Nfld. & Labrador

Danny Williams's anti-Conservative 'shtick' not helpful, David Wells says

A senator from Newfoundland and Labrador says this week's attack on the prime minister by Danny Williams is proof that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are on track to victory in the Oct. 19 federal election.

Newfoundland and Labrador senator says Conservatives are squarely focused on the Canadian economy

Senator David Wells says negative comments about Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada by Danny Williams "confound me." (CBC)

A senator from Newfoundland and Labrador says this week's attack by Danny Williams is proof that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are on track to victory in the Oct. 19 federal election.

David Wells said accusations levelled by Williams "confound me" and "it's been a long time since I tried to figure out the meaning of some of the things that the former premier says."

Wells added that Williams's "anti-Conservative shtick" has not been helpful to Newfoundland and Labrador and "I think most people recognize that."

Williams made national headlines Monday when he alleged that Harper and the Conservatives are skirting with outright racism in its bid to win re-election.

He was referring to the ongoing debate over the niqab, a cloth that covers the face and is worn by some Muslim women.

The Conservatives are opposed to the wearing of the niqab during citizenship ceremonies, and Williams believes the issue is part of a strategy by Harper and his supporters to cause division in the country.

But Wells disagrees. He described the niqab debate as a "small issue," and said the Conservatives are solidly focused on issues such as growing the economy, balancing the budget and lowering tax rates.

He pointed to this week's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, and an earlier trade deal between Canada and the European Union, as proof that the Conservatives are best suited to lead the nation into the future.

He said the two agreements will open a market of more than one billion potential customers to Canadian products.

"These are the things we're focusing on," said Wells.

Wells suggested there is a strategic reason why Williams lashed out at Harper at this point in the campaign.

"Perhaps he sees the writing on the wall that Prime Minister Harper will be successful again in winning government," said Wells.

With files from Anthony Germain

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