Former Conservative deputy leader Leona Alleslev entered the party's leadership race earlier this week against Pierre Poilievre, Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis and many others.
Formerly an MP for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, her Toronto seat flipped red in 2021 amid O'Toole's bid for the federal leadership. Her seat flip was seen as part and parcel of Canada's rejection of the former CPC leader, who failed to make inroads in urban areas.
"Simply because I chose to wait until now to announce doesn't mean that I haven't been doing all of the work that the other candidates have been doing," Alleslev said. "I am not behind."
Prior to entering politics, Alleslev served in the Canadian Air Force. She was elected to Parliament Hill as a Liberal MP in 2015. She consequently crossed the floor to join the Conservatives in 2018, after which former leader Andrew Scheer appointed her to become the party's deputy leader. She consequently left the role to help Peter MacKay, the ex-leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives, try to win the party's leadership in 2020.
Alleslev has been quoted as a strong supporter of the Canadian energy sector.
"We cannot get our incredible oil and gas to market. We cannot build pipelines to tidewater to get them to foreign lands abroad, and we cannot get them south. We cannot get them to market, and unfortunately, the longer we wait, the more those other suppliers of oil and gas in the world we are competing with will fill the void. We will lose that window and never get it back," she noted back in 2018.
"We are also losing massive amounts of capital investment that we need not only for today but for growth and a continued economic engine into the future. We are also talking about energy security, because we need to have our country able to look after itself. We have enough energy reserves. We need to have energy independence, because it gives us energy security as well as economic security and to a certain extent, in these uncertain times in the world, defence security."
“Canada is being led by the weakest, least competent prime minister of our lifetimes. At the same moment our country faces critical issues at home and global turmoil around the world. Canada is not playing the role it should on the world stage. And yet, we have lost three straight federal elections to Justin Trudeau,” her website states.
“We need a strong Conservative Party to defeat this Liberal government and get our country moving in the right direction again. Leona Alleslev is the leader who can get this critical mission done.”