Politics

PMO denies 'hostility' in Trudeau's interactions with Liberal MP

The Prime Minister's Office says there was "absolutely no hostility" from Justin Trudeau towards Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, despite allegations she's made against him.

Celina Caesar-Chavannes told the Globe and Mail Trudeau yelled at her

Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes is not running in October's election. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

The Prime Minister's Office says there was "absolutely no hostility" from Justin Trudeau towards Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, despite allegations she's made against him. 

The Whitby, Ont., MP says she was met with anger and hostility from the prime minister after she informed him she would not be seeking re-election in October. 

Caesar-Chavannes made the announcement last weekend, but informed Trudeau weeks earlier on Feb. 12. 

It was around that time the negative encounters happened, the MP first told the Globe and Mail. 

Because of Jody Wilson-Raybould's fresh resignation from cabinet, she told the Globe that Trudeau had asked her to wait for her own announcement and that he was worried about the optics of having two women of colour leave at the same time.

"He was yelling. He was yelling that I didn't appreciate him, that he'd given me so much," Caesar-Chavannes told that newspaper.

She alleges the hostility continued in interactions after that conversation.

Matt Pascuzzo, a spokesman for the PMO, says while there was no question the conversations in February were "frank," there was "absolutely no hostility."

Caesar-Chavannes declined to comment for this story.

'Remember your reactions?'

Earlier on Thursday while responding to allegations surrounding the SNC-Lavalin controversy, Trudeau said he hoped members of his caucus felt comfortable coming to him with issues. 

"I did come to you recently. Twice. Remember your reactions?" Caesar-Chavannes tweeted after his comment. 

The prime minister doubled down on his messaging at an event in Ottawa on Saturday morning, saying the SNC-Lavalin affair is giving him pause to think about the way things have been dealt with.

Trudeau's office denies the conversations with her turned sour to the point of animosity. 

"The prime minister has deep respect for Celina Caesar-Chavannes," Pascuzzo said in the email to CBC News. 

"As the prime minister said on Thursday, he is committed to fostering an environment where ministers, caucus, and staff feel comfortable approaching him when they have concerns or disagreements – that happened here."

Caesar-Chavannes worked closely with the prime minister, including a stint as his parliamentary secretary until early 2017.

Watch | Trudeau spoke today on the erosion of trust in his office: 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls SNC affair 'disagreement,' reiterates stance that there was no breakdown in the rule of law. 0:46

With files from Canadian Press