7:30 a.m., Nov. 24)
MP Andrew Leslie marks second year in office
By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star
last two years have been a whirlwind for Orléans
MP Andrew Leslie who had no political experience before
getting elected to the House of Commons on Oct. 19, 2015.
He was barely sworn in before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed him Chief Government Whip. A year later he was named parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, responsible for U.S.-Canada relations including the NAFTA agreement.
Leslie and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands
during the announcement of federal funding for Phase 2
of the LRT project. File photo
then it’s been an extremely steep learning curve... and
he’s had to learn on the job with the various challenges
the very detailed technical ropes of parliamentary procedure
was the biggest initial challenge,” Leslie said in a recent
there I was on day one and everyone is looking to me for
answers because there were 150 new MPs in the Liberal
Party. So it was every night for hours going through Robert’s
Rules for Order, which is the bible for parliamentary
procedure, or turning to the whip staff who have years
and years of experience.”
did the job well enough to receive his subsequent appointment
as parliamentary secretary, which came as another surprise.
the Prime Minister asked me to give a hand with the Canada-U.S.
and NAFTA file, it was another challenge because I’m a
soldier and my knowledge of international trade at the
time wasn’t very high,” said Leslie. “But none of the
people who are there were appointed because of our expertise
in trade. We were appointed because of our contacts within
the current administration.”
for the challenge of having to balance his role as a parliamentary
secretary with that of being a local MP and all the expectations
that come with it, Leslie said he’s been able to do both
effectively thanks to his staff both on the Hill and in
his constituency office.
in a local riding I’m able to attend most of the functions
I’ve been invited to, especially on the weekends, so it’s
worked out well,” said Leslie.
was trained by my riding association and they said job
one is taking care of the riding, but you also have to
bring things into the riding to improve their quality
biggest highlight of Leslie’s first two years in office
was being able to secure the federal portion of the funding
for the city’s light rail project, including the extension
from Place d’Orléans to Trim Road.
was able to work with both our provincial member of parliament,
Marie- France Lalonde, and our city councillors to get
everything in place, which is very exciting for the community,”
ahead, Leslie is looking forward to the completion of
Phase 1 of the LRT project and the beginning of Phase
2. He is also looking forward to successfully completing
the talks on NAFTA.
a lot that still needs to be done on a number of fronts,
and I plan to address them over the next two years,” said
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)