Canada

Day lashes out against Liberal attacks and the CBC

Liberal accusations that the Canadian Alliance has bigots in its ranks are a sign that the party is desperate to cling to power, an angry Stockwell Day said Wednesday.

Tuesday night, Liberal cabinet minister Elinor Caplan told a crowd in her Toronto-area riding of Thornhill that the Alliance was a reflection of the people who support it.

"Their supporters are Holocaust deniers, prominent bigots and racists," Caplan said.

Alliance Leader Stockwell Day called her statement ridiculous.

"The only thing I can hope for, of course, is that the electorate will deal with that type of low-level approach in a campaign that does not dignify a response."

"When the other side resorts to shrill, unsubstantiated accusations, it means they've lost the debate, they have panicked, they are in fear of losing power."

Day also accused the CBC of practising what he called "yellow journalism." Day's anger with CBC Television is over a documentary aired Tuesday night on The National.

The report looked at the relationship between Day's religious beliefs and his politics.

It included an interview with an academic who said he attended a Day speech at Red Deer College where the Alliance leader said there was as much evidence to support creationism as evolution. The man said Day told the audience that the earth was 6,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.

Day, an evangelical Christian, said the report made untrue allegations, and was unfair because he was not asked to comment.

"CBC was a drudging up of things that were dealt with months and months ago," Day said.

Liberal leader Jean Chrtien commented on Caplan's comments Wednesday, saying he doesn't think his minister meant that all supporters of the Alliance are racists and bigots.

"She didn't say that the Alliance are that," said Chrtien while campaigning in Manitoba.

"She said this group is supporting them, and it's not denied by the Alliance...there might be some guys supporting me that I'm not too happy with some of the things they do, but we're in a democracy."

NDP Leader Alexa McDonough was also asked about the Liberal attack on Day and the connection between politics and religion.

"I think when you see the kind of super-religiosity and the kind of picking and choosing of principles that seem to characterize the Alliance leader, then people are right to examine very closely what those principles are, what those values are that he holds dear and what the contradictions very often are between what he spouts and what he practices," said McDonough at a Toronto press conference.

She went on to say that Alliance policies are un-Canadian and that Day is using issues like crime and native rights to divide the population and win votes.

McDonough blamed Chrtien for creating the conditions that allow Day's kind of politics to flourish.