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Former finance minister Cathy Bennett announced on Twitter Monday evening that she will resign her seat in the House of Assembly effective Aug. 21.

“Today, I have advised the Speaker of the House of Assembly of my resignation as Member of the House of Assembly for the district of Windsor Lake effective end of day, Aug. 21, 2018,” Bennett wrote. “It has been a privilege to represent and work with and on behalf of the people of the district of Windsor Lake. My commitment to you was to work hard with integrity. I’ve worked tirelessly to fulfil that promise. I remain committed to do everything I can to support our province.”

A longtime businesswoman, Bennett entered politics in 2013 as a candidate for the provincial Liberal leadership. She finished third to Dwight Ball.

Bennett then entered the House of Assembly after winning a by-election in Virginia Waters in 2014. Bennett was re-elected in the 2015 general election and was appointed minister of finance in Ball’s first cabinet.

Bennett presided over an unpopular, bad-news budget in 2016 as the new Liberal government grappled with a fiscal crisis. She remained finance minister for a second budget in 2017, but then resigned from cabinet last summer for personal reasons.

Bennett remained a backbencher in the Liberal caucus. In 2018, she said she had been the target of bullying, isolation and gaslighting while in cabinet. She presented a private member’s resolution to the House calling for changes to labour laws to protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace.

Premier Dwight Ball released a statement in response to Bennett’s resignation on Twitter.

“I want to thank @CathyBennettNL for her contributions to this province & her dedication to her constituents in Windsor Lake. I’m sending well wishes to you & your wonderful family as you return to private life.”

Ball must call a by-election in Windsor Lake no more than 60 days after Bennett’s resignation takes effect. The campaign period must be a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of five weeks. So the latest the by-election can be held is Nov. 24.

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