Claims that media focuses too much on the negative
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Nick McGrath, Minister of Transportation and Works and Labrador West MHA
There are many thoughts out there, in the media and the general public, about why Kathy Dunderdale was such an unpopular premier. Many have said that she did not have a personality that resonated with voters. To some, she came across as arrogant and defensive when questioned about government actions.
The Tories have also made some controversial decisions during Dunderdale’s time as premier, such as green-lighting the Muskrat Falls project (with a multi-billion dollar price tag), and strengthening the infamous Bill 29 through a series of amendments.
But Nick McGrath, Minister of Transportation and Works and Labrador West MHA, says that the media is to blame for Kathy Dunderdale’s unpopularity during her time as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“I feel that the media made it difficult for her to be a popular premier,” said McGrath in an interview with The Labradorian.
A focus on negativity
McGrath went on to claim that the media didn’t pay enough attention to government successes. Rather, according to the minister, the media gravitates more towards “negative” stories, and that Dunderdale fell victim to that trend of negativity.
Dunderdale officially resigned as premier and leader of the PC Party on Friday, Jan. 24. At the time of her departure, public opinion polls had her slated as the least popular premier in the country. Her announcement came suddenly, just two days after MHA Paul Lane crossed the floor to the Liberal caucus. At his news conference, Lane took many shots at Dunderdale’s leadership skills.
McGrath said he was disappointed at Dunderdale’s departure.
"I think she had excellent work ethic," he said. "She treated her colleagues very fairly.”
McGrath thought highly of Dunderdale as a leader, and believes that Dunderdale will have a positive legacy in the province.
“She doesn’t get full credit for all of (the successes),” said McGrath. “I feel she deserves absolute credit for the Muskrat Falls project.”