Leona Alleslev is the Member of Parliament for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill. Before enter politics, she was an Air Force Officer, held senior managerial roles and was a small business owner. Leona’s background is shaped by an array of passions and experiences from both her personal and profession life.
The early years
The eldest of three siblings, Leona quickly adapted to the dynamics of a military family. Her grandfather was part of the Danish underground resistance in the Second World War, and her father was a Major-General in the Canadian Air Force. There was never a doubt that her passion for civic duty and service to country was encouraged by her family roots. Leona would follow in the family footsteps and pursue a military career. At the age of 12, Leona joined the cadets where she learned the fundamentals of good citizenship and leadership. Her interest in aerospace and engineering was nurtured from an early age and continued to grow as she got older.
As her father traveled often across Canada and Europe, she grew up on military bases and has lived in almost every province in Canada. Her family settled in Montreal and would always be the place that she called home. Leona is fluent in both official languages—French and English.
Leona also came from a family of teachers, including both her grandparents and aunt who taught in Quebec. Her eagerness and excitement to learn and explore where encouraged as she would often go to school with them at an early age.
At the age of (18) Leona joined the military and attended Royal Military College (RMC). She earned a Bachelor of Arts, with Honours in History and Political Science along with enduring intense military training. She is numbered as one of the first few women who studied and graduated from RMC. Leona then received her Queen’s Commission to serve as an Air Force Logistics Officer. She was posted to British Columbia’s CFM Comox as a logistic officer and quickly rose to the rank of Captain.
Department of National Defence
As part of the military, Leona was recruited to the Department of National Defence headquarters (DND) as a senior manager to administer the streamlining of aircraft maintenance. A selected group of officers in which Leona was part of, travelled from base to base to formulate cost cutting plans as defence spending was being cut. The military believed it could save tens of millions if they moved performance-based contracts to private firms to produce. Once the federal government published its request, Leona managed and oversaw the project along with a US company.
As the project was near completion, she was unlawfully removed. Leona filed a lawsuit that went on for seven years to the Ontario Superior Court. By the end of the lawsuit, she won and set legal precedent. The Ontario Superior Court judge acknowledged the tensions related to gender, age and military rank. This experience, among others, sparked Leona’s interest in fighting for justice.
Alongside her other careers, Leona owned and operated two small businesses with her husband, Ted. One was an eco-tourism business in Temagami, where tourists could rent out canoes and partake in guided tours to experience the beautiful nature sites. As well, her and her husband opened a custom closet and home organization company in Aurora.
In the years following, Leona took on a senior manager role in the tool division at Bombardier Aerospace. She also served on the Aerospace Industry Association of Canada, the Ontario Aerospace Council, and the Women in Aerospace Association. In these positions, she was responsible for revising the way multi-million-dollar Air Force maintenance contracts were structured, evaluated, and awarded. At Bombardier, Leona defined and implemented assembly lines and infrastructure for the Global Express business aircraft programs. Through this line of work, Leona published a manual entitled A Holistic Approach to Aircraft Assembly under SAE Aerospace. In recognition of her hard work at Bombardier, she received the Bombardier Annual Accomplishment Award (AAA).
CYBERSECURITY AND IT
Following this position, Leona became a senior consultant for IBM Canada. She advised executives to ensure the efficiency in the development of strategy, organizational and performance development, policy and procedure development, supply chain optimization, and information management system implementation. This line of work is just one part of Leona’s business background.
member of parliament
Although Leona hung up her uniform, her oath to Queen and Country and the sacred obligation to continue to serve her country is not part of her past. Truth, Duty, Valour—its purpose and significance is embodied in who she is as a Canadian citizen and its representation to serve her country to the best of her ability.
Paying close attention to the policy shifts and the direction the country was headed, she decided to become more involved in federal politics by engaging in local meetings. Reminded of her father’s teachings that a country, it’s peace and sovereignty are fragile, and we must do want we can collectively as citizens to protect it, Leona could no longer stand idle. She decided to put her name forward to run for the Member of Parliament of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill.
Leona was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019 as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, Ontario.
After being elected in 2015, Leona was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement. She later served on the National Defence Committee, Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee, the Citizenship and Immigration Committee, and was Chair of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.
In 2018, Leona was appointed Shadow Cabinet Minister for Global Security. In November 2019, Leona was appointed as Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and shortly after named Shadow Cabinet Minister for Foreign Affairs. She served on the Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee and the Special Committee on Canada-China relations. She currently serves on the Committee of National Security and is a member of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association through the Science and Technology Committee.
My duty, my decision
On September 17, 2018, after careful and deliberate consideration Leona crossed the floor leaving the Government benches to join Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. The Government was not focused on tackling the priorities in a time of unprecedented global instability. Through numerous policy shifts and questionable government actions, which taken together, convinced Leona that our country is at risk. However, to publicly criticize the government as a Liberal would undermine the government and be dishonourable, therefore she felt she needed to change political parties to publicly address the fundamental priorities of our time and hold the government to account to advocate for substantive change.
My Duty, My Decision Speech
Why I joined the Conservative Party of Canada
Leona is married to Ted Krokchak, a veteran and CF-18 fighter jet pilot. They have two beautiful children, Christopher and Hillary and call Oak Ridges their home.