Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Trudeau denies sexually assaulting reporter in 2000

Justin Trudeau Denies Sexually Assaulting Reporter at Music Festival Trudeau denies sexually assaulting reporter in 2000
Patty Aguilar | 06 July, 2018, 22:52

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is "very confident" that he did not act inappropriately when asked Thursday about an anonymous allegation made nearly two decades ago that he groped a newspaper reporter while at a music festival in British Columbia.

Trudeau said he's been reflecting on the incident ever since an editorial from the Creston Valley Advance newspaper surfaced, describing how he - 28 years old and a world away from a career in federal politics - apologized for inappropriate conduct. After removing Kent Hehr from the cabinet for similar allegations, Trudeau himself may be fighting for his political career.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces questions from reporters following his meeting with Ontario Premier Doug Ford at the Ontario Legislature on July 5, 2018.

Trudeau was asked Thursday whether he meant to open an investigation into the issue, given his party's zero tolerance policy on sexual assault. "But part of this awakening that we're having as a society, a long awaited realization, is that it's not just one side of the story that matters". He named an equal number of men and women to his first cabinet, and he extols the benefits of female leadership when he speaks at global summits.

'I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way but I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently, ' he said. Like I said, I've been working very hard to try and piece it together.

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Trudeau's apology, the editorial noted, amounted to "I'm sorry. I'm responsible for my side of the interaction, which certainly as I said, I don't feel was in any way untoward". The article goes on to state that when the reporter confronted Trudeau about the alleged encounter, he apologized and said that he wouldn't have been so forward had he known she was a reporter.

Neither he nor his team have tried to reach out to the reporter in B.C., and Trudeau said it would be inappropriate for him to do so. "That, the same interactions can be experienced very differently from one person to the next and I am not going to speak for the woman in question", Trudeau said. "We have to respect that and reflect on that".

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told CP24 that Trudeau has set a standard for the handling of these kinds of allegations within his caucus and he thinks the prime minister still has more to explain about the allegation.

Trudeau's initial response to the groping allegation this week is the "cherry on top" of a record of pseudo-feminism, Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel told HuffPost Canada on Wednesday. Reuters and other media have attempted to contact the woman as a result.

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