And then there were 10?
Former Aurora-Oak Ridge-Richmond Hill MP Leona Elleslaw has launched a Conservative leadership webpage, suggesting the party’s former deputy leader is set to join an increasingly crowded race.
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The website, linked to Elleslaw’s verified social media accounts, describes Elleslaw as a “mother, federal politician, corporate manager, entrepreneur and military officer”.
But the website gives no indication of why Elslev is seeking leadership or what a potential platform would look like.
A source also told Global News that Elleslaw volunteers were collecting signatures for her bid at the posh Metropolitan Brasserie in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday night.
Multiple messages on Ellesev’s social media accounts were not returned as of Thursday morning.
A former military officer and adviser, Elslaw began his federal career as a Liberal MP who was sent to Ottawa in the party’s 2015 majority election victory.
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After three years in the Liberal backbench, Elleslaw 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 witnessing fundamental changes in the global economy, while trade ties, international agreements and defense structures are at risk,” Elslav said, explaining his decision to cross the floor in 2018.
“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I must step down from the Government Bench to take my seat amongst my conservative allies, and join the opposition loyal to Her Majesty.”
Scheer appointed Elslaw as deputy leader, and she managed to stay in her GTA seat despite the Conservatives flagging off Toronto in the 2019 election. She lost the seat to Liberal MP Leah Taylor Roy in 2021.
Elleslaw will join an increasingly crowded race for the Tories’ top job, which already had nine contenders either announced or rumored to be seeking the leadership. She will also be Ontario’s sixth candidate, potentially complicating the race in Canada’s most populous province.
Candidates have until April 19 to enter the race and the next leader will be crowned on September 10.
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