Williams registers anti-Harper 'ABC' campaign with Elections Canada
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams made his "ABC," or Anything But Conservative, campaign official on Tuesday by registering his crusade against Stephen Harper's Conservatives with Elections Canada and obtaining "third party" status.
It's just the latest move by Williams, a Progressive Conservative, to ramp up his fight to prevent the re-election of Stephen Harper in the Oct. 14 federal election.
Under Elections Canada rules, any person or group that spends more than $500 on election advertising must register as a "third party," a designation distinct from that of parties actually running in the election.
Williams has waged a war of words with Harper ever since the leader reneged on a 2006 election promise to exclude non-renewable energy sources from the equalization formula.
On Monday, the premier launched a website, AnythingButConservative.ca, in his bid to keep Harper out of office. Days earlier, he blasted the prime minister in a vitriolic speech, calling Harper a fraud and warning he would pursue a far-right agenda if he is allowed to form a majority government.
By formalizing his campaign as a third party, Williams signaled he might expand it across Canada.
"I'm basically giving the Canadian public the benefit of my experience and the experience of Newfoundland and Labrador as a province in dealing with the federal Conservative government," said Williams, who was meeting Tuesday with eastern Canadian premiers and New England governors in Maine.
"And I'm saying to Canadians I'd place my trust in either Jack Layton or Stéphane Dion before I'd place it in Stephen Harper."
Williams has yet to endorse one particular party.
The rules prohibit Williams from spending more than $183,300 on his ABC campaign.
With files from the Canadian Press