1:30 a.m., April 16)
official: Retired general Andrew Leslie to seek Ottawa-Orléans
By Fred Sherwin
Retired general Andrew Leslie addresses supporters
during the kickoff to his federal Liberal
nomination campaign in Orléans Wednesday
night. Fred Sherwin/Photo
race to see who will run against Ottawa-Orléans
MP Royal Galipeau in the next election is officially on
after retired general Andrew Leslie announced his intention
to seek the local Liberal nomination Wednesday night.
in front of more than 200 supporters at the MIFO cultural
centre in Orléans, Leslie explained why he's decided
to enter the political arena after a successful military
career, and what he'll do should he win the nomination
and go on to become the riding's next member of parliament.
the past couple of years I have become increasingly worried
about the trends and direction that the current Government
of Canada is taking and I want to help make a positive
difference," Leslie told the crowd. "I believe
government should be open, transparent and respectful
(and) that government have a vision for Canada that's
inclusive and that not only welcones but encourages different
points of view."
made his candidacy for the nomination official after recently
getting the mandatory green light from the Liberal Party
of Canada. Every candidate who wants to run for the Liberals
must first get clearance from the party. It's common practice
among all three parties at both the federal and provincial
Leslie is the first candidate to get green-lighted for
the Liberal nomination in Ottawa-Orléans he won't
be the last. Former Liberal nominee David Bertschi has
already declared his candidacy, and former Liberal MP
Gar Knutson, who represented Elgin-Middlesex-London from
1993 to 2004, is expected to follow suit.
has been in the news ever since his name first surfaced
as a possible candidate in February. He came under attack
from the Conservative Party almost immediately. most notably
for incurring $72,000 in relocation costs when he and
his wife moved into a new home after he retired from the
armed forces. He had barely finished his nomination speech
before the president of the Ottawa-Orléans Conservative
Riding Association issued a press release accusing him
of lacking judgement.
Leslie, just like Justin Trudeau, demonstrates a lack
of judgment and a lack of understanding of the middle
class," wrote riding association president Steve
Outhouse, citing the relocation costs.
is no question that the Conservatives are concerned about
Leslie's potential candidacy, and for good reason. He
is an extremely well-respected former Lieutenant-General
seeking the nomination in a riding that has long held
the nickname CFB Orleans. He would also be a potentaial
candidate for Minister of Defence should the Liberals
form the next government.
of his grandfathers were former Ministers of Defence.
Brooke Claxton served under former Louis St. Laurent as
Minister of Defence from 1946-54, and his paternal grandfather
was none other than Andrew McNaughton, commander of the
Canadian Army during the Second World War, who served
as Minister of Defence from 1944-46.
could say Leslie was born to lead. Besides being the grandson
of the father of the modern Canadian Army, his own father
was a Brigadier-General during the Korean War.
graduate of the University of Ottawa, Leslie rose up through
the ranks of the Canadian military. In 1995 he was promoted
to Colonel and sent to the former Yugoslavia as Chief
of Staff for the south sector.
was appointed area Chief of Staff during the Manitoba
floods in 1997 and later the same year became commander
of the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group which was
sent to the south shore of Montreal to help with disaster
relief operations there.
became deputy commander of the International Security
Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2003 and was named
Assistant Chief of the Land Staff in 2004. Two years later
he was appointed Chief of the Land Staff.
retired from the military in 2011 and was subsequently
hired by the CGI Group to lead their new defence, public
safety and intelligence unit in Ottawa.
leaving the military and entering pubic life, Leslie became
increasingly disillusioned with the Conservative government's
treatment of the military and veterans in particular.
He started exploring the possibility of working with the
Liberal Party after Justin Trudeau became leader. The
relationship became offcial in September when he was named
co-chair of the party's International Affairs Council
still miss that aspect of public service, of that narional
vision of trying to help people, so I took a look around
and I didn't like some of the things I was seeing at the
federal level," Leslie said in an interview with
OrleansOnline in March.
his main motivation to enter politics is to change the
way Canada's military is being treated, Leslie also wants
to help change Orléans reputation as a bedroom
like to see jobs retained in Ottawa-Orléans. I
want to help create jobs and work with other local representatives
to try and improve our future prospects," said Leslie.
want to help transform Ottawa-Orléans, over time,
from just a bedroom community to a place where especially
young peple can have access to well-meanng. well paying
and raised in Montreal, Leslie is fluently bilingual.
He also has a wealth of experiece in working with people
at all levels across Canada and around the world, and
his leadership skills are impressive to say the least.
love public service. It's in the blood. It's a calling
and I want to continue representing Canadians and trying
to solve their problems."
the next several days OrleansOnline will be publishing
stories on the other candidates for the Liberal nomination.)
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