Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t budging from his pledge not to insert himself in the U.S. presidential election, even as Republican nominee Donald Trump faces mounting allegations of sexual assault.
But Trudeau suggested Thursday that people already know how he feels.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls walk to a media availability on Parliament Hill on Oct. 13, 2016. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/CP)
At a news conference in Ottawa with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, National Post reporter David Akin asked Trudeau what a “feminist prime minister” makes of the accusations facing the man who could become president next door.
The prime minister repeated much the same message he has whenever is asked about Trump controversies — that he has a responsibility to work with whomever Americans elect to promote Canadian interest and jobs.
But there was a something of a “but,” this time.
“I think, however, I’ve been very, very clear in my approach as a feminist, as someone who has stood clearly and strongly all my life around issues of sexual harassment, standing against violence against women, that I don’t need to make any further comment at this time,” Trudeau said.
"I think, however, I’ve been very, very clear in my approach as a feminist, as someone who has stood clearly and strongly all my life around issues of sexual harassment, standing against violence against women, that I don’t need to make any further comment at this time."
His French counterpart was bolder, however, telling reporters earlier that his country wants to see Democrat Hillary Clinton elected in November. Valls said in French that while U.S. President Barack Obama was “elected by the world,” Trump is “rejected by the world.”
Liberal cabinet ministers, including Status of Women Minister Patty Hadju, have also been careful not to harshly criticize Trump, even in the wake of charges that he has groped and assaulted women.
At an event in Toronto marking the International Day of the Girl, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau remarked how “language of aggression and violence or rape culture” becomes normalized.
“The toughest thing to change in a society is what is normal,” she said.
Ex-PM: Trump is a predator
Some other Canadian public figures have joined the fray.
In March, New Democrats released a video of leader Thomas Mulcair calling Trump a “fascist” and lambasting Trudeau for shrugging his shoulders when asked about the Republican.
Donald Trump Jr. later told The Huffington Post Canada that Mulcair’s dig against his father was “nonsense.”
Just this week, former prime minister Kim Campbell told CBC News that Trump was a “sexual predator.” But Campbell also suggested that she understood why Trudeau, as a sitting prime minister, is not being more vocal about the matter.
"One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to imagine what he thinks of it all," Campbell said.
With files from The Canadian Press