A contender for the leadership of Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberal party owns a company with a large unpaid fine.

Former MHA Danny Dumaresque is the sole director of a numbered company that used to own Old Fort Seafoods, a fish plant on the Lower North Shore of Quebec.

In 2008, his company was fined $50,000 for dumping caplin in the ocean without a permit.

"We had to dispose of the male caplin ... and as a result of that, somebody in the area reported that caplin were being dumped illegally," said Dumaresque

When his company finally got a permit, a judge ruled the conditions weren't followed and guilty verdicts were entered on 16 charges.

"And I said, this is absolutely outrageous. How could it even happen? I never had a chance, and neither did anybody in my company [to] go and even defend ourselves."

Still, Dumaresque decided to sign a deal and pay the amount. However, paying up is not happening quickly, as his company still owes $30,746.28.  

"I am telling you it's not a matter of what you owe, it's a matter of your responsibility. This company took its responsibility, is taking its responsibility, and will continue to eliminate that debt in accordance with a mutual agreement."

Dumaresque is still the director of the company, but he sold the Quebec fish plant to the Barry Group in January.

Shortly after that, he put down $20,000 to the Liberal party to run for the leadership. 

'I'll be the first to admit that the money I have used in this campaign came from friends and family.' - Liberal leadership candidate Danny Dumaresque

Dumaresque was asked by CBC where the money came from to fund the campaign. 

"I'll be the first to admit that the money I have used in this campaign came from friends and family."

Dumaresque won't say if he's using any of his own money on the campaign, but he does want to make one thing clear.

"There should never be any confusion about ... this is not my personal debt. I did not incur this personal debt."

Dumaresque continues to campaign for the Liberal leadership, which will be decided in early November.

He said topping his agenda is a trip to Norway to research undersea tunnels as he pursues the idea of a fixed link to Labrador.