A former conservative premier of a Canadian province says Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is "bad for the country" because some of his policies are borderline racist.

Ex-Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams urged Conservatives not to vote for Harper, who has made the Islamic face veil a focus of the Oct. 19 election. Harper's government lost an attempt to ban the practice of wearing the niqab while swearing the citizenship oath. It lost an appeal Monday to have the decision delayed while it appeals to the Supreme Court.

Williams said in interview with the Canadian Broadcast Corp. that Harper "doesn't care if he possibly crosses that racism line."

He says if that's the price Conservatives have to pay to have Harper prime minister then Conservatives shouldn't vote for him.