11/15/2013 06:50 EST | Updated 11/15/2013 06:51 EST

Andrew Leslie Mulls Run For Liberals In Ottawa-Orléans Riding


One of the Liberals' star recruits is on the verge of selecting the riding where he'll make a bid for Parliament in 2015.

Not surprisingly, retired general Andrew Leslie has been eyeing the riding of Ottawa-Orléans, an area where many Canadian Forces members live with their families.

"I’m trying to figure out the best fit,” Leslie told the Ottawa Citizen on Friday. “Ottawa-Orléans is certainly the most attractive that I’ve seen.”

Liberal organizer Jean Hébert is working to galvanize support for Leslie's candidacy in the riding, and has written to other Liberals asking for their backing. Leslie doesn't live in the riding -- he lives in Rockcliffe -- but his Liberal supporters believe he has the right profile and experience to defeat the Conservatives.

Tory MP Royal Galipeau has held the riding since 2006, but has won three elections by a small margin.

In September, Leslie agreed to co-chair an advisory council on international affairs for Justin Trudeau.

After 35 years in uniform, Leslie said his decision to join the Liberals came abruptly when news first leaked out about the Quebec government's proposed charter of values, which would ban public servants from wearing any conspicuous religious symbols.

"The only national leader who stood up and articulated my views in a clear and convincing fashion was Justin, who said that the proposed draft charter is not what Canadians want or need," Leslie said.

"It's divisive and discriminatory. At that moment, I knew I was a member of his team."

Although Leslie himself has been scrupulously non-partisan until now, Liberalism runs in his family. Both his grandfathers served as defence ministers in Liberal governments.

With a report from The Canadian Press

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