Paint thrower on trial

The second trial of a well-known West Quebec social activist is underway in an Ottawa courtroom. Bill Clennett's first court case was declared a mistrial.

Accused of throwing red paint on the Langevin Block, Clennett was charged with public mischief and damaging property.

On Monday, Bernard Bourgeois was the first witness to testify. He was in charge of security at the Prime Minister's Office the day of the attack.

Bourgeois read a fax received that day bearing Clennett's name and the letterhead of his anti-poverty advocacy group. In it, Clennett warned his protest would "include a symbolic gesture of rage that will make the scandal of homelessness very visible."

Bourgeois said he saw Clennett throwing a balloon filled with paint and heard him say, "It was me."

Protesters threw about eight paint bombs at the wall.

The Crown said the clean-up took two workers six days at a cost of $24,000.

But Clennett argued it needn't have cost so much because he used the same water-based paint that kids play with in day-care centres.