Horwath defends activist NDP candidate, says people do 'radical' things for change

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is defending a candidate who was previously arrested for trespassing by saying sometimes people take "radical" actions to effect change.

University-Rosedale NDP candidate Jessica Bell once arrested for mercury contamination protest

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath campaigned in Toronto on Thursday morning. (Galit Rodan/Canadian Press)

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is defending a candidate who was previously arrested for trespassing by saying sometimes people take "radical" actions to effect change.

Horwath was asked today about University-Rosedale candidate Jessica Bell, who was arrested as part of a protest over mercury contamination affecting the Grassy Narrows First Nation.

Horwath says that "people sometimes do quote-unquote radical things to get the attention of decision makers."

She says that if environmental activists hadn't been ringing alarm bells for years over climate change, the national conversation about it might not be where it is today.

The Progressive Conservatives have been trying to brand the NDP as having a "radical" slate of candidates, including one who held a vulgar anti-police sign at a demonstration, one whose Facebook page had an Adolf Hitler meme, and a woman who is against wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day.

Bell says she has no regrets about her arrest, saying the protest brought about positive change.

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