Former PM right to call Donald Trump a sexual predator, UAlberta expert says

“Any Canadian leader who did that would be forced to resign.”


Former prime minister Kim Campbell was right in her assessment of Donald Trump when she told CBC News recently he is a sexual predator, a University of Alberta political scientist said.

“I think it’s great that she spoke out,” said Lise Gotell, who specializes in gender issues and Canadian public policy. “She was the minister of justice who was responsible for the significant reform of Criminal Code provisions in 1993, which laid the foundation for an affirmative consent standard in Canadian law.”

Campbell, who serves as principal of the U of A’s Peter Lougheed Leadership College, told the public broadcaster the behaviour the U.S. Republican presidential nominee admitted to and celebrated in himself is predation. She was referring to video that surfaced this past weekend in which Trump spoke off the air to a television show host about using his celebrity to get away with kissing and groping women without consent.

"Unconsented sexual touching is a sexual assault,” Campbell told CBC. “And somebody who does that, who thinks he has a right to do that, who does it thinking that it's a reflection of his value because he's a celebrity, et cetera—I mean, that is predation.”

Gotell agrees.

“It wasn’t locker room talk. He was talking about sexually assaulting women and being entitled to do that because of his position of privilege,” she said.

She added that Trump has complete disregard for gender equality, for women as autonomous beings, and also for the law.

“The law that Campbell is talking about is the same in the U.S. You can’t grab someone by their genitals without asking them and gaining their consent. If you do that, it’s sexual assault.”

Though Trump has vowed to continue his campaign for the presidency despite people in his own party urging him to step down, Gotell said a similar result in Canada could never happen.

“We would never see that in Canada. There is absolutely no way someone who was running as the leader of a Canadian party in a federal election could admit to having sexually assaulted women and not be forced to resign,” she said.