The pressure is on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. On Thursday Trudeau continued to face questions from reporters regarding the 18-year-old allegation that he groped a female reporter during the Kokanee Summit Festival. During a meeting with reporters in Toronto, Trudeau broke the silence by saying that he had apologized to the woman at the time of the incident. However, he went on to say that he never felt like he had acted inappropriately toward her but that he respects that she might have felt uncomfortable.
The statement came after Trudeau’s first meeting with the new Ontario Premier Doug Ford. The criticism of Trudeau and his silence on the matter had grown more intense over the past few weeks. Although the incident happened 18 years ago, it was largely ignored with the exception of a short editorial that was published in a small B.C. newspaper. Trudeau was only 28 at the time of the incident and had not yet begun his career in politics.
Trudeau has not commented about whether he will be held accountable for the incident by an independent investigation. The prime minister has been especially under scrutiny given his strong stance on the #MeToo movement and his self-described zero tolerance policy on any sort of sexual misbehavior. Trudeau has been extremely vocal about the high standards that he holds both himself and his Liberal political party to when it comes to these issues.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.