Addressing groping allegations, PM ’confident’ he did nothing inappropriate

06 Juillet, 2018, 07:39 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Addressing groping allegations, PM ’confident’ he did nothing inappropriate

Speaking to reporters in Toronto on Thursday, Mr. Trudeau said he had reflected on the incident further and understands that the woman involved might have a different view of what happened.

Trudeau's father, Pierre, served as PM between 1968-1979 and 1980-1984, and he died in September 2000.

The prime minister's office had previously released a statement to media that he did not remember any "negative interactions" from that day, words that Trudeau reiterated over the weekend when asked about the claim.

Trudeau says he has been reflecting a lot about the incident in recent weeks, since an 18-year-old editorial from the Creston Valley Advance newspaper surfaced describing how the then-28-year-old Trudeau apologized for inappropriately touching a female reporter. "We don't think that would be appropriate at all", the PM said.

"And even when the original editorial came out, at the time, I was fairly confident".

"I'm responsible for my side of the interaction, which certainly, as I said, I don't feel was in any way untoward", Mr. Trudeau said at the news conference. "Often a man experiences an interaction as being benign, or not inappropriate, and a woman - particularly in a professional context - can experience it differently, and we have to respect that and reflect on that".

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The Prime Minister has made feminism an important piece of his political brand since coming to office nearly three years ago. According to media reports, she has declined to speak publicly about the matter.

Mr. Trudeau has positioned himself as an outspoken advocate for gender equality and has dealt harshly with members of his party who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

"I'll be blunt about it", Trudeau said. "The account however, is in the public record, and the Prime Minister isn't abiding by his own framework set for these situations", Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said in a Twitter post.

Recognizing that people can experience the same interaction differently is a key lesson of "this awakening we're having as a society", Trudeau said - a reference to the #MeToo movement that has seen women speak openly about their experiences with sexual harassment, inappropriate conduct, and abuse of power. He dismissed a call for an independent investigation into the incident.

"I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way, but I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently", said Trudeau.

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.

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