Former Liberal MP Michelle Simson told me on Thursday, “The prime minister is pushing the bounds of credibility.”
This, despite Justin Trudeau‘s insistence “no negative interactions” (the alleged groping of an unnamed female reporter in Creston, British Columbia, 18 years ago), took place.
“I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward” is the apology Trudeau is alleged to have offered to the female reporter for the Creston Valley Advance during the Kokanee Summit festival in 2000.
Fast forward to 2018. The alleged “groping” incident is revisited, almost reluctantly it seems, by a slowly increasing number of Canadian media.
I addressed the issue weeks ago with Simson and Ishmael Daro, a reporter for Buzzfeed Canada who had contacted the Prime Minister’s Office for comment and was informed by a press secretary that Trudeau “didn’t think” he had “any negative interactions.”
“Didn’t think?” Game over. Or so I thought.
“Didn’t think” there had been any “negative interactions” rang desperately hollow.
WATCH: Woman who accused PM of groping may have had ‘different’ experience: Trudeau
It is fairly well accepted the accusatory editorial in the Creston Valley Advance was written by the alleged victim of Trudeau’s “groping” who chose to begin the piece with the PM’s apology. The paper’s then-publisher has since described her as being “distressed,” adding the alleged occurrence “was definitely not welcome and definitely inappropriate.”
We are therefore left with the choice of deducing the reporter either fabricated the entire incident, or Justin Trudeau is an absolute liar.
Trudeau seemed to want to address this in Regina. “I remember that day in Creston well. I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all.”
Through that statement, Justin Trudeau appears to be calling the reporter a liar.
Why would she possibly lie? If her intent was to embarrass the then-school-teaching former prime minister’s son, why has she been silent since his political star began to shine? Even now, she doesn’t wish to be identified publicly or to speak about the event.
The publisher suggested to CBC that Trudeau’s alleged “groping” took place while he was being interviewed by a reporter, that it was brief and that he (the publisher) wouldn’t qualify it as sexual assault.
That, though, is up to the police and the Crown to investigate and determine. Mr. Trudeau has offered no compelling reason to forgo a full and public investigation.
That may be a recommendation of Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti and certainly that of Michelle Simson.
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.
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