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

Prime minister reponds to allegations from a Creston Valley Advance editorial printed 18 years ago

An editorial column printed 18 years ago in the Creston Valley Advance alleging inappropriate behaviour by future Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went viral on social media this week.

In a blog post, political commentator Warren Kinsella featured a clip of an Advance editorial dated Aug. 14, 2000 called “Open Eyes.”

It alleges that Trudeau, then 28 years old, apologized to a female reporter for acting inappropriately toward her while she was on assignment for the Advance.

Trudeau had been in Creston to celebrate the Kokanee Summit festival, organized by the Columbia Brewery, and accepted $18,500 raised for a campaign his family had launched in memory of Justin’s brother, Michel, who died in an avalanche near Nelson in 1998.

A story published earlier in the Advance, entitled “Mixed reaction to camp Kokanee” on Aug. 10, details the event’s party-like atmosphere, with plenty of drinking and dancing to live music. However, one woman was quoted anonymously as saying, “It wasn’t a good place to be if you’re female,” saying she was touched several times inappropriately.

Black Press Media currently publishes the Advance, which it acquired from Glacier Media in 2010.

Black Press said Friday it is aware of the attention the editorial is getting and that it is conducting an investigation, but that it is “not in a position to confirm or deny any relevant fact nor to substantiate that fact supports any opinion or conclusion currently receiving attention.”

Responding to a request for comment, Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson Matt Pascuzzo stated: “As the PM has said before, he has always been very careful to treat everyone with respect. His first experiences with activism were on the issue of sexual assault at McGill, and he knows the importance of being thoughtful and respectful.

“He remembers being in Creston for the Avalanche Foundation, but doesn’t think he had any negative interactions there.”

Valerie Bourne, the publisher at the time, was reached by phone and said she does not know who wrote the editorial in her three-person newsroom. The editor at the time has told Black Press he was on vacation when the editorial was published, and does not know who wrote it.

Attempts to contact the female reporter have been so far unsuccessful.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Townhall to reopen to the public

Council meetings return for in-person meetings, townhall open to walk-ins.

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

Nakusp RCMP seize large quantity of drugs during seach warrant on May 27

The warrant was conducted in the 300th block of 8th Avenue NW

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read