Wayne Bennett's behaviour under PC rules review

One of the candidates for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservatives is in hot water with the party.
Tommy Williams says he expects the PC rules committee to make a ruling on Bennett's leadership candidacy before the end of this week. (CBC)

One of the candidates for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservatives is in hot water with the party.

The party's rules committee has been asked to consider whether it should disqualify Wayne Bennett from the leadership race.

Convention organizers said they received "numerous complaints" about Bennett's behaviour.

During his campaign, Bennett has sent out tweets that have been considered offensive by many people.

In one tweet, Bennett compared online "trolling" to Muslims and the use of suicide bombers.
Wayne Bennett's bid for Tory leadership may be in jeopardy after being accused of racism in a tweet he sent out. (Submitted photo)

In the tweet, he said Muslim women and children can't be trusted.

Convention chair Tommy Williams said in a release that all candidates "must abide by the constitution."

According to Williams, the tweets referring to Muslims were the tipping point, with complaints coming in from all over.

"There have been tweets associated with Mr. Bennett over the last week, 10 days, and we've been monitoring those and gathering information with respect to those to have them," Williams said.

"But it was on Friday that it really escalated when we received word of a tweet in relation to religious slurs regarding Muslims and women and children that really upset everyone in the party, including the premier."

Williams said the rules committee will conduct an investigation to decide whether Bennett broke the rules in response to complaints received from the public, and within the party.

"Complaints came in from the public over the course of the day on Friday, so we met over the weekend in order to put some substantiation together, documentation in relation to it," he said.

"We reviewed it, and we feel there's grounds on which the matter needs to be referred."

He told CBC News he expects the rules committee will make a decision later this week.

Bennett, a town councillor from Howley, is running against Bill Barry and Frank Coleman to be the next leader of the governing Tories.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.