iGen21 February 2017 - Page 48




On November 27th, 2016 I had a wonderful opportunity to have an inspiring conversation with the Member of Parliament for Whitby and Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes. I learned about her current role in parliament and a little bit about her family life. Here are some of the details of our discussion. *Since this interview Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes as accepted a role with the Minister of International Development.

It was interesting to learn that Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes didn't aspire to work for the federal government as a youth. In fact, when she was in elementary and high school, she wanted to be a Neurosurgeon. While in university she changed her mind. She was having a rough time in classes when she met Dr. Carol Greenwood. Dr. Greenwood gave Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes the opportunity to do a research program with her in the field of nutrition and concerning people with dementia. Here is what Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes said about Dr. Greenwood:

"She was my mentor, she saw in me something I didn't see in myself. She saw the confidence, she saw the courage, she saw all kinds of stuff and I would say she singlehandedly turned my life around."

I always assumed that in order to work for the federal government you had to complete some specialized political science training or courses. This was not the case with Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes. Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes had not done anything political prior to her running for office, but she was able to transfer her experiences from the previous work she had done in research and business into her new career.

It must be amazing to work with the leader of our country. Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes does just that, she represents the Prime Minister in matters of politics. She acts as a bridge between stake holders and members of the community, people like you and me. If you have a message for the Prime Minister this is the woman to go to. I've already sent my greetings to the Prime Minister through her.

When asked about her vision for the town of Whitby, Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes stated that with the help of the Province, Regional Council, and the Mayor she would like to "put Whitby on the map" by doing the following:

1. creating a "tech corridor" - which means getting Whitby recognized for its innovations and businesses in technology;

2. making Whitby a place where more people want to live, work, and play;

3. encouraging businesses to make Whitby their home

An Interview with my local MP Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes