'Hurt, anger, displeasure': Liberals blindsided by MP's defection

Marco Green
September 21, 2018

Ontario MP Leona Alleslev has left the Liberal caucus to sit with the federal Conservatives.

"When you're looking at the things facing the nation, we're at a time of unprecedented global instability where we're really facing some challenges, both at home and overseas". "I wish her well in her decision", Trudeau told reporters shortly after the announcement.

"This is something we allow for in our system", said Trudeau.

Haluza said Alleslev's decision is one he and countless Liberal volunteers are struggling to understand, especially after they gathered more than 100 signatures in the spring to ensure she could fly the Liberal flag in 2019. Part of her reasoning was her perception that she couldn't criticize the government as a Liberal.

Alleslev does not seem inclined to make impulsive decisions.

"On behalf of my Conservative colleagues, I'm extremely pleased to welcome Ms. Alleslev to the Conservative team", Scheer said.

Alleslev said in a news release she believes the country is facing "a flawless storm" of serious challenges at home and overseas, as the world has changed in the last three years. "I'm looking forward to getting to [the] House to talk about what we're going to be doing for Canadians, what we've been working hard on all summer and over the past few years", he said.

MP Leona Alleslev Leaves Liberal Caucus, Crosses Floor To Conservatives
NewsAlert: Ontario MP Leona Alleslev ditches Liberals, crosses floor to Tories

"A country, its sovereignty and (its) values are fragile", said Alleslev.

"Leona made it clear that the direction that this government is headed under this current prime minister, under Justin Trudeau, is not the necessary leadership that we need as Canadians to deal with the very serious issues that are facing this country", Mr. Scheer said.

An early order of business for the Liberals this fall is passing legislation to enact a trade deal with Pacific Rim countries - the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership - created to open up new markets for exports beyond the U.S.

The defection was the first from the Liberal ranks since Trudeau took power after an October 2015 election, when Alleslev overturned a large Conservative majority in her parliamentary constituency to win by around 1,100 votes.

She spent a number of years as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, held senior posts at the Department of National Defence and was a manager with IBM and Bombardier Aerospace.

Likewise, former NDP MP Erin Weir, recently ousted from his caucus, was sitting behind the Conservative benches.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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