Media at fault for Dunderdale’s downfall, says McGrath

Derek Montague
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Claims that media focuses too much on the negative

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.”

Organizations: PC Party

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • eric skinner
    February 09, 2014 - 09:09

    there was never ever anything good done by her ....blame her she sank her own ship and the party will go down with her in the next election.....

  • HR
    February 05, 2014 - 09:25

    For once and only once I have to agree with Minister McGrath. Yes the media did the wrong thing. But her media people did her wrong. She could have made herself a few brownie points by going out into the public and show some compassion to the people during the power outages. Visit a warming center or two to talk with the people. But she doesn’t do that and the truths are known none of the other party’s did either. But she was the chosen one by the people to work for the people. Instead she went on radio and TV stating the there was no crises’ situation saying. “I was quite comfortable here with my propane fireplace” The down fall of the PC’s was their smug faced attitude and they still act the same way.

  • Ernie
    January 31, 2014 - 12:51

    McGrath says she deserves absolute credit for the Muskrat Falls Project. Of course...this is one of the reasons for her downfall. Most Labradorians, from what I'm hearing are against the Project. Right up there with Joey as one of the worst Premiers of the province.

  • Mary
    January 31, 2014 - 09:57

    Once again, denial and deflection of where the real blame lies. It's the PC way.

  • Mary
    January 31, 2014 - 09:56

    Once again, denial and deflection of where the real blame lies. It's the PC way.

  • C.E.Young
    January 30, 2014 - 22:40

    Off course the media focused too much on the negative, that's what they do. I hope this administration takes a long, hard, new look at Social Media and what it can do for them. The clock is ticking. They can start with muskratfalls.com, what are they waiting for....

  • Cynthia Downey
    January 30, 2014 - 18:51

    I am so happy to see Min. McGrath's remarks. Kathy Dunderdale had a positive voice in our Province. Time will show the good economic happenings in our Province was during her time. That happened because we had a leader that could get her team to work together for the benefit of the Province. She had a lot to show for her time as our Leader and when she decided to leave that position she once again showed this Province what a Leader and Great Person she was and is.

  • Cynthia Downey
    January 30, 2014 - 18:51

    I am so happy to see Min. McGrath's remarks. Kathy Dunderdale had a positive voice in our Province. Time will show the good economic happenings in our Province was during her time. That happened because we had a leader that could get her team to work together for the benefit of the Province. She had a lot to show for her time as our Leader and when she decided to leave that position she once again showed this Province what a Leader and Great Person she was and is.

  • Terry
    January 30, 2014 - 16:39

    Mr. McGrath, Your welcome to follow Dunderdale to the unemployment line!!

  • Steve Meeker
    January 30, 2014 - 15:59

    Just like former Premier Dunderdale didn't get it, neither does Nick McGrath. Fortunately, he made it obvious, so we all can see.

  • Steve Meeker
    January 30, 2014 - 15:53

    Just like former Premier Dunderdale didn't get it, neither does Nick McGrath. Fortunately, he made it obvious, so we all can see.

  • Wanda White
    January 30, 2014 - 15:09

    Dunderdale was her own worst enemy:distancing herself from social media, not listening to the very people who FIRST elected her, criticising other government workers for having social media contacts, manipulating Muskrat Falls through the house WITHOUT clear and informative PUBLIC consultations/debates, no alternative energy studies, Bill 29, Bill 61, the slash and burn budget of 2013, unavailability in times of CRISES (blackouts) and prior knowledge of but no notification to Newfoundland and Labrador people of the impending blackouts. Need I say more?

  • allan
    January 30, 2014 - 15:02

    Unfortunately all the premier has to do is look in the mirror to find the person most responsible for her unpopurlarity and her downfall... she gave away our resourses while fish plants here closed , two of the most modern ones in her home town area ...as for muskrat falls we will all have to wait and see... don't forget this province is on the hook for all over runs on the project.

  • Jammy
    January 30, 2014 - 13:44

    I am in agreement with the Minister on one point. Dunderdale deserves the credit for Muskrat Falls. As for the positive legacy that will leave...