David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in open conflict with another one of his female caucus members, as Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Celina Caesar-Chavannes claims Trudeau yelled at her when she approached him about not seeking re-election.
Caesar-Chavannes said she tried to approach Trudeau twice about her decision to not run again as a Liberal candidate and both times he exhibited rage and dismissal, The Globe and Mail reported Friday. Trudeau has referred to himself as a feminist whose brand of leadership can be described as “listening, learning and compassionate.”
Caesar-Chavannes told the Globe that Trudeau became enraged when she talked about not running again because she believes he was focused on the “optics of having two women of color leaving [his caucus].”
“He was yelling. He was yelling that I didn’t appreciate him, that he’d given me so much,” Caesar-Chavannes said. Although the MP said Trudeau apologized for that encounter, she told The Globe that she approached the prime minister again a week later and this time Trudeau just glared. “Again, I was met with hostility. This stare-down … then him stomping out of the room without a word.”
Trudeau has already lost two female cabinet ministers and his principal secretary in the last month, who all left the government amid an escalating scandal that surrounds the Quebec contractor, SNC-Lavalin.
Former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet before testifying at the House of Commons Justice Committee that Trudeau and others pressured her to intervene to squash a criminal fraud case against the contractor in order to shore up electoral support for the Liberal Party in Quebec. Days later, Treasury Board Secretary Jane Philpott also quit, citing the SNC-Lavalin affair as the reason. (RELATED: Calls For Trudeau’s Resignation Made After Explosive Testimony From Former AG)
At a news conference this week, Trudeau attempted to manage the crisis when he claimed that his style of leadership was about “listening, learning and compassion … where my ministers, caucus and staff feel comfortable coming to me.”
Caesar-Chavannes sent out a tweet later that day reminding Trudeau that “I did come to you recently. Twice. Remember your reactions?” (RELATED: Trudeau Won’t Apologize For Judicial Scandal This Has Been A Tough Few Weeks)
“I believe real leadership is about listening, learning & compassion…central to my leadership is fostering an environment where my Ministers, caucus & staff feel comfortable coming to me when they have concerns” I did come to you recently. Twice. Remember your reactions?
— MP Celina ???????? (@MPCelina) March 7, 2019
In a response to The Globe, Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Matt Pascuzzo described the interaction between Trudeau and Caesar-Chavannes as “emotional” and said Trudeau has “deep respect” for the MP.