22:27 GMT28 September 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Mainstream media preferred to keep silent when an 18-year-old allegation of sexual misconduct against the Canadian prime minister resurfaced earlier this month. Social media users, however, have accused Justin Trudeau of double standards after taking a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment.

    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.

    READ MORE: Trudeau Faces Backlash for His $1.5Mln Trip to India

    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.

    Trudeau, who has on numerous occasions said that he would not “brush things under the rug,” but would take action immediately, has faced a massive backlash as local media reported the story.

    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:

    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.

    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.

    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.”

    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.

    READ MORE: Twitter Comes Unglued as Canadian PM Trudeau's 'Fake Eyebrow' Falls Off (VIDEO)

    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.”

    double standards, sexual assault, groping, misconduct allegations, allegations, sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, MeToo, Kent Hehr, Justin Trudeau, Canada
    Community standardsDiscussion