Cathy Bennett sworn in

Government House ceremony precedes afternoon House of Assembly session

Ashley Fitzpatrick afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com
Published on May 5, 2014

Cathy Bennett was sworn in as the new MHA for Virginia Waters in a ceremony at Government House in St. John's this morning.

The ceremony was completed under Lt.-Gov. Frank Fagan.

With the addition of Bennett, the Liberals now have 12 of 48 seats in the province's House of Assembly.

That number is up from just eight seats held by Liberals when Sam Slade was sworn in as the MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace in December 2013.

Following a byelection, Slade filled the seat previously held by Jerome Kennedy. His addition to the House was followed by some high-profile defections and, ultimately, additions to the Liberal ranks.

Bennett has now been added as well, taking up the reins in the riding once held by former premier Kathy Dunderdale.

"I’m certainly very honoured and humbled to be here today. The people of Virginia Waters have entrusted me to do a job and I intend to work very hard to earn their continued trust and confidence and represent their concerns in the House of Assembly," Bennett said following the ceremony.

She said she has also been named finance critic, taking over the portfolio from Liberal leader Dwight Ball, who remains the critic for Natural Resources.

"Certainly there's no doubt that there's opportunity, but that opportunity isn't spreading across all areas of the province," she said, when asked about her priorities in her new role as critic.

"We have issues with education, we have issues with health care and I think we need to ask some tough questions about how the money is being managed."