PM addresses groping allegation of Creston reporter

Trudeau says he doesn’t recall ‘negative interactions’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he does not remember any “negative interactions” during an event he attended 18 years ago in British Columbia — acknowledging for the first time allegations of sexual misconduct that recently resurfaced about him at the event.

Trudeau told reporters in Regina on Sunday that he remembers attending the music festival in Creston, B.C., in the summer of 2000, but said he doesn’t recall anything going amiss.

“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.

RELATED: Trudeau denies ‘negative interaction’ after old B.C. editorial alleging misbehaviour goes viral

This marks the first time Trudeau has offered direct comment on the 18-year-old allegation that has resurfaced in media reports in recent weeks. However, his answer is the same one that has been provided by his office in response to recent questions about the allegation.

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.

He answered one question on the issue Sunday, but did not offer an opportunity for any follow-ups.

The allegation is particularly problematic for Trudeau, who frequently proclaims himself a feminist and has generally taken a zero-tolerance approach to allegations of sexual misconduct within the Liberal party.

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.

“I don’t have a rule book that’s been handed down to me from Wilfrid Laurier as leader of the Liberal party on how to handle these situations,” Trudeau said in January.

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.

With files from Sam Maciag in Regina and Mia Rabson in Ottawa.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Province not doing enough for forestry sector, say Liberals

Although Minister of Forests says government working to diversify industry, rural economies

Dance in Common hosts A Visual Dance Art Show

Female artists from across Williams Lake came together to support Dance In Common last week.

Bullets blast off at speed skating competition

The Williams Lake Bullets left their mark in Kamloops earlier this month.

VIDEO: Filmmakers screen Xeni Gwet’in Wagon Trip documentary to full house in Williams Lake

The film was first premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival

Williams Lakers paying more at the pump than Lower Mainland drivers

As of Thursday morning the average price was $1.37.9 a litre in the lakecity

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

Most Read