OTTAWA – Liberal cabinet minister Catherine McKenna said she’s not apologizing for an emotional video she posted this week on Twitter speaking about her kids while clearing out her campaign office.

McKenna, who represents the Ottawa Centre riding, said if the video makes people “uncomfortable” then so be it.

“Well I’m a woman in politics, and I’m just going to own it,” she said in an interview on CTV’s Question Period airing Sunday. “One thing I’ve learned in this job is that you have to keep it real, you have to talk like a real person.”

The video shows McKenna flipping through a hand-made calendar her kids gifted her while she reflected on how campaign “politics is hard sometimes, it’s true, but it really matters.”

As minister of infrastructure and communities, McKenna leaves behind her post as minister of environment where she endured countless personal attacks. Three days after the federal election, McKenna discovered someone had spray-painted her campaign office with vulgar and sexist graffiti.

“I also think we can do better and I think that’s one reflection from this election. The tone, the rhetoric, the approach, the hate, the misinformation, we owe it as politicians and as Canadians to do better.”


In the same interview, McKenna also addressed the priorities of her new portfolio which she said include a balance of getting “infrastructure built” while being cognizant of environment concerns.

One of the many responsibilities on her plate – which she’ll share with other ministers like Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan and new Environment Minister Johnathan Wilkinson – is the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“I’m someone who has always have talked about the importance of the environment and the economy. There is $500 billion of investment, potential investment, in major projects and we need this to work and go ahead.”

Speaking on Bill C-69, which overhauls the environmental assessment review process for new infrastructure projects, McKenna said the legislation wouldn’t be reopened despite calls for changes from provincial and municipal leaders.

Like her colleagues said this week during pre- and post-cabinet meetings, what matters more is the “implementation” of the law.

“We consulted for three years on this legislation, including with industry, many industry players think it’s a lot better. But I do agree, so let’s just step back. Do we need to get to a better place with the people of Saskatchewan and Alberta? Absolutely.”

In terms of what projects she’s most looking forward to tackling, McKenna said she’s got her sights set on Toronto.

“I think there’s some real momentum around the metro line and some interest for that,” she said, adding “I’ve been on the job one day, so I’m not going to commit to something yet, but don’t worry I’m on it.”