The casualty toll from the SNC Lavalin continues to mount for the Trudeau Liberals.
Celina Caesar-Chavannes has informed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that she’s leaving the federal Liberal caucus and will sit as an independent MP. The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, two cabinet ministers who resigned over the SNC-Lavalin affair.
In an interview with the Globe and Mail last week, she also accused Trudeau of yelling at her angrily when she informed him that she would not be seeking re-election this fall – an accusation the Prime Minister’s Office has denied. ...
Caesar-Chavannes, first elected in 2015, has been a relatively high-profile backbencher, primarily as an advocate for the rights of black Canadians. She’s gotten into several Twitter wars with Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, who once accused her of thinking “the world revolves around your skin colour.” ...
Throughout the SNC-Lavalin saga, she has used social media to send messages of solidarity – accompanied by a clenched-fist emoji – to Wilson-Raybould and Philpott.
In January, she used a speech at Parliament’s annual dinner tribute to Scottish poet Robbie Burns to take a swipe at Trudeau for moving Wilson-Raybould out of the prestigious justice portfolio to Veterans Affairs in a small cabinet shuffle earlier that month, to be replaced by Montreal MP David Lametti. Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet a few weeks later, although both she and Philpott, who resigned subsequently from cabinet, remain members of the Liberal caucus.
Had Burns been an MP, Caesar-Chavannes said, Wilson-Raybould would have been asked to remove him from Parliament. “If she didn’t succeed, she would have been fired. If she succeeded in removing Robbie Burns, she would have been fired. You can’t have an Indian doing that to the white man. Lametti can, you can’t. The lads are better at that sort of thing,” she said.