Celina Caesar-Chavannes

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Celina Caesar-Chavannes
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development
Assumed office
January 30, 2017
Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau
Preceded by Karina Gould
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Whitby
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded by Pat Perkins
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
In office
December 2, 2015 – January 27, 2017
Minister Justin Trudeau
Preceded by Paul Calandra
Succeeded by Peter Schiefke
Personal details
Born (1974-06-24) June 24, 1974 (age 44)
Pomme Rose, St. David's, Grenada
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Vidal Chavannes
Children 3 (Desiray, Candice, Johhny)
Residence Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Alma mater New College, Toronto, University of Phoenix
Profession Entrepreneur

Celina R. Caesar-Chavannes MP (born June 24, 1974) is a Canadian Liberal politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Whitby in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election.[1] She served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from 2015 to 2017.[2] On January 26, 2017, she became Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development.[3]

Lawn sign to promote Celina Caesar-Chavannes's candidacy for Whitby-Oshawa.

Caesar-Chavannes was born in Grenada, and subsequently emigrated to Canada.[4] She graduated from New College at the University of Toronto, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, followed by an MBA in healthcare management from the University of Phoenix, and an executive MBA. She subsequently served on the University of Toronto's governing council, including time as vice chair of the council for the University of Toronto, Scarborough.[5]

Caesar-Chavannes worked as an international research consultant, as well as a lecturer on the need to include marginalized populations in clinical research. She was named Business Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 by the Toronto Region Board of Trade.[6]

She was the Liberal candidate for the riding of Whitby—Oshawa in the 2014 by-election resulting from the sudden death of former Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. She finished second to Conservative candidate Pat Perkins.[7]

In the general election held the following year, Caesar-Chavannes was again the Liberal nominee in the newly created Whitby riding, this time defeating Perkins in a rematch.[8]

She has repeatedly spoken out her experiences of anti-black racist "micro-aggression" on Parliament Hill that has characterized her time as a Member of Parliament, including being denied entry into her office building by security.[9][10]

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 2015: Whitby
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Celina Caesar-Chavannes 29,003 44.95 +30.46
Conservative Pat Perkins 27,154 42.09 -16.72
New Democratic Ryan Kelly 6,677 10.35 -11.06
Green Craig Cameron 1,403 2.17 -2.81
Independent Jon O'Connor 279 0.43
Total valid votes/Expense limit 64,516 100.0     $233,003.12
Total rejected ballots 235
Turnout 64,751
Eligible voters 90,964
Source: Elections Canada[11][12]
Canadian federal by-election, November 17, 2014: Whitby—Oshawa
Death of Jim Flaherty
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Pat Perkins 17,082 49.31 −9.11 –  
Liberal Celina Caesar-Chavannes 14,083 40.65 +26.54 –  
New Democratic Trish McAuliffe 2,801 8.08 −14.19 –  
Green Craig Cameron 500 1.44 −3.45 –  
Independent John "The Engineer" Turmel 101 0.29 –  
Independent Josh Borenstein 77 0.22 –  
Total valid votes/Expense limit 100.0      
Total rejected ballots      
Turnout 34,644 31.79 −31.45
Eligible voters 108,969   +6.87
Conservative hold Swing −17.89
Source: "By-election Results". Elections Canada. November 20, 2014. 


  1. ^ Celina Caesar-Chavannes shatters Conservative stronghold in Whitby, Durhamregion.com, October 19, 2015.
  2. ^ "Bill Blair, Adam Vaughan among new parliamentary secretaries". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2015-12-03. 
  3. ^ "Liberal backbenchers promoted as Justin Trudeau names new parliamentary secretaries". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  4. ^ A boxer, a refugee, a fighter pilot, an author: Trudeau’s cabinet options diverse, The Toronto Star, November 3, 2015.
  5. ^ New College alumna Celina Caesar-Chavannes elected as Liberal MP for Whitby, New College news release, October 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Celina Caesar-Chavannes Biography, Liberal.ca.
  7. ^ Whitby-Oshawa byelection: Pat Perkins to succeed Jim Flaherty in riding, CBC News, November 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "Liberal unseats Conservative in Whitby". Toronto Star. October 20, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  9. ^ Cruickshank, Ainslie (December 15, 2017). "Black Liberal MP speaks out against 'draining' discriminatory acts on Parliament Hill". The Toronto Star. Retrieved December 16, 2017. A Black Liberal MP took to Facebook this week to share details of the discrimination she says she confronts on Parliament Hill. Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who represents Whitby, posted that she faces “micro-aggressions,” a term used to describe more subtle forms of racism. 
  10. ^ Caesar-Chavannes, Celina (December 14, 2017). "The morning this picture was taken, I was in the..." Facebook. Retrieved December 16, 2017. 
  11. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Whitby, 30 September 2015
  12. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived August 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.

External links

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