Canada’s self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cannot remember any “negative interactions” during an event he attended 18 years ago in British Columbia — this happens to be the first time he has addressed allegations of sexual misconduct that have been in the news in recent weeks.
According to reports, the allegations known as the “Kokanee grope” happened at the music festival in Creston, B.C., in the summer of 2000.
The alleged incident reportedly took place at a music festival where money was being raised for the Avalanche Foundation, a charity Trudeau became involved with after his brother Michel died in an avalanche in 1998.
In the days that followed, an editorial appeared in the Creston Valley Advance alleging Trudeau had apologized to an unnamed female reporter at the newspaper after “groping” her at the event. It alleged he told the woman he would not have “been so forward” if he had known she was reporting for a national newspaper.
The unsigned editorial resurfaced recently and has led to calls for the prime minister to address the allegations.
“I remember that day in Creston well, it was an Avalanche Foundation event to support avalanche safety. I had a good day that day. I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all,” Trudeau said.
He answered one question on the issue Sunday but did not offer an opportunity for any follow-ups.
Trudeau, who frequently proclaims himself a feminist and has generally taken a zero-tolerance approach to allegations of sexual misconduct within the Liberal party is finding himself in a strange place.
Four MPs have resigned or been kicked out of the Liberal caucus over alleged sexual misconduct since Trudeau became party leader in 2013.
Trudeau has acknowledged that he, like other political leaders, is struggling to figure out the best way to deal with allegations while still allowing due process for those accused.
The Canadian Press has made efforts to speak to the other person involved in the alleged 2000 incident in Creston, B.C., but those efforts have so far been unsuccessful.
The woman who penned that editorial has so far not come forward, but it leaves PM Trudeau in an awkward situation. – CINEWS