Liberal riding association president blindsided by MP’s defection


OTTAWA — The president of an Ontario Liberal riding association says he had no prior knowledge of an MP’s decision to leave the government benches for the official Opposition.

Clayton Haluza, who leads the Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill riding association, says in a statement it was “with disappointment” he learned Leona Alleslev felt the need to switch sides.

Alleslev shocked political observers Monday by joining Conservative party ranks on the first day of the fall sitting of Parliament following a summer break.

The MP, elected in 2015, says she made the choice after questions about the Liberal government’s approach on files including the economy, trade and defence were met with silence.

Haluza says Alleslev’s decision is one he struggles to understand, adding it was done without consulting him.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer welcomed Alleslev, making her party critic for global security.

The Canadian Press