A federal NDP candidate is apologizing for an offensive tweet from 2012 that has resurfaced during the election campaign.
Jordan Boswell, candidate for Brampton-Centre, issued a statement on Twitter Wednesday night apologizing.
“I deeply regret the hurtful and wrong comment I made on social media. I understand this type of language is offensive and harmful. I apologize unequivocally,” the statement read.
The tweet in question was a response to a Toronto commuter newspaper story, “Group-home girls targeted by pimp,” that had a picture of a human trafficking survivor pictured beside it from Nov. 16, 2012.
“Geez they’re really letting everyone into that business these day. #gottagetmesomeofthat #shejustmissedbeingpretty,” Boswell tweeted, with a screenshot of the headline and picture attached.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was campaigning in the GTA Thursday and was asked about the incident at a press conference.
“The comments were horribly wrong and harmful and hurtful. But I know that he is not only taking responsibility, but has committed to behaviour and a future where that’s not what he believes,” Singh responded.
The resurfaced tweet was met with a rash of criticism from users who found it insensitive.
“Oh boy, that’s not what I’d call a ‘Good Look,'” one user wrote.
“It’s the hashtags!!! This is disgusting! And the NDP are pushing hard for the Indigenous vote and then run a candidate with these ideas?? They do not deserve anyone’s vote,” another user said.
Singh said he had not spoken with Boswell about the tweet, but said the candidate has accepted that they did something wrong and displayed evidence that he has changed and is moving forward “in a new way.”
Singh said for those reasons, Boswell is allowed to remain a member of the NDP.
“If those things are satisfied, I’m happy to continue to have people on my team,” he said.
When pressed what he would say to the woman pictured in the paper, Singh said he would apologize.
“I’m really sorry that those comments were made. They should never have been made. They’re very hurtful. I believe that every human being deserves dignity and respect,” he said.
The NDP are not the only party who have had candidates facing controversy for previous incidents.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was outed for appearing in blackface multiple times.
Furthermore, incumbent Liberal candidate for Humber River-Black Creek Judy Sgro apologized earlier in October for saying members of the Black community in her riding have “much more love” for Trudeau because he “wanted to have a black face.”
In September, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he would stand by any candidate who have made mistakes, as long as they apologize and take responsibility for them. Scheer has fired one candidate for expressing racist viewpoints via secret social media accounts, and has stood behind four others who have faced scrutiny for their actions.
The Green Party dropped Marthe Lepine as candidate for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell in early October due to her social media posts about abortion. A party spokesman said Lepine doesn’t support the party’s values of fighting for access to timely, safe and legal abortions.
When contacted by Global News for any additional comment, a spokesperson for Boswell said the tweet was all the comment the candidate would be making at this time.
—With files from Daina Goldfinger