PM addresses groping allegation of Creston reporter

Trudeau says he doesn’t recall ‘negative interactions’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he does not remember any “negative interactions” during an event he attended 18 years ago in British Columbia — acknowledging for the first time allegations of sexual misconduct that recently resurfaced about him at the event.

Trudeau told reporters in Regina on Sunday that he remembers attending the music festival in Creston, B.C., in the summer of 2000, but said he doesn’t recall anything going amiss.

“I remember that day in Creston well, it was an Avalanche Foundation event to support avalanche safety. I had a good day that day. I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all,” Trudeau said.

RELATED: Trudeau denies ‘negative interaction’ after old B.C. editorial alleging misbehaviour goes viral

This marks the first time Trudeau has offered direct comment on the 18-year-old allegation that has resurfaced in media reports in recent weeks. However, his answer is the same one that has been provided by his office in response to recent questions about the allegation.

The alleged incident reportedly took place at a music festival where money was being raised for the Avalanche Foundation, a charity Trudeau became involved with after his brother Michel died in an avalanche in 1998.

In the days that followed, an editorial appeared in the Creston Valley Advance alleging Trudeau had apologized to an unnamed female reporter at the newspaper after “groping” her at the event. It alleged he told the woman he would not have ”been so forward” if he had known she was reporting for a national newspaper.

The unsigned editorial resurfaced recently and has led to calls for the prime minister to address the allegations.

He answered one question on the issue Sunday, but did not offer an opportunity for any follow-ups.

The allegation is particularly problematic for Trudeau, who frequently proclaims himself a feminist and has generally taken a zero-tolerance approach to allegations of sexual misconduct within the Liberal party.

Four MPs have resigned or been kicked out of the Liberal caucus over alleged sexual misconduct since Trudeau became party leader in 2013.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he, like other political leaders, is struggling to figure out the best way to deal with allegations while still allowing due process for those accused.

“I don’t have a rule book that’s been handed down to me from Wilfrid Laurier as leader of the Liberal party on how to handle these situations,” Trudeau said in January.

The Canadian Press has made efforts to speak to the other person involved in the alleged 2000 incident in Creston, B.C., but those efforts have so far been unsuccessful.

With files from Sam Maciag in Regina and Mia Rabson in Ottawa.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pulled cattle guards going back in place despite B.C. Interior First Nations moose hunt protest

Forests minister Donaldson and TNG Chief Alphonse discuss situation, agree on path forward, ministry says

Get your jam on with the Stemete7uw’i Friendship Centre in 100 Mile House

The Friendship Centre has jam sessions on Saturdays

Missoula Children’s Theatre brings Pied Piper to 100 Mile House

‘They just get them to do these fun things and they’re always so amazing.’

Ralph Fossum: candidate for council of 100 Mile House

The Free Press interviews 100 Mile House council candidates

Bikers and car enthusiasts turn up for 100 Mile House toy run

“The bikers here in the community really support us”

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read