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MALCOLM: Trudeau refuses to answer questions about mysterious yearbook message

Justin Trudeau’s campaign is not answering questions about the nature of the Prime Minister’s relationship with a high school student during his time as a teacher in Vancouver.

Justin Trudeau’s campaign is not answering questions about the nature of the Prime Minister’s relationship with a high school student during his time as a teacher in Vancouver.  

For days, True North has been asking questions of the Liberal campaign about a message in the 2001 West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) yearbook that may suggest a relationship outside the classroom between Justin Trudeau, his former roommate and convicted sex offender Christopher Ingvaldson and a female Grade 12 student at the school.  

The exact nature of this relationship is not known and the Liberal campaign is refusing to respond to questions about what may have been a close personal relationship. 

Grade 12 students at WPGA were given an opportunity to write “Grad Shoutouts” to thank their friends, families and others in an informal section of the printed yearbook. 

A female student, who True North has decided not to name but will refer to by a pseudonym, Jane, wrote the following message in her shoutout. 

“To ‘The Empire’, JT & CI, thanks for making my life at WPGA a lot more interesting/amusing!”

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There are no other students with those initials in the graduating class that year. 

Trudeau and Ingvaldson were the two “young and cool teachers” at the school, True North was told by a former student. They were popular teachers and friends with many of the students.

The yearbook also includes a “Grad Poll” — where Grade 12 students voted on various categories including “Most Likely to be Famous,” “Most School Spirit,” “Teacher’s Pet,” etc. 

The poll included “Biggest Crush on Mr. Trudeau” and “Biggest Crush on Mr. Ingvaldson.” These were the only two teachers named in the Grad Poll. 

Jane was the student voted by her peers to have had the “Biggest Crush on Mr. Ingvaldson.” She was also voted “Biggest Flirt.”

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On a previous page of the yearbook, Trudeau can be seen with his arm around Jane, in a photo of the Ultimate Frisbee team. 

Jane was a member of that team, where Trudeau was the coach and mascot. Trudeau was very close with the team, which was made up of male and female students, a former student said. 

Trudeau is featured very prominently on the school’s Ultimate Frisbee team page of the 2001 yearbook. There are three different photos of Trudeau in wild outfits that show him hugging and roughhousing with the students. His various costumes include black and white face paint, a big black afro wig, a kilt and a large Mickey Mouse hat. 

The team was called the “MadHatters,” and the yearbook includes a poem about the team that describes Trudeau as “a loud-mouthed maniac.”

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It is unclear from Jane’s inscription whether she was referring to her time with the Ultimate Frisbee team, or something else. According to a former student who spoke to True North on background, Ingvaldson was not involved with coaching the Ultimate team. 

In 2010, Ingvaldson was arrested and charged with four counts of possessing and distributing child pornography. He was caught during an international police sting using Facebook, and according to the RCMP, 11 members of the ring were arrested in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. 

At the time of his arrest, Ingvaldson was teaching at an all boys private school in Vancouver, and reports at the time said that his “offences did not involve the school in any way or endanger the students.”

According to an e-book released by Huffington Post in 2013, Inglvaldson was Trudeau’s former roommate. The book also states that Trudeau cut all ties with Ingvaldson after he was arrested in 2010. 

Ingvaldson pleaded guilty to two counts and was sentenced to three months in prison and two years probation in 2013. Ingvaldson had to provide a DNA sample and will be listed as a registered sex offender for 10 years.

The 2001 WGPA yearbook made international headlines last month when a report in Time Magazine drew attention to a racist photo of the future Prime Minister with his face and hands painted black. 

Trudeau wore blackface on many occasions. Several more photos and videos have emerged of Trudeau wearing the racist costume, and he’s admitted he doesn’t remember how many times he has painted his skin black or brown. 

True North obtained copies of the WPGA yearbooks from a former student, and found the cryptic inscription and photos independently. 

On Monday, the Conservative Party of Canada issued a statement questioning why Trudeau left his teaching job at WPGA in 2001. The news release points out that Trudeau’s story has changed over the years, and that he has given at least four different and inconsistent accounts of why he left the small private school. 

In 2001, the Ottawa Citizen wrote that Trudeau was leaving the school to pursue a career giving speeches. That claim was refuted by Trudeau through his lawyers and later, the Montreal Gazette wrote that he left the private school to teach at a public school. 

In his 2014 autobiography, Trudeau stated that he left WPGA after a dispute with the school’s administration over an article written in the student newspaper where Trudeau was an editor. Trudeau claimed he encouraged a student to write an article criticizing the school’s dress code, and the administration found that disrespectful.

A 2019 book about Trudeau likewise claimed he left the school over “a disagreement over an article written by a student for which Trudeau was responsible.”

Last week, WPGA’s former headmaster issued a statement saying that Trudeau was not “dismissed” but instead “parted the school on good terms.” He stated that Trudeau decided to leave WPGA to return to Montreal and “continue his university studies” in engineering. 

That same day, Trudeau said he left WPGA to “move on” with his life. 

Neither Trudeau, Ingvaldson nor the female student would comment on the inscription or the nature of their relationship, despite multiple attempts by True North to reach all three of them. 

The Trudeau campaign has ignored multiple emails, texts and phone calls from True North, and blocked a True North journalist from attending events with the Liberal leader, thereby preventing him from asking about this yearbook inscription. 

On Monday, a Federal Judge in Toronto issued a court order to grant True North accreditation to attend the Leaders Debates. This came after a flawed and partisan decision was made by the Trudeau government to exclude True North from election events. 

Despite this court order, the Trudeau campaign continues to ban True North from asking questions of the Prime Minister. 

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