In a jab at comments made by the Prime Minister on allegations that he groped a female journalist approximately 18 years ago, a female reporter asked him if he thinks Jody Wilson-Raybould experienced the SNC-Lavalin situation in the same fashion.
While speaking in Kanata, Ontario the Prime Minister was pressured to consider Wilson-Raybould’s experience of the events surrounding allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured the former Justice Minister into intervening on behalf of the Montreal construction giant.
“Given your statements in the past about how women may perceive something differently, is it possible that she perceived what you said to her as pressure?” asked the reporter.
“Uh, I think. I uh can understand that people havequestions about this issue, about these series of events”, said Justin Trudeau, eventually deflecting the question altogether.
The question was a reference to a former statement made by the prime minister where he suggested that a woman who accused him of groping her at a music festival in 2000 “perceived things differently”.
“There’s a lot of uncertainties around this. In terms of my recollection there was no untoward or inappropriate action but she was in a professional context. Who knows where her mind was and I fully respect her ability to experience something differently,” said the Prime Minister about the infamous Kokanee incident.
“That’s the whole conversation we have to be having around this. People experience things differently and we have to be more thoughtful and that’s a big part of the collective awakening we have to have.”
Since the accusations of sexual harassment were made, no investigation was ever launched into the matter.