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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks with the media following party caucus Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks with the media following party caucus Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Trudeau to be offered apology Monday night for Levant’s ‘slut’ comments Add to ...

Québécor-owned Sun Media is apologizing to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for derogatory remarks that TV host Ezra Levant made about the political figure and his famous parents.

The Sun News TV network will broadcast an apology during Mr. Levant’s program on Sun News TV at 8 p.m. ET Monday, a source said. The show repeats at 10 p.m. ET.

Sun Media will also run an apology in newspapers Tuesday.

Mr. Trudeau announced last week that he would “not engage” with journalists from the Sun Media news chain last week until Québécor, the parent company of Sun News, “resolved the matter” of Mr. Levant’s comments.

Sun Media owns more than 38 daily newspapers across Canada from Sarnia, Ont., to Grande Prairie, Alta., as well as 200 community newspapers.

The five-minute TV segment from Ezra Levant, which aired on Sun News TV earlier this month, was based on a photo, published on Twitter by a Liberal official earlier this month, that showed Mr. Trudeau kissing the cheek of an unidentified bride. Mr. Trudeau was said to be leaving a party event when he encountered the bride, who appeared to be shooting photographs with her wedding party. Liberals later said the party leader had been invited to take photos with the wedding party.

In his TV segment, Mr. Levant criticized Mr. Trudeau for kissing the bride as well as the media’s coverage of Mr. Trudeau. He then discussed the “conquests” of Mr. Trudeau’s parents, saying they were “promiscuous and publicized how many conquests they had.” He said Pierre Trudeau was “a slut,” listing some of his previous partners, and that Margaret Trudeau “tended toward rock musicians.”

Mr. Levant then added: “Now, if that’s your moral compass, kissing another man’s bride on her wedding day is pretty cool.”

On September 23, Justin Trudeau’s office released a statement charging that Mr. Levant’s segment “crossed the line by airing a personal attack on the Trudeau family that was offensive and breached any reasonable measure of editorial integrity.”

The statement said Mr. Trudeau had “raised this issue with the appropriate people at Québécor Inc.,” the parent company of Sun News. Until Québécor “resolves the matter,” Mr. Trudeau said he personally will “not engage with Sun Media.” Trudeau aide Gerald Butts later said via Twitter that reporters from “real journalistic outlet[s]” won’t face reduced access.

In response, Mr. Levant accused Mr. Trudeau of trying to censor him by pressuring Québécor. Québécor’s board members include former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney.

“There are two separate issues here. The first is: do people agree with my political commentary? It’s not surprising that the Liberals don’t. It’s called freedom of speech. The second is: was it appropriate for Trudeau to contact Quebecor and demand that I be censored? And, when Quebecor did not accede to that demand, that Trudeau then engages in mass punishment of every Sun journalist?” Mr. Levant wrote in an e-mail to The Globe last week.

Mr. Levant said on September 23 he doesn’t regret the word choice. “I do stand by calling Pierre Trudeau a slut, though. I don’t believe in double standards, e.g. men are virile, women are sluts,” he wrote on Twitter.

With files from Josh Wingrove in Ottawa

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