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(Posted 12:30 p.m., Nov. 4)
Andrew Leslie passed over for Cabinet post

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Hadrien Trudeau runs into the arms of his father Justin Trudeau as Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau looks on with their daughter Ella-Grace in her arms. The Trudeaus' oldest child Xavier is holding Hadrien's hand. Fred Sherwin/Photo

It was supposed to be slam dunk, but speculation that Orléans MP Andrew Leslie would be the next Minister of National Defence turned out to be an air ball as the retired lieutenant-general was passed over in favour of Vancouver-area MP Harjit Singh Sajjan.

Like Leslie, Sajjan is also a rookie MP and a former member of the Canadians Forces, having served once in Bosnia and three times in Afghanistan. In 2011 he became the first Sikh to command a Canadian Army regiment when he was named commander of the The British Columbia Regiment.

There was some thought that if Leslie was passed over for National Defence, he might be appointed to Veteran Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, but that job went to Calgary rookie Kent Hehr.

Hehr, 45, is a former lawyer and MLA in the Alberta legislature. He was left paralyzed after a random drive by shooting in October, 2011 at the age of 22.

As for Leslie, speculation will now turn to what, if anything, Justin Trudeau has planned for him. He could still be appointed as parliamentary secretary to one of the new appointees, or he may be asked to cool his heels while he learns the intricacies of Parliament.

For his part, Leslie says he's proud to be member of the Liberal team. In a statement provided to OrleansOnline.ca, Leslie says he's lookiing forward to representing the residents of Orléans in the House of Commons.

"On Oct. 19, the citizens of Orléans granted my greatest aspiration, that of becoming their representative in the House of Commons," states Leslie. "I look forward to passionately contributing my ideas for both the region and our country as we move forward and bring Canada back on the right track."

Despite not receiving a Cabinet appointment, there seems little doubt Leslie he will remain a trusted advisor to Justin Trudeau on the topics of national defence, security and foreign relations.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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