Sparks flew as the candidates in the Windsor Lake byelection squared off in another debate in the capital city today.
Liberal candidate Paul Antle is accusing PC candidate Ches Crosbie of slander after Crosbie suggested that contracts between Antle’s company NewDock and the Liberal government are suspicious.
Antle addressed Crosbie’s comments before delivering his closing remarks at the St. John’s Board of Trade candidates debate this afternoon.
Antle says for Crosbie to attack him over his business dealings with government is not factual and slanderous.
Crosbie maintains he hasn’t said anything that isn’t rooted in fact.
Crosbie claims he’s basing his statement on the facts that are on the record.
NDP candidate Kerry Claire Neil calls the matter concerning.
Neil calls it concerning that a political figure would invest in a project with government involvement. She points to the Grieg Aquaculture project, in which government has an equity stake – raising questions about why it was given the environmental green light.
Tempers Flare in Cross-Party Exchange
Meanwhile, tempers got heated in an exchange between Crosbie and one of Antle’s campaign assistants after the debate.
Liberal Party member Ed Martin (not to be confused with former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin) claims Crosbie got physical.
Martin claims Crosbie poked him in the chest and said, “back off buddy,” at which time Martin says he did. He says he was ‘taken aback’ by what he calls ‘that level of hostility.’
Crosbie is downplaying the incident, but admits he did make contact with Martin.
He says he touched Martin on the chest because Martin was aggressive toward him verbally. Crosbie admits tempers can get heated, and there’s no point dwelling on what people say.