Howley Mayor Wayne Bennett is threatening further action after being denied membership in the province’s New Democratic Party.
Bennett, who has tried unsuccessfully to delve into provincial politics before, had publicly indicated he wanted to seek the NDP’s leadership.
Those aspirations were dashed when he was informed he would not even be accepted as a member of the party last week.
Bennett, who frequently posts on social media, posted a copy of his rejection letter, which listed various reasons why the party would not accept him. The list cites comments made by Bennett on Twitter and in the mainstream media that were both controversial and do not align with the NDP’s positions on issues.
The comments, according to the NDP’s letter to Bennett, can be viewed as anti-Muslim and critical of certain Indigenous issues in ways the NDP does not agree with.
The letter notes that Bennett once told the CBC he didn’t agree with the NDP’s policies and that some of his more recent Twitter posts used crude and lewd language to describe government in general.
Bennett has said if he was unsuccessful in becoming part of the NDP, that he will launch a membership boycott of the party and encourage current members to revoke their membership.
He has also indicated he will appeal the decision and even bring it to court if he feels necessary.
The Western Star requested interviews with both Bennett and the NDP, but neither request had been granted as of deadline Monday.
The NDP officially announced Monday that two people, Alison Coffin and Gerry Rogers, are in the running for its leadership. The new leader will be chosen at the NDP’s convention in St. John’s April 7-8.