, 07.02.2018 06:49 AM

Column: he did it

 

Anonymous.

The message landed, as these sorts of things do so often, via Twitter on June 6, 2018.

“Hi Warren,” it read.  “Do you know about this B.C. community paper editorial about Trudeau being handsy with a reporter before he was in politics?”

I said I didn’t.

“Yes,” the anonymous correspondent wrote. “He had to write an apology to her.”

The anonymous correspondent wanted an email address to send a snapshot of the British Columbia community paper’s editorial.  I gave it.  A few minutes later, the August 2000 editorial, from the Creston Valley Advance, arrived.  It described an encounter between the anonymous author of the editorial and Justin Trudeau at a beer festival.

The paper stated, as fact, that Trudeau had “handled” the female reporter and then, after learning that she also wrote for the National Post, apologized for touching her.

“I’m sorry,” the newspaper quoted Trudeau as saying the day after the incident. “If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.”

The editorial went on from there, criticizing the future Prime Minister for “groping a young woman” he didn’t know.

Groping.

I checked the British Columbia archives.  The editorial wasn’t fake news.  It was real.  I checked up on the reporter: she had indeed worked at the Creston Valley Advance.  She was now married, living in a different Western city, and no longer working in the news media.  She didn’t want to talk, I was told.

Two questions.  Why was the clipping sent to me?  And why was it sent on June 6?

The answers were pretty obvious.  June 6 was the same day that the conclusion of a report about former Liberal cabinet minister Kent Hehr was released, stating that he had acted “inappropriately” with young women ten years earlier, while he had been serving in the Alberta legislature.  Hehr would be kept out of cabinet as a result.

I had written extensively about the Hehr case, and had provided advice and support to one of the women who complained about his conduct.  The anonymous correspondent had presumably selected me, on that day, because – if Kent Hehr should be kept out of cabinet for unwanted sexual contact more than a decade earlier – well, then so should Justin Trudeau.

I asked the anonymous correspondent if I was right about that.  “Agreed,” they said.

I wrote about the Hehr and Trudeau cases the next day, and suggested that they were indeed connected.  Trudeau could hardly punish Hehr for years-old sexual misconduct when he himself was apparently guilty of precisely the same thing.  I also stated that, if Trudeau’s victim – who the National Post later said was the author of the editorial – didn’t want to take the matter any further, then that was that.

In the #MeToo era, I wrote, the victims decide.  Not the media, not political people.  The women.

Conservative partisans weren’t so interested in what she wanted.  They hate the Liberal leader, and they wanted Trudeau to suffer the same fate as Kent Hehr, or worse.  I gently reminded them that I also possessed similar, more-recent information about one of their own Conservative leaders, and they’d eventually go silent.

Media folks got in touch, too.  They demanded the name of the woman Trudeau had groped.  They wanted me to do their job for them.  I told them I wouldn’t.  They’d get snarky.

(Oh, and parenthetically: the story had previously appeared in Frank magazine, apparently, but I didn’t know that at the time.  I stopped reading Frank when they ran – and defended – a “contest” to rape Caroline Mulroney.  Not exactly the best forum for the Creston Valley Advance editorial, I’d say.)

The story pinged around Twitter and Facebook for a few days.  Eventually, reluctantly, some mainstream media outlets started to write about it: the Hamilton Spectator, the Sun, the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen, even the New York Times.  The Times implied that I had been in cahoots with Breitbart.

I wrote a letter to them, telling them I had worked for Hillary Clinton and that I had been active in supporting victims with #MeToo stories.  I don’t know if they printed the letter or not.

Anyway.  None of that matters so much, now.  Only two things matter, at this point.  One, how has Justin Trudeau responded to the woman’s allegation in the Creston Valley Advance?  That’s a very important question.

The Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, when asked about the “groping” allegation – and groping, in case you are wondering, is addressed in the Criminal Code as sexual touching without consent – had this to say:

“As the prime minister 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.”

Wow.  See that? He “doesn’t think he had any negative interactions there.”  Not exactly a categorical denial.

So, that matters, and so does this: the young woman who was assaulted doesn’t want to say anything else about the incident.  She holds a senior position in a federally-regulated sector, and she is undoubtedly afraid about what could happen to her and her family.  Until she says otherwise, then, she should remain what she is.

Which is anonymous.

70 Comments

  1. Iain G. Foulds says:

    … “Not remembering any negative interactions” is pure sleazy lawyer evasion. It is essentially an admission from a narcissist who would never admit any wrong doing, one who has never had any consequences to any of his actions.

  2. whyshouldIsellyourwheat says:

    Why doesn’t the media ask Trudeau or the PMO whether a non-disclosure agreement was negotiated before he entered politics?

  3. Walter says:

    So it looks like were back to the old “if you can bribe or intimidate your victim, them sexual assault is ok”.

    I’m still curious, Warren, you insinuated that there was big news to drop from the PMO on sexual assault back near the start of the year (maybe when the Patrick Brown issue exploded). But here you state you only found out about this on June 6 (which to me is D-Day – so the release date seemed to try to use that as cover). Is there another groping story out there about PM Trudeau?

    • Warren says:

      I didn’t say what party was involved. Other people did.

      It was interesting that they all focused on one man.

      • Dana says:

        Warren…..tell the truth. If I remember correctly you referred to this person’s funny socks. That is a direct reference to JT. Why did you not come forward with this story sooner. A fan of yours world like to know.
        Dana H

        • Matt says:

          No, Warren never mention party affiliation when referring to the powerful person in Ottawa with sworn affidavits against him.

          I referred to the person liking themed socks because I know there are sworn affidavits against Trudeau. There are other powerful men in Ottawa too.

      • Jane says:

        Is that why Max was asked to step down from cabinet?

  4. Richard Cid says:

    Fear for herself and her family, like physical, harassment, losing her job? The great feminist PM.

    • Groovy says:

      More likely she is in business, has clients, perhaps financial services. Politics is the last thing you would want between you and your clients.

  5. the salamander horde says:

    .. certainly seems you upheld ‘doing the right thing.. right’ and though its very tough to do at times.. its one of those life things where there is no room to wiggle.

    I myself had an occasion.. in fact my father’s funeral where something had to be said, had to be confronted.. I could not ‘abide’.. and so the deal went down.. many stunned people were shocked, even red faced.. but what the hey.. had to get er done on the moment.. and it all worked out well in the long run

    Good on you.. and Lisa
    Hardly surprising to most of us

  6. Carmen Hotte says:

    I don’t blame anonymous woman for not coming out. These are scary times in corrupt political parties such as present Liberal in Canada and other leftist swamps around the world. However bringing out in the open would be a saving grace for Canadians who place trust in this disgraceful PM.

    • The Doctor says:

      So sexual assault and harassment is a left-wing thing?

      • Fred from BC says:

        Well, if you’re keeping a running tally of the #MeToo incidents, then that statement appears to be accurate.

        (but generally speaking, I would say the answer would be no)

  7. A. Nonymous says:

    CBC is reporting it was only for a few seconds. So certainly not in the same league as Brown/Dykstra. On the other hand, gropers tend to be repeat offenders, which means there is probably more out there.

    • Hugh says:

      Too funny. So according to CBC logic, you can grad ass as long as it is only for ‘a few secs’. Seriously that place is sick.

      Warren please keep on this. Our juvenile has probably has his hands on lots and lots of asses, if only for a few secs.

      His weasel words are no-denial and very lawyerly. Aside from his many other issues, he needs to be held accountable for his actions.

    • Brendan Kane says:

      That was the National Post that originally reported that, not the CBC

  8. Matt says:

    “So, that matters, and so does this: the young woman who was assaulted doesn’t want to say anything else about the incident. She holds a senior position in a federally-regulated sector, and she is undoubtedly afraid about what could happen to her and her family. Until she says otherwise, then, she should remain what she is.”

    And Trudeau and his handlers are very well aware of this. Hence him doubling down yesterday with the ‘I don’t remember any negative interactions,’ to the media.

    There is a long list of this kind of behavior from Trudeau, and not just from 18 years ago. Much more recently. Many NDA’s have been signed with the people. He’s going to slip up one of these days and the floodgates will open.

    And yes, I’m also aware of some incidents involving high level CPC and NDP politicians too.

    • Lance says:

      Man…….anyon else weary of party politics, regardless of affiliation?

    • Mike says:

      What would be the consequence if one of the victims breached any NDA they may have signed? I just have to think with the momentum behind this that someone would come forward.

  9. Leasa Janssen says:

    I agree with you 100%. But, since the story was in writing and her former boss collaborated her words, it has merit and the PM should step down. How does a person not remember having to apologize for the sexual assault of a young reporter? He was 29 years old.

    • Lance says:

      And not just apologize, but with the notion that he didn’t initially realize who she was and what she did. That is disgusting and chilling on so many levels.

    • Brendan Kane says:

      Do you think Trump should step down?

      • Anon2275 says:

        Now that’s some pretty hefty “whataboutism” from the left…normally the right leaning commenters on here get roasted for that!

  10. Billy Howard says:

    The fact that she fears retribution being in a federally (Trudeau) regulated sector, show she is threatened by the likelihood of personal financial retribution by the PM of Canada – the Groper. What’s the difference from those victims of Weinstein who didn’t come forward for fear of their careers?

  11. Mervyn Norton says:

    Sounds like Trudeau got a one-time mention 18 years ago about an unappreciated touch only because of his name, even before he ran for office. Perhaps the Trudeau critics are also hoping that kissed campaign babies will now “come forward” to complain they didn’t consent. Sad day if the legitimate #MeToo movement stoops to this type of witch-hunt.

    • Wes Ford says:

      Do you feel the same way about Donald Trump? I doubt you could find one man who has not done some inappropriate touching at some time in their life.
      This is no longer about the touching, it is about the PM’s virtuous stand on feminism and the hypocrisy of this incident. It is also about lying about it.

      • Brendan Kane says:

        So if a politician gropes women and pursues anti-women policies you’re cool with that?

      • Fred from BC says:

        “This is no longer about the touching, it is about the PM’s virtuous stand on feminism and the hypocrisy of this incident. It is also about lying about it.”

        My thoughts exactly. As others have said, the coverup here is actually worse than the incident itself (a reaction that is almost exclusively a political phenomenon if I’m not mistaken). He could have dealt with this immediately. He SHOULD have dealt with this immediately. It’s called “getting ahead of it” (the story) in PR terms, isn’t it? Who exactly is advising Justin Trudeau…or has he gotten so cocky that he perceives himself to be much smarter than he really is?

    • Matt says:

      How’s about one from 2011 involving a young political staffer in Ottawa?

      That one is a doozie.

  12. Darwin Risdon says:

    I wonder if Trudeau would go on record on the matter by signing an “attestation” document, and have it sworn in a stack of Bibles?

    • Walter says:

      It appears that Trudeau is 100% telling the truth – based on how he answered the question.

      The question was about the music festival – which Trudeau attended on August 5-6, 2000. (I haven’t seen the exact words of the question printed).

      The answer: “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,”

      Answer is referring to the festival dates of August 5 and 6.

      The allegation is that the groping incident occurred on August 3 or 4, 2000.

      Thus, by confining his answers to the specific days, Trudeau is quite possibly telling the truth.

      The fact that not a single investigative reporter is able to dissect an evasive answer is quite telling. Any lawyer would cross-examine and get to the truth.

  13. Angel Martin says:

    Saul Alinsky says:

    “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    Oops !

  14. Doug Brown says:

    It can’t be that difficult to determine this woman’s identity. One could access newspaper archives from around that time and compile a list of bylines with female sounding names. I’m not suggesting that would be an appropriate action but am surprised that no one has done so. That further suggests that the national media gives Trudeau a pass.

    • Sandy MacDonad says:

      That would be standard journalistic procedure.
      The problem is that the dog hunting on this one is Postmedia.
      That dog don’t hunt.
      However, if the wire service gets a press release from something like the Fraser Institute, an intern might feed it down the line.

  15. Julian Insange says:

    Many men have found themselves doing the exact same thing. This is not acceptable behavior and nor should it be tolerated but why is it the Conservatives have more stories about sexual assault and covering it up than other political parties? Once again they come up as hypocritical on this issue and many others regarding gender equality.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “but why is it the Conservatives have more stories about sexual assault and covering it up than other political parties? ”

      They don’t.

  16. Sean says:

    This Groper story is hot!

  17. Robert White says:

    I left the PC Party because of this kind of behaviour and I mistakenly thought that Liberals were above this sort of thing based upon the fact that most Liberals are educated unlike Richard Dykstra & Patrick Brown crazy pants.

    What is a good Grumpy Marxist to do these days, eh?

    Who vetted Trudeau?

    RW

    • Pedant says:

      You still haven’t explained why a grumpy marxist would be part of a Conservative party.

      • Robert White says:

        When I became a Progressive Conservative back in 1999 I realized that they were the government in waiting, but I also realized that the Liberal Party would never balance their books at the provincial level. When Wynne actually balanced the books pre-election, and Trudeau was lauding Gender Parity in the legislature, I realized that they were a better fit along lines of Marxian ideology. Moreover, when Patrick Brown crazy pants & Richard Dykstra were implicated in sexual harassment allegations I decided to go with the Liberals because that cohort is the best educated of all parties.

        My vote is always based upon Finance & Political Ideology.
        Whomever leans closest to left-of-center and away from the right wing is my best choice.

        RW

        • doconnor says:

          Since when does a Marxist worry about the deficit, when they would nationalize the banks, anyway. Maybe you are talking about some other Marx then the author of the Cummunist Manafesto.

          • Fred from BC says:

            ” Maybe you are talking about some other Marx then the author of the Cummunist Manafesto.”

            Groucho, Zeppo or Harpo?

  18. Orest Slepokura says:

    Thing is, the prime minister sold/sells himself to his public as a progressive who’s eager to help women become visible in public life, be active as influential decision-makers, who comes out strong on women’s issues. So, this groping story leaves a black cloud over the PM’s image & his policies. It’s not unlike the conservative pol who professed devotion to so-called “family values” but once arranged an abortion for his mistress some years before.

  19. Grayson says:

    From JT’s early days fighting in the trenches against sexual violence at McGill’s sexual assault centre, to making history naming the first gender-balanced cabinet, to taking a hard line against sexual harassment even within his own caucus, there is something about these allegations which just don’t quite add up. Especially when you consider that the “person” behind them — whom we cannot even be sure exists — refuses to even stand behind them. We do a disservice to all victims of sexual violence when we associate their plight with politically motivated junk like this. Please, for their sake, let’s all be better than this.

    • Pedant says:

      I’m sure you said the same about Patrick Brown, right?

      Many people have a public face and a private face.

      • Grayson says:

        Has Patrick Brown been in the trenches fighting for victims of sexual violence since he was a teenager? No? Then it’s an apples to oranges comparison. But thanks for trying. Cheers.

        • Pedant says:

          Justin Trudeau has never been “in the trenches” of anything, at any time, in his privileged life. You think attending elite galas and beer fests was some sort of heroism?

  20. George Clark says:

    Information on Warren’s Twitter feed along with his tweets make it a less than 3 minute search to ID & locate the groping victim. Not much hope of her remaining anonymous now.

  21. Groovy says:

    I think Trudeau had solid moves back in his 20’s, banged a lot of women and knew how to work a grope festival like that in the way many men did in those days. I probably know a hundred guys like that. Hopefully we are better than that now.

  22. Brad Hodge says:

    I agree the reporter should remain anonymous, although I’m sure that won’t happen, thanks to the interwebs.

    Admittedly I’d never vote for Trudeau: I thought a Canadian blueblood was a weird choice as champion of the middle class, and his presence at the top convinces me the Liberal Party learned nothing at all during its 9 years in the penalty box.

    But I don’t hate him, not even a little bit. When he’s not grandstanding or moralizing from a horse high enough to impede migrating Canada geese, he’s actually likable. I totally want to have a beer with the guy, and I don’t even drink beer. This is not about partisan or personal hate.

    This is about the Prime Minister needing to be held to his own standards. Fairness demands it. And perhaps an additional benefit would be cooling the enthusiasm of today’s Puritans for swift dispatch of the accused before they’re even entered a plea.

  23. DeepThroat II says:

    So, ironically, Ezra Levant was right all along:

    “When it comes to women, they are for his use.”

    If not Liberal or Conservative, then Jagmeet Singh? He has a rather colourful erotic history. Incidentally, Hillary Clinton is hardly the poster girl of #MeToo – HRC deftly handled the neutralization of Bill’s conquests e.g. HRC described Gennifer Flowers as “some failed cabaret singer who doesn’t have much of a resume to fall back on.” Compare to Christopher Hitchens: “In my opinion, Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth; so was Monica Lewinsky, and so was Kathleen Willey, and so, lest we forget, was Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who says she was raped by Bill Clinton…see “Is There a Rapist in the Oval Office?” This essay, I may modestly say, has never been challenged by anybody in the fabled Clinton “rapid response” team.”

  24. Pedant says:

    As I’ve stated here many times – the selection of “Blandy” Scheer was highly prescient of the Conservatives. A perfect choice for the #MeToo era. Philosophically I would have preferred Bernier, and I absolutely detest supply side management and the dairy cartel, but his past indiscretions would have done him in. Not that I would compare Bernier’s “crime” to Trudeau’s : the former was a consensual albeit highly careless affair, whereas the latter is sexual assault.

  25. Sean says:

    IMO the victim coming forward is moot-Trudeau’s response is orchestrated and disingenuous. In a sense he’s been deceived by his own Messiah complex- his god like persona orates the highest of virtues which are beyond the grasp of the man inside.

    I was once a card carrying liberal and attended numerous events where liberal leaders spoke : Chrétien, Peterson, Capignola , and Trudeau. When I heard Trudeau speak, I was stunned by his lack of sophistication.

    Thus far Trudeau has struck me as a guy who loves the perks which come with the office while paying lip service to it’s responsibilities. He’s no Chrétien and he’s no leader.

  26. Scott says:

    I am a troll and have been banned from this site. I acknowledge that I am a weasel and a loser.

  27. Lutful says:

    That particular interview with a female reporter was witnessed by two UAlberta students, who were shadowing Justin Trudeau at various public events.

    They were far less drunk than other young men,
    and did not see anything unusual.

    Trudeau was not there at all on Aug 4.

    The apology mentioned in that self-written editorial may not have taken place, as those guys did their best to keep Trudeau in sight at all times during Aug 5-6.

  28. EliG says:

    Warren,

    I tried posting a link to this column on /r/Canada, a popular sub-reddit about all things Canadian.

    My first post got removed by a moderator due to “lack of content”. Ha ha ha. Never mind that every other post on /r/Canada is an external link to an article or a column posted elsewhere.

    I re-posted the same link a few hours later, now with my own comments added. They didn’t remove it but they hid it somehow so it doesn’t show up in /r/Canada timeline.

    I made a third post called “Censorship on /r/Canada”. It described what happened with the previous two posts, similar to what I am writing here. Sure enough, they removed the post and banned me.

    I reach two conclusions:

    1. A popular Canadian sub-reddit is being actively censored by the Liberal moderators.

    2. They are very worried about Grope-Gate. As they should be.

  29. Veritas Somber says:

    The bad apology at the time shows he KNEW he had assaulted her by groping her.
    Some try to dismiss it as error of youth but…
    a “youth” at age 28, and a teacher to boot, what? Is age 28 supposed to be youth – after almost a decade of adulthood?
    Additionally, aren’t teachers supposed to have a higher standard due to their profession.
    If that came to light while he was still a teacher he would be fired. No excuses. So how come a person in one of the highest public offices in Canada thinks this should be swept under a rug?

  30. Jay Mack says:

    As a young woman starting out in the world I was accosted by a man I reported to twice my age. I had to bar myself in my hotel room by moving a huge dresser in front of adjoining room ( which he had requested). And inform him I was leaving Ottawa ( which we were there for a business meeting) on a plane the next morning ( he had insisted we drive from Toronto) which I did. I was 22 at the time and it has affected my whole life. Before his position at the company we worked for he ran and lost for the liberal party if Canada. He was a pig and so is any other man who acts this way. Trudeau should go now.

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