Trudeau did not defame Quebec interlocutor, judge ruled

A Quebec Superior Court judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by a woman who interrupted him at a 2018 rally south of Montreal.

Judge Michèle Monast wrote in a decision published Monday that Diane Blain’s claim was unfounded and abusive.

Blain had claimed that Trudeau damaged his reputation when he called his comments “racist.”

Trudeau was delivering a speech in August 2018 in Ste-Anne-de-Sabrevois, Que., South of Montreal, when Blain interrupted him, making a comment about “illegal immigrants.”

The prime minister told Blain that his comments were intolerant, and when she asked him about his tolerance for “pure Quebecers,” he said his comments were racist.

Monast ruled that Trudeau’s actions were not irrational and that his statements were not defamatory.

Blain had argued in court that Trudeau’s words made her feel humiliated, shocked and ridiculed and that she received derogatory comments from others after the incident. But Monast said the public reaction against Blain after the meeting with the prime minister was the result of Blain’s actions, not what Trudeau said.

The judge also mentioned that Blain had used the meeting with Trudeau to promote his political views on social media and in interviews.

This Canadian Press report was first published on November 30, 2021.

This story was produced with financial assistance from Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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