Ont. MP Alleslev explains defection to Conservatives

Ont. MP Alleslev explains defection to Conservatives

A Toronto-area Liberal MP, Leona Alleslev, is crossing the floor to join the Conservative Party.

Alleslev cited her concerns and mounting frustration over the government's handling of the economy, its foreign and security policies, as well as global trade, as the reasons for crossing the floor to the opposition Conservatives.

"This is something that is allowed for in our system, obviously".

"I wish her well in her decision".

Alleslev ran as a Liberal in the 2015 election, narrowly defeating Costas Menegakis, the incumbent Conservative.

Alleslev was also asked whether she had gone to anyone within the party to try and address her concerns. "The government must be challenged openly and publicly".

Bill Casey, a Liberal MP from Nova Scotia who was once a Conservative, said Alleslev sat close to him and he never suspected there was an issue.

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"More and more Canadians are realizing that Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have failed to provide the leadership Canada will need to meet the complex challenges of our time", Scheer said in a statement.

"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 competitiveness", she said, adding that "Canada faces a flawless storm of serious challenges at home and overseas".

Scheer said Alleslev, a former captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, who held senior positions at the Department of National Defence, IBM and at aerospace manufacturer Bombardier before jumping into politics in 2014, will be appointed as shadow minister of global security.

Alleslev called the Liberal riding team an "honourable and committed" group of volunteers, but added she hopes they were working for her because "they truly believed I was the best person to represent them in Ottawa".

In a Conservative press release put out after crossing the floor, Alleslev doubled down on her castigation of the Liberals. "It's about all the foundational things that matter to this country", she said, pointing to tax reform and defence matters.

And with that, she was gone from the Liberals.

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