Monday, October 21, 2013


For the most part, the campaign to become the next leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Party has been pretty amicable.

There have been a few pointed barbs at Cathy Bennett from a couple of the candidates regarding hiring foreign nationals to work as managers at her MacDonald Restaurants, her previous financial contributions to the P.C. Party and her pro-Muskrat Falls position.

Late last week, the tone of the campaign changed when an e-flyer started making the rounds via e-mail regarding a past tax case involving leadership contestant Paul Antle.

The flyer, under the guise of Occupy NL has been widely distributed. The authors do not advocate another candidate but simply states " We wont tell you who to vote for...but we will tell you who not to vote for."

Antle is on the offensive, telling VOCM OPEN-LINE Host Bill Rowe that the accusations made in the flyer are inaccurate. He says he is trying to track down the source of the libelous document and may take legal action.

The issue of Antle's failed tax appeal made headlines in early in early July, conspicuously on the day that nominations for the Liberal Leadership closed.

He fought a tax ruling that he felt was unfair. A retroactive tax change is unfair. If the issue is a thousand dollars or one million dollars, if you feel something is unjust, you have the option to fight 

This guy has worked his guts out for twenty years to build his reputation as an astute business leader, he has made millions, created hundreds of jobs and has fought many court battles (as many business people have) over business issues. Revenue Canada battles are as common as parking tickets, and about as arbitrary. 

I respect his tenacity, his independence and his passion not to be rolled over

The re-emergence of the issue  at a critical time in the lead-up to the selection of leader is interesting, if not strategically timed. Rumors are circulating that it is the dirty work of supporters of another campaign. I would not be as quick to rush to that judgement.

Occupy NL is associated with the 1% movement and were big proponents of the 99% Film Fest in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

We are the 99% is a political slogan widely used by the Occupy movement. Antle would make an attractive and timely target for the organization.

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