Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau faces sexual harassment allegations, apologizes

OTTAWA (ANTARA News) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a supporter of feminist causes, admitted on Thursday for the first time that he had apologized in 2000 to a woman who accused him of groping, but insisted the fact that he didn’t think he had done anything wrong. .

Trudeau, whose government is working on new laws against workplace harassment, has faced scrutiny in Canadian media in recent weeks over what happened at a charity fundraiser in Creston, British Columbia, almost 20 years ago.

In his first direct comments on the Canada Day incident last Sunday, the prime minister said he had “no recollection of any negative interactions that day,” but he apologized Thursday without providing details.

According to an unsigned editorial published in 2000 in the local Creston Valley Advance newspaper, Trudeau apologized to a local reporter for “treating” him inappropriately.

The allegations resurfaced last month after Canadian political commentator Warren Kinsella tweeted a photo of a 20-year-old op-ed and used the hashtag #MeToo on Twitter.

Many women in the United States and other countries have publicly accused men in business, government, and entertainment of sexual harassment and assault, giving rise to the #MeToo social media movement.

“I have thought very carefully about what I remember about this incident that happened almost 20 years ago and, again, I feel, I am satisfied that I did not act inappropriately,” said Trudeau, 46, to reporters in Toronto in a televised statement. THURSDAY.

Trudeau, citing increasingly open discussions in society about sexual assault, acknowledged that the woman in question could have emerged from the August 2000 meeting with a very different interpretation of what happened.

“I don’t think I acted inappropriately, but I respect that other people may experience the situation differently,” he said. “The reason I apologized later was because I felt he was uncomfortable with the interaction we were having,” he added.

Trudeau said no one on his team touched the women because they didn’t think it was appropriate.

The woman told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation earlier this year that she was not interested in being associated with further coverage of the story and asked that her name not be used and that she no longer be contacted about the story.

At the time of the initial complaint, Trudeau was not yet involved in politics, but he was widely known to Canadians as the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

He attended a fundraiser in Creston to support avalanche safety. His brother, Michel Trudeau, was killed in an avalanche in 1998, according to Reuters.


Chad Sutton

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