Grits boast Caribbean heritage MPs


Celina Rayonne Caesar-Chavannes campaigns in Whitby with Liberal Leader and now PM Justin Trudeau.
Celina Rayonne Caesar-Chavannes campaigns in Whitby with Liberal Leader and now PM Justin Trudeau.

The new Liberal government caucus has some representation by MPs of Caribbean heritage.
Among them is Trinidad and Tobago-born Hedy Fry, a physician and long-standing MP who represents Vancouver Centre.
Fry has held that riding since the 1993 election when she defeated then-prime minister Kim Campbell of the Progressive Conservatives, serving several Liberal leaders and standing the test of time.
Shortly after the Liberals were declared winners this time, Fry gave full credit for the unexpected majority to Justin Trudeau, who was sworn in as prime minister yesterday by the governor general at Rideau Hall.
“I think the turning point came when people began to hear him in the debates, when they began to see him speak, and when they heard his message, which was so different from the other parties’ messages,” Fry said.
“It was full of hope, it was positive, it was bringing people together and they liked that. They wanted it.”
In Whitby, rookie Liberal MP Celina Rayonne Caesar-Chavannes beat Conservative incumbent Pat Perkins in what had become a Tory stronghold.
The newly established Whitby riding now contains only the Durham Region town (population 122,022), making it a smaller version of the former riding of Whitby-Oshawa that had included a slice of northwestern Oshawa.
Former Whitby mayor Perkins was elected in a November 2014 byelection following the death of federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, who had held the old riding since 2006.
Caesar-Chavannes was born in the Spice Isle of Grenada and came to Toronto when she was two with her parents. She is the president of ReSolve Research Solutions Inc. and was the winner of the 2012 Business Entrepreneur of the Year at the Toronto Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards.
A third elected MP of Caribbean heritage is Emmanuel Dubourg who was born in Haiti. He serves as MP for Bourassa, the riding he has represented since 2013.

Hedy Fry celebrates winning again in Vancouver Centre.
Hedy Fry celebrates winning again in Vancouver Centre.

He was previously involved in Quebec provincial politics as a Liberal member of the National Assembly for six years. He has also taught at the college and university levels.
In the just concluded election, the Liberal Party had the most visible minority candidates at 16% while the Conservative Party and the NDP each had 13%.
Of the 338 MPs, 14% are visible minorities, close to parity with the number of visible minority citizens in Canada which is 15%.

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