US & Canada

Canada PM Justin Trudeau denies groping allegation

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Mr Trudeau said he remembered the event, but did not recall any "negative interactions"

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denied allegations that he groped a reporter at a festival in 2000.

The event in Creston, British Columbia, was held to raise money for an avalanche safety charity with which Mr Trudeau was involved.

Days afterwards, an unsigned editorial appeared in a local paper accusing him of "groping" a young female reporter.

The prime minister said he did not recall any "negative interactions" at the event.

Speaking to reporters in Regina, Saskatchewan while on a three-city Canada Day tour, Mr Trudeau said he remembered the day in Creston well.

"I had a good day that day," he said. "I don't remember any negative interactions that day at all."

The editorial and its allegations resurfaced after a blogger posted an image of the article on Twitter in June.

Published in the Creston Valley Advance newspaper, the piece accused Mr Trudeau of "inappropriately handling" the reporter, who felt "blatantly disrespected" by the actions, which were not described.

According to the editorial, Mr Trudeau apologised for his behaviour and said: "If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward."

Mr Trudeau was a 28-year-old teacher at the time of the event. He became involved with the charity Avalanche Foundation after his brother Michel died in an avalanche in 1998.

CBC News made contact with the woman who was the subject of the editorial, who reportedly said she did not want to be associated with the story, contacted about it in future or have her name used in connection with it.

CBC spoke to Valerie Bourne, the publisher of the paper at the time, and the paper's then-editor, Brian Bell, both of whom believe the reporter.

Neither Ms Bourne nor Mr Bell authored the piece, with Ms Bourne telling the site she believes the woman wrote the editorial herself.

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