Harper will 'buy voters with their own money,' Williams says
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | 1:13 PM NT
Canadians can expect to see an increasingly desperate Stephen Harper pull out alluring promises in the final days of the federal election campaign in a bid to form another government, Newfoundland and Labrador's premier said Tuesday.
Danny Williams, in an interview with CBC News, said with economic woes soaring and the federal Conservatives' poll standings slipping, he expects the last week of the campaign for the Oct. 14 election to take on a different tone.
"From my perspective … what I hear from him personally as the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador is meaningless," said Williams, a Progressive Conservative who has been in a rhetorical war with Harper since 2006.
"He's now a week away from an election. You'll see desperation from the prime minister in the last week," Williams said.
"He'll do what he can to reassure and to persuade voters and to buy voters with their own money."
Williams said Canada is undoubtedly facing a difficult financial future, but said Harper downplayed the seriousness until only the last few days.
"As recently as last week, he was assuring Canadians there was absolutely no problem and there wasn't going to be a problem, and that's irresponsible," Williams said.
"The reason he is doing that, of course, is he wanted to coast through the rest of the campaign, coast to election day, get a majority government and then all of a sudden, the day after, say to Canadians, 'Oops, we have a big problem here,'" Williams said.
Williams made his comments just hours before the Conservatives were to unveil their platform.
Williams is running an "anything but Conservative" campaign in Newfoundland and Labrador, and has been urging residents of his province to boycott federal Conservative candidates. The Conservatives held three of the seven ridings in the province, although only one Tory incumbent — Avalon MP Fabian Manning — is seeking re-election.
Williams was infuriated when Harper changed Conservative policy on excluding non-renewable energy revenues, which include Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore oil reserves, from the federal equalization formula.
Williams has since accused Harper of being untrustworthy and harbouring a far-right agenda to cut social programs.
Harper 'finally had an epiphany' on economy: Williams
On Tuesday, Williams sharpened a new attack, joining critics who have accused Harper of being slow to respond to a global financial meltdown, particularly during last week's pivotal English-language leaders' debate.
"It seems now, all of a sudden, after the debates, post-debate, when leading economists in the country are heading toward, probably, a deep recession, that the prime minister has finally had an epiphany," Williams said.
Later Tuesday, Williams said he will not travel to other provinces to promote the ABC campaign, which is being financed by the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party. Williams has declined invitations to speak and to campaign with other politicians in other provinces.
Earlier this week, the campaign purchased a high-profile billboard near the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto, reminding voters there to remember notorious comments that federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty made last winter. Flaherty described Ontario as having high taxes and the "last place" someone planning "a new business investment in Canada" should go.
Latest Nfld. & Labrador News Headlines
- Crab protest over at La Scie fish plant
- The mayor's office says an injunction was served, and the crab has been trucked out to New Harbour. more »
- Mount Cashel abuse settlement sets stage for more suits
- Lawyers for victims of abuse at the notorious Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John's say Thursday's settlement with the Christian Brothers doesn't end long-running legal battles. more »
- N.L. government calls tender for Adult Basic Education
- The Newfoundland and Labrador government has called a tender to find private colleges to offer Adult Basic Education. more »
- Health and safety inspectors needed in Labrador, says union rep
- The president of the Steelworkers' Union at IOC is calling for occupational health and safety inspectors to be stationed in Labrador. more »
Top News Headlines
- Washington police blame bridge collapse on Alberta trucker
- Washington State police say an Alberta trucker was responsible for hitting a steel beam precipitating a bridge collapse on one of the busiest routes in the American northwest. more »
- Royal Bank pledges not to outsource jobs for cash savings
- Royal Bank has promised it will never outsource a Canadian job to a foreign worker solely to save money. more »
- Canada ranks 3rd last in paid vacations
- Canada ranks third last among economically advanced countries in the amount of paid vacation time it guarantees its workers, a new U.S. study indicates. more »
- Group calls for probe of Tory database used in election robocalls
- The Council of Canadians is calling on the Conservative Party to make a list of everyone who had access to its electoral database during the last federal election and turn the information over to the RCMP and the commissioner of elections. "Anything less at this point would be a coverup," the council said in a press release Friday. more »
- Canada Post campaigns against 'no flyers' mailbox signs
- N.L's two oral surgeons give resignation notices
- Mount Cashel abuse survivors win financial settlement
- No new reports of drifting ghost ship Lyubov Orlova
- Tire iron gets whipped out amid dog complaint
- Bye-bye bike: Bay Roberts lottery presentation
- Feminist, activist Dorothy Inglis dead at 87
- Mount Cashel abuse settlement sets stage for more suits
- Rezori | Why we need a spring lottery