And then there were 10?
Former Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leona Alleslev appears to have launched a Conservative leadership webpage, suggesting the party’s former deputy leader is poised to join the increasingly crowded race.
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The website, linked to Alleslev’s verified social media accounts, describes Alleslev as a “mother, federal politician, corporate manager, entrepreneur and military officer.”
But the website gives no hint as to why Alleslev is seeking the leadership or what a potential platform would look like.
A source also told Global News that Alleslev volunteers were collecting signatures for her bid at the posh Metropolitain Brasserie in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday night.
Multiple messages to Alleslev’s social media accounts were not returned as of Thursday morning.
A former military officer and consultant, Alleslev began her federal career as a Liberal MP sent to Ottawa in the party’s 2015 majority election win.
After three years in the Liberal backbench, Alleslev crossed the floor to join Andrew Scheer’s Conservative party.
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“The world has changed dramatically in the last three years. We find ourselves in a time of unprecedented global instability. We are seeing fundamental shifts in the global economy while trade relationships, international agreements and defence structures are under threat,” Alleslev said in 2018, explaining her decision to cross the floor.
“After careful and deliberate consideration, I must withdraw from the government benches to take my seat among the ranks of my Conservative colleagues, and join Her Majesty’s loyal opposition.”
Scheer appointed Alleslev deputy leader, and she managed to hang on to her GTA seat despite the Conservatives’ flagging fortunes around Toronto in the 2019 election. She narrowly lost the seat in 2021 to Liberal MP Leah Taylor Roy.
Alleslev would join an increasingly crowded race for the Tories’ top job, with already nine contenders either declared or rumoured to be seeking the leadership. She’d also be the sixth candidate hailing from Ontario, potentially complicating the race in Canada’s most populous province.
Candidates have until April 19 to join the race, and the next leader will be crowned on Sept. 10.