OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is confident he did not act inappropriately at a music festival in British Columbia in 2000 — but he also says he understands that the woman behind the 18-year-old groping allegation may see things differently.
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.
Trudeau’s self-professed stance as a feminist prime minister with a low tolerance for inappropriate behaviour has critics demanding an independent investigation, livid that he has dismissed the claim.
Asked today about whether he would support such an investigation, Trudeau did not specifically address the question, but said he apologized at the time because the woman felt something wrong had happened — even if he felt otherwise.
Trudeau says he is also aware that men and women often see such incidents differently, and that such differences need to be respected as society grapples with the Me Too movement.
He says neither he nor anyone on his team have reached out to the woman, saying to do so would be inappropriate.
The Canadian Press