"All he has to do is to issue a statement saying that it was not his intent to offend First Nations or aboriginal people and that he would issue a public apology," Phillip said Thursday.
Bill Bennett placed the ad in a free weekly newspaper as part of his candidacy for the May 12 provincial election. The ad reads, "You want someone who pays taxes and is concerned about how the money is being spent," underneath a photo of Bennett and his family and a slogan that reads, "He's one of us."
Phillip said he was not surprised by the comments because Bennett had a reputation for "bombastic and bizarre behaviour" and was not known as a defender of First Nations rights.
Bennett was forced to step down from a junior cabinet post in 2007 after admitting he sent an email full of profanities to a constituent.
Bennett's chief rival in the Kootenay East riding is NDP candidate Troy Sebastian, a member of the Ktunaxa First Nation who lives on the Saint Mary's Indian Reserve.
"The unspoken part is, 'My aboriginal opponent would not have any knowledge of these matters.'"
Stewart said Bennett may have resorted to using such a negative ad because he's desperate to win his seat for a third time in a riding that also has a strong B.C. Conservative party candidate.