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Trudeau, cabinet should denounce mocking of Blasey Ford: advocates

Last Updated Oct 3, 2018 at 2:21 pm MDT

Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool Image via AP)

OTTAWA – In the wake of recent comments from U.S. President Donald Trump mocking the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, advocates who work with survivors of sexual assault say they are concerned this could create a chilling effect that makes women hesitant to come forward.

Blasey Ford testified that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, prompting Trump to deride her for not knowing answers to questions about the 1980s night in question.

Some are calling on Canada’s self-proclaimed feminist prime minister and his cabinet to take a public stand against Trump’s comments in support of women who have been victims of sexual violence.

But Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef would not do so today.

She would only say her government believes those who say they’ve been assaulted and will support them.

Ottawa-based sexual-violence educator Julie Lalonde says she believes the Trudeau government is treading carefully out of fear of “poking the bear” while it finalizes a testy trade negotiation with the U.S., a situation she calls unacceptable.