“I’ve been very, very careful all my life to be thoughtful, to be respectful of people’s space and people’s headspace as well. This is something that I’m not new to. I’ve been working on issues around sexual assault for over 25 years.
“My first activism and engagement was at the sexual assault centre at McGill students’ society where I was one of the first male facilitators in their outreach program leading conversations — sometimes very difficult ones — on the issues of consent, communications, accountability, power dynamics.”
–Justin Trudeau on CBC Radio, Jan. 30, 2018.
“I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.”
Those were the words that were spoken to an Advance reporter by Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Aug. 4.
Trudeau, who was in Creston to celebrate the Kokanee Summit festival put on by the Columbia Brewery, apologized—a day late—for inappropriately “handling” the reporter while she was on assignment, not only for the Advance but also for the National Post and Vancouver Sun.
“If I had known you were reporting for a national paper…”
It’s not a rare incident to have a young reporter, especially a female who is working for a small community newspaper, be considered an underling to their “more predominant” associates and blatantly disrespected because of it.
But 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 where they are?
And what makes the fact that she was working for the Post of any relevance. Big stories break first in community papers after all.
It may not have been an earth-shattering find, but one thing could have been learned from the experience.
Like father, like son?
–Creston Valley Advance, Monday, Aug. 14, 2000.