Trudeau 'groping' allegation

A newspaper editorial from 18 years ago alleges that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, then just a former prime minister's son, “groped” a newspaper reporter at a British Columbia festival.

The incident allegedly occurred at the August 2000 Kokanee Summit festival in Creston – a 7,000-person music and beer festival headlined by Wide Mouth Mason.

An editorial in the Creston Valley Advance, which now sits in the archives at the Creston Museum, states Trudeau “apologized – a day late – for inappropriately 'handling' the reporter while she was on assignment.”

Trudeau allegedly told the reporter, who was also working for the National Post and the Vancouver Sun in addition to the Advance: “I'm sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.”

The editorial, which made the rounds on Twitter Thursday, goes on to question Trudeau's judgment.

“Shouldn't the son of a former prime minister be aware of the rights and wrongs that go along with public socializing? Didn't he learn through his vast experiences in public life, that groping a strange young woman isn't in the handbook of proper etiquette, regardless of who she is, what her business is or who they are? And what makes the fact that she was working for the Post of any relevance?”

Matt Pascuzzo, press secretary for the prime minister, says Trudeau “remembers being in Creston for the Avalanche Foundation, but doesn’t think he had any negative interactions there.”

“As the PM has said before, he has always been very careful to treat everyone with respect,” Pascuzzo said in a statement. “His first experiences with activism were on the issue of sexual assault at McGill, and he knows the importance of being thoughtful and respectful.”

Additional articles published in the Advance make the festival out to be a sloppy party.

“It was really gross,” one woman told the Advance. “There was garbage everywhere and there were so many drunk people it was unbelievable. I mean like they were puking and staggering everywhere.

“And it wasn't a good place to be if you're female. It was a 10-1 ratio of men and women. I got my ass grabbed I don't know how many times. It was scary. I was just surprised nothing happened. I've never been so disgusted in my life.”

A photo published in the Advance shows Trudeau holding a large mug of beer during his induction into the “Order of Sasquatch Hunters.”

“Another crowd-pleaser came when Justin Trudeau, son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, was inducted into the Order of Sasquatch Hunters along with Kootenay-Columbia MP Jim Abbott,” the Advance reported.

“Trudeau chugged back a large mug of the local brew while the crowd feverishly applauded.”

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