OTTAWA — Ontario Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Leona Alleslev left the Trudeau government Monday and joined the Opposition Conservatives.
The Toronto-area MP’s desire to defect had been unreported until she joined Conservative leader Andrew Scheer in the foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa’s Parliament buildings. The former Royal Canadian Air Force officer said she was joining the Conservatives for a variety of reasons but emphasized what she said was Liberal weakness on the economy and foreign policy.
“I am deeply concerned for the future of our country. After three years of hope and hard work, I find myself asking, ‘Am I doing everything I can to serve my country and work for real change for Canadians?'” Alleslev said.
Saying Canadians “expect and deserve” more “foundational change,” the MP said the Trudeau government is allowing Canada to be left behind.
“We are seeing fundamental shifts in the global economy, while trade relationships, international agreements and defense structures are under threat. Canada faces a perfect storm of serious challenges at home and abroad.
Alleslev also commented on the state of the Canadian economy.
“Here at home, we see large amounts of capital investment leaving Canada while tax structures, federal infrastructure problems and politics prevent us from getting goods to market, deter companies from expanding and undermine our competitiveness … This is not a strong economy,” she told reporters.
Describing Canada’s place in the world and “vastly diminished,” Alleslev said trade policy and foreign policy need to be coordinated.
“To have a strong economy and a strong country, we need strong federal leadership to rebuild our nation’s foundations — tax reform, employment reform, federal infrastructure, a comprehensive foreign policy, and a modernized military — to reassure our allies and defend Canada’s interests at home and abroad.”