need to lead them. Not merely because of her past associations with the Conservative party, her role in NALCOR and Muskrat, and her admittedly dismissive attitude toward Newfoundland workers, but because she exudes an arrogance, indifference to ordinary people, and aggressiveness that are in sharp contrast to other leaders such as Dwight Ball. Think the Liberals are in danger of having their party taken over by desperate Tories wanting to escape a sinking ship.

  • Nicole
    September 18, 2013 - 07:46

    If both parties have indeed moved past this, then why make a story out of it. I am so sick of kindergartners leading, or in this case wanting to lead the Government of this Province.

  • Carol Ann Rogers
    September 18, 2013 - 06:40

    Well now, this explains why recent post secondary graduates are saying they send out hundreds of resumes and get no response, because employers get wage subsidy when hiring foreign workers, how is it possible Newfoundland does not have one graduate that meets the qualifications as a fast food manager?? Visit McDonalds on Stavanger ALL the employees are foreigners not the manager so what is up with that Ms. Bennett ? I will vote for who supports NL workers and that is NOT YOU.