Turning thought into action took two years for Durham resident Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who is seeking the federal Liberal Party’s nomination in the Whitby-Oshawa riding.
Late Finance Minister and Conservative Party member Jim Flaherty represented the riding for eight years in Ottawa before his sudden death on April 10. His widow, Christine Elliott who represents the riding in the Ontario legislature, is expected to make a bid to succeed her husband at the federal level.
Caesar-Chavannes acknowledges that her first foray into politics could be challenging.
“Regardless of the outcome, I would not be deterred,” she said. “Canada has been my home for the past 38 years and in my time as a Whitby resident for the last 10 years, I have seen this community evolve multiculturally. That diversity, however, is not reflected in many key sectors, including the riding association.
“I have learned much about service from my many years as a volunteer with the Congress of Black Women of Canada and on the Ethics Board and Governing Council of the University of Toronto which is my alma mater as well as through my experiences as a small business owner in the service industry. The sum total of these lessons has led me to this important moment.”
The married mother of three is the co-chair of Canada’s first national study of neurological conditions.
“I understand the burden that living with a neurological condition can have on families and as an extension to this how chronic conditions can affect lives,” she said. “As such, I stand for sustainable universal public health care that is both accessible and equitable.”
Failing to secure full-time employment after graduating with a Master of Business Administration degree inspired Caesar-Chavannes to launch ReSolve Research Solutions (RRS) 10 years ago. It’s a site management and clinical research consulting firm whose clients include pharmaceutical companies, private firms and non-governmental organizations.
The company employs a novel approach to research management that provides clients with innovative strategies for meeting deadlines through regulatory and ethical compliance and also collaboration and stakeholder education.
“I understand the importance of small business to our community and our country’s economy,” said Caesar-Chavannes who was a Harry Jerome Award recipient in 2007. “I am proud to stand with our party’s commitment to accountability and fiscal responsibility.”
A graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Phoenix, Caesar-Chavannes is a former research assistant with the Rotman Research Institute and research co-ordinator with the University Health Network and the University of Toronto.
The Rotman School of Management Executive Master of Business Administration candidate lectures widely on the inclusion of marginalized populations in clinical research.