Plane Talk: Celina Caesar-Chavannes on her past, present and future

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Rookie MP and parliamentary secretary Celina Ceasar-Chavannes joins Tom Clark for some Plane Talk about going through the garbage and getting a civic lesson from her daughter – Apr 3, 2016

Celina Caesar-Chavannes travelled a long and sometimes challenging road on her way to Parliament Hill.

Now an MP and a Parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, Caesar-Chavannes took to the skies with Tom Clark this week to talk about her humble beginnings and how it has shaped the work she does today.

“So I had my bachelor of science degree, I had an MBA. My husband had his master’s degree. He has his bachelor’s degree, and we still weren’t able to make ends meet. And that for me was sickening.”

The couple resorted to pulling items out of the garbage and repurposing them for use in their home, she recalled. At one point, her husband was working two jobs as she attempted to gain a financial foothold by starting her own company.

Caesar-Chavannes said the experience was incredibly hard, but it has allowed her to empathize with Canadians who are struggling.

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“When I think about politics and when I think about policy in particular, I’m thinking of the person that needs this change the most,” she said.

Asked if she would ever consider becoming prime minister, Caesar-Chavannes said she’d need to brush up on her civics lessons first. Her daughter helped her get up to speed during a by-election campaign in 2014, she said.

“So prime minister might be a little bit of a stretch for someone who was getting her 16-year-old daughter’s grade 10 civics notes.”

Watch the full Plane Talk interview, featuring Caesar-Chavannes’ vocal stylings, above. And check out the extended interview here:

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