Former Whitby MP talks about running again as a Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes and Justin Trudeau.

Grenada-born Celina Caesar-Chavannes, the former Liberal Member of Parliament for Whitby, Ontario who sat as an Independent in Parliament after exchanging angry words with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last year, has not ruled out the possibility of returning to “active politics.”

“I never stopped being a member of the Liberal Party,” she told The Caribbean Camera in an interview last week.

” I haven’t given up on politics. I have maintained good relations with the prime minister and the top ministers and you may see me running in elections again.”

Ceasar-Chavannes who did not contest the last federal elections and is now running a “consulting business,” said she has written a book about her life ” as an immigrant from Grenada who arrives in Canada at two years of age and ends up as the parliamentary secretary to the prime minister.”

She announced that the book which is “really about my humble beginnings and  not a political tell-all story,” is scheduled to be published by Penguin Random House  in  February 2021.

Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Caesar-Chavannes was elected in 2015 and became Trudeau’s parliamentary secretary, representing him in the Commons when he was absent. She later moved to the same role in international development before stepping down at the end of August last year.

Last March, Caesar-Chavannes told the Globe and Mail in an interview that Trudeau was angry when she told him on Feb. 12  2019 of her plans to announce that “she was not running ” in the October federal election.

She alleged that he yelled at her in that conversation and that she responded by shouting back at him,

Caesar-Chavannes also spoke about another encounter with Trudeau in the House of Commons a week later in which she describes him as acting hostile toward her.

She said her second encounter was after a caucus meeting when she approached Trudeau and tried to broach the topic of their previous testy conversation, but was met with a hostile “stare down.”

Caesar Chavannes said he came to apologize to her quietly on the floor of the House of Commons later.

In a statement sent to various media outlets, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office said “there’s no question the conversations in February last year were emotional, but there was absolutely no hostility.”

The spokesman said that Trudeau has” deep respect” for her.

Caesar-Chavannes, a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould, said she had informed Prime Minister Trudeau of her decision not to seek re-election on  the day that Wilson-Raybould resigned as veterans affairs minister.

The former Whitby MP said, however, that her decision had nothing to do with Wilson-Raybould, who  had told the House of Commons justice committee that she faced pressure from the prime minister and his office to interfere in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

“I have tremendous respect for Ms. Wilson-Raybould and this will never change,” Caesar-Chavannes stated.

As Wilson-Raybould gave her testimony on the SNC-Lavalin matter, Caesar-Chavannes tweeted “Truth is power. Proud of you.”

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