2 December, 2015
Three Black Members of Parliament were among the 35 Parliamentary Secretaries appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Parliamentary secretaries assist and represent ministers in their absence, including taking questions in the House of Commons on the minister’s behalf. Beyond providing help for ministers, appointing parliamentary secretaries also helps Trudeau reward MPs and bolster the regional representation on his team. With the added responsibilities, MPs chosen for the role also get a $16,600 raise on top of their normal MP salary of $167,400. The appointments come in the wake of criticisms about the absence of African Canadians in Trudeau’s new cabinet. Altogether, six African Canadians were elected in the 19 October federal government election.
Celina Caesar-Chavannes Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Whitby)
Celina is a successful entrepreneur and the recipient of both the Toronto Board of Trade’s Business Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012 and the 2007 Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award. Celina was a well-known research consultant and worked with a variety of private, government and non-government organizations. An international lecturer on the inclusion of marginalized populations in clinical research, Celina has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto and an MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Phoenix, and is an Executive MBA candidate at the Rotman School of Management. She is a past member of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto. She also served as member of the Institutional Advisory Board of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She is also a member of the Congress of Black Women. Celina has deep roots in Whitby, where she lives with her husband and three children.
Greg Fergus Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (Hull-Aylmer)
Greg Fergus has worked as a senior policy advisor in a number of ministerial offices. Over the past 25 years, he has worked in both the private and public sectors, with not-for-profit organizations and in the academic sector. Greg readily gets involved in his community. He was a board member of a seniors residence, a parish council, neighbourhood associations, and school committees. He also sat on citizens’ committees with the City of Gatineau, coached community sports teams, advised youth-at-risk organizations and served on the boards of organizations defending regional interests in the Outaouais. Greg holds two bachelor’s degrees—one from the University of Ottawa in social science and the other from Carleton University in international relations. He has also undertaken studies at the master’s level in international relations at the University of Ottawa.
Emmanuel Dubourg Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue (Bourassa)
Born in Haiti, in 1958, Emmanuel Dubourg emigrated to Quebec in 1974. He completed his high school in Montréal-Nord and received an accounting degree from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He is a Fellow of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec (FCPA, FCA). He also obtained an Executive MBA from UQAM and completed “triple play”—becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified General Accountant, and a member of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec (CA). Mr. Dubourg began his professional career in 1985 as auditor in one of the largest Canadian accounting firms, after which he embarked on a 20-year career in the federal public service, notably as leader of the team assembled to help uncover the underground economy. This was followed by his appointment as advisor to the Canadian Revenue Agency Assistant Commissioner. While pursuing his public service career, Mr. Dubourg taught at the college and post-secondary levels and acted as a consultant internationally in accounting and finance. He also taught taxation and accounting at UQAM and Université du Québec en Outaouais. He co-founded CPA-Without-Borders in 2012. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada Medal, an honor award from UQAM and the CA Émérite award. He has been honoured by the Haitian Consulate in Montreal for his exceptional career and his efforts to promote Haiti’s image and pride worldwide. Mr. Dubourg was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec for Viau in 2007, then served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister of Finance, respectively. Reelected as an MNA in 2008 and 2012, he was elected to Parliament in November 2013. He served as critic for National Revenue and Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. Mr. Dubourg is the father of two children: Edwin-Simon and David.