As the allegations suggesting that the then 28-year-old Trudeau “groped” a young reporter at a music festival in Creston in 2000 came to light, the prime minister’s secretary, Matt Pascuzzo, stated that Trudeau “doesn’t think he had any negative interactions” at the Kokanee Summit festival.
The accusations come at odds with his zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct: in 2014, the prime minister suspended two MPs, Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti, from the Liberal caucus over sexual harassment complaints. While Andrews ended up accepting the findings of the investigation, Pacetti insisted that he was innocent.
More recently, former Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Kent Hehr was also forced to resign from the cabinet following allegations that he had made suggestive comments to a woman and touched her inappropriately. Even though the probe concluded that the touch was involuntary due to his health condition, Hehr admitted that his remarks were ungentlemanly despite the fact that he couldn’t recall the encounter.
Even though the prime minister told the CBC that the “standard” applies to everyone, many users have accused him of “double standards” following a spate of MP dismissals in light of similar allegations:
Trudeau groped a woman…period.— J W (@FinsUpSailor) 23 июня 2018 г.
Hehr was removed from caucus for less and Kang booted from the Liberal Party for similar behavior.
Either there is a double standard for Trudeau or there isn't.
He needs to go!
Oh really? So there are different rules for the #PMO? Or just the #Liberals? If this had been any other party, your headlines would have been running rampant with glee about such an event. You all make me sick. so many #DoubleStandards when it comes to your #prettyboy #trudeau— Mr. & Mrs. Mad Canadians (@madcanadian2017) 22 июня 2018 г.
Many have drawn attention to his alleged apology, highlighted in an August 2000 editorial of the Creston Valley Advance. On the next day after the purported incident, Trudeau is said to have apologized for “inappropriately handling” the woman upon learning that she was “reporting for a national paper.”
“I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward,” he allegedly told the woman.
The PMO said Trudeau didn’t recall any “negative interactions”. Guess he thought being groped by him was a “positive interaction” for the reporter. That’s the problem, he thinks rules don’t apply to him. See ethics breaches as well. https://t.co/n22TmwAznB— Bill Hutchison (@bill_hutch15) 23 июня 2018 г.
All you had to do was post a picture of the Creston article for crying out loud. Let people see how he apologized which means he did it. Maybe then mention his zero tolerance for that behaviour. Then you would have done your job. 2 weeks it took you.— MrMumblinManitoban (@MumblinManitoba) 22 июня 2018 г.
His apology alone should disqualify him from office.— Jeff Larsen 🇨🇦 (@JeffLarsen75) 23 июня 2018 г.
Despite the fact that the prime minister’s office neither denied nor confirmed the groping, simply stating that Trudeau didn’t remember any “negative interaction,” some users have claimed that the story clearly represents a #MeToo moment.
Please continue to take @JustinTrudeau to task for #MeToo #hypocrisy. Don't let him off the hook. He's claimed to be virtuous, that it applies to him too & there's no statute of limitations. He must be held accountable & resign. #TrudeauGrope #TruGrope #DoubleStandards #TimesUp pic.twitter.com/nyywyLDD96— KISS Fan (@KISSfanaticz) 13 июня 2018 г.
I read the article and it’s not obvious to me why this is not a MeToo incident. Because it was so long ago? Because she wasn’t distraught? Because he didn’t have authority over her? A man groped a woman — it’s wrong — no excuses.— Benjamin H (@HoarBenjamin) 23 июня 2018 г.
Sounds like a #MeToo moment to me. Maybe saying it's not is a sly way of shedding light on it w/o opening yourselves up to repercussions from "the powers that be". Thanks for finally reporting it. @dougquan @AD_Humphreys @mariedanielles @JustinTrudeau #TrudeauGrope #TimesUp— KISS Fan (@KISSfanaticz) 22 июня 2018 г.
Another user lashed out at a CBC columnist, who suggested in her article that Trudeau has “boxed himself in with his own zero-tolerance policy on sexual misconduct.”
@RobynUrback did you verify the groping allegation against Trudeau before writing the article because the editorial letter I read was not even written by the woman who was allegedly groped. If not, this is piss poor journalism not even fit for the pages of the National Enquirer.— Andrew Haines (@RealAndyHaines) 27 июня 2018 г.
Since taking office Justin Trudeau has been promoting feminism, gender equality and zero tolerance towards sexual misconduct, insisting that women who speak up about being harassed should be supported and believed.
In a January interview with the CBC, he said that he’s been “very, very careful all my life to be thoughtful, to be respectful of people’s space and people’s headspace as well.”