NDP ad attacked Liberal Casey

Negative advertising has made its way into the federal election campaign in the Charlottetown riding.

Negative advertising has made its way into the federal election campaign in the Charlottetown riding.

NDP candidate Joe Byrne has been running negative radio ads about Liberal Sean Casey.

"Sean Casey has a lot of your money," says the ad. "In March, Sean Casey's family company took $3.2 million from your government. That's your money. For years Sean Casey has publicly opposed minimum wage increases for you. That's your money."

The ad refers to a provincial government loan given to Padinox, which makes Paderno cookware.

Liberal candidate Sean Casey feels the NDP ad was negative while New Democrat candidate Joe Byrne said he's just pointing out what people have been saying to him.

"It wasn't my idea initially. What I did is say 'oh, right this has to be talked about'. I'm the candidate; it's my job to represent people in Charlottetown. When issues get raised, I need to raise them."

Casey said while he does have preferred shares in Padinox that his father gave him, he's not on the board and has no involvement in the day-to-day operation of Padinox.

He feels the ad hits below the belt.

"I haven't worked at Paderno for three years. I'm very proud of the company that my mom and dad built. I don't think there's any place in a campaign for attack ads such as this. It's not something that we would do," said Casey to CBC News Tuesday.

Byrne said the ad isn't about Casey's family, that it's about transparency when it comes to which companies get government money.

"The company is perceived to have access, because of the people that are there. That is a company issue. This is not the first time this has happened on P.E.I., and it won't likely be the last. But we do need to find a new way to talk about it," said Byrne.

For his part, Casey said he did speak privately to Byrne about the ad.

In the end, Casey doesn't think it will hurt his campaign.

"If anything—perhaps in my favour. I've had at least a couple of calls from people who have for a long time worked for the NDP and have indicated they are changing their vote because of it," said Casey.

The ads are no longer running.