Andrew Leslie (Canadian Army officer)

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Andrew Leslie
Wizyta kanadyjskiego gen. broni Andrew B. LESLIE w 16 Dywizji Zmech (3) (cropped).jpg
Leslie in 2013
Chief Government Whip
In office
November 20, 2015 – January 29, 2017
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byJohn Duncan
Succeeded byPablo Rodriguez
Member of Parliament
for Orléans
In office
October 19, 2015 – September 11, 2019
Preceded byRoyal Galipeau
Succeeded byMarie-France Lalonde
Personal details
Andrew Brooke Leslie

(1957-12-26) December 26, 1957 (age 64)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
AwardsCommander of the Order of Military Merit
Meritorious Service Cross
Meritorious Service Medal
Canadian Forces Decoration
Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland[1]
Military service
Allegiance Canada
Branch/serviceFlag of the Land Force Command (1998–2013).svg Land Force Command
RankCanadian Forces Unification Rank Insignia OF-8.png Lieutenant-general
Commands1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group
Chief of the Land Staff
Chief of Transformation
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan

Andrew Brooke Leslie PC CMM MSC MSM CD (born December 26, 1957) is a retired Canadian Forces lieutenant-general and politician who served as the chief of the Land Staff from 2006 to 2010 and as a member of Parliament representing the riding of Orléans in the House of Commons, from the 2015 federal election to the 2019 election.


Andrew Leslie was born in Ottawa[2] in 1957. His father was Brigadier-General Edward Murray Dalziel Leslie (né McNaughton), commander of 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1 RCHA) during the Korean War.[3] Leslie's father changed the family name from McNaughton to Leslie in order to comply with the terms of an inheritance from his aunt (and wife of James Norman Stuart Leslie, who was descendant of British Army Captain James Norman Stewart Leslie and General David Leslie).[4][5] His paternal grandfather is former Chief of the General Staff and Minister of National Defence General Andrew McNaughton, and his maternal grandfather is former Canadian Minister of National Defence Brooke Claxton.[6]

Military career[edit]

Leslie joined the 30th Field Regiment when at the University of Ottawa.[7] In 1981 he transferred to the Regular Force.[7] He went on to be Commanding Officer of 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Shilo, Manitoba.[7] While in London, England, as a graduate student he was attached to the Honourable Artillery Company.[8]


In 1995 he was promoted to Colonel and sent to the Former Yugoslavia as Chief of Staff for Sector South.[7] He then became the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia.[7] Leslie was called to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (The Hague) as a witness in the war crimes trial of Croatian general Ante Gotovina. Leslie, an artillery officer, testified to indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas by Croatian forces in August 1995,[9] a conclusion rejected by both the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Gotovina case and the International Court of Justice in the Croatia–Serbia genocide case.[10] During the attack of the Croatian forces on the Serbian held Krajina region, he was credited with leading an operation which resulted in saving lives of 40 Serbian civilians.[11][12]

Manitoba floods[edit]

He was the Area Chief of Staff during the Manitoba floods in Spring 1997.[7] Later in 1997 he became the commander of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group which was sent to the South shore of Montreal to help with disaster relief operations.[7] In 2000 he was given responsibility for communications in the Canadian Forces and in 2002 he became the commander of Land Force Central Area.[7] He became Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2003 and then became Assistant Chief of the Land Staff in 2004.[7] In June 2006 he was appointed Chief of the Land Staff.[13]

Chief of Transformation[edit]

In June 2010, General Leslie was replaced as Chief of Land Staff by Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin[14] and was named Chief of Transformation for the Canadian Forces.[15] In this position, Leslie was responsible for releasing the 2011 Report on Transformation, which, among other changes, recommended scaling back the Primary Reserves to boost the Regular Forces and significantly cutting headquarters' budgets and transferring the amounts to front line combat units.[16] Leslie referred to this as transforming the Forces into "more tooth and less tail," a phrase that was used by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay. Some saw Leslie's report as recommending to sacrifice too many sacred cows, namely the bloated headquarters organizations.[17]


Leslie retired in September 2011 after 35 years in uniform and was subsequently hired by CGI Group to lead their new Defence, Public Safety and Intelligence unit in Ottawa.[18]

Post-military career[edit]

Before Leslie officially retired from the military, Leslie was approached by several members of the Prime Minister's Office to inquire about whether he was interested in heading a federal department or organization. These included discussions with Prime Minister Harper's Deputy Chiefs of Staff Derek Vanstone and Jenni Byrne about potentially heading the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Once Leslie retired from the military he was approached again, this time about heading the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Leslie declined.[19]

Liberal advisor and candidacy[edit]

On September 18, 2013, Leslie was named co-chair of the Liberal International Affairs Council of Advisors, providing advice on foreign and defence issues to Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau.[20][21] Leslie also ran to be the Liberal candidate in the 2015 general election in the riding of Orléans. He was elected the Member of Parliament for Orléans in the 2015 election ahead of Conservative incumbent Royal Galipeau.[22]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Leslie was elected into the House of Commons of Canada as an MP and on November 20, 2015, he was named Chief Government Whip in the Commons.[23] On February 15, 2016, Leslie was sworn in as a Member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada according to his duties as Chief Government Whip.[24]

On May 1, 2019, Leslie announced that he will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming federal election.[25] On May 3, 2019, Leslie confirmed that he would be testifying for the defence at Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's breach of trust trial.[26] On May 7, 2019, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Canada's Public Prosecution Service planned to withdraw charges against Norman.[27]

Honours and decorations[edit]

Leslie received the following honours and decorations during and after his military career.

Order of Military Merit (Canada) ribbon (CMM).jpg CAN Meritorious Service Cross (military division) ribbon.svg
MSM Ribbon-military.png General Campaign Star Ribbon.png Special Service Medal Ribbon.png
CPSM Ribbon.png UNFICYP.gif UNPROFOR Medal bar.gif
Canada125 ribbon.png UK Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.svg QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.svg
CD-ribbon and 2 bars.png US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png POL Order Zaslugi RP kl3 BAR.png

Ribbon Description Notes
Order of Military Merit (Canada) ribbon (CMM).jpg Order of Military Merit (CMM)
  • Commander 21 September 2006
  • Officer 28 October 1998
  • [28]
CAN Meritorious Service Cross (military division) ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Cross (MSC)
  • Awarded 26 November 2004
  • Military Division
  • [29]
MSM Ribbon-military.png Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)
  • Awarded 1995
  • Military Division
General Campaign Star Ribbon.png General Campaign Star
  • South West Asia Ribbon
  • With "ISAF" Bar
Special Service Medal Ribbon.png Special Service Medal
  • With "NATO" Bar
CPSM Ribbon.png Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal
  • 90 Days on UN peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus
Canada125 ribbon.png 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal
  • 1992
UK Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.svg Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002
  • Canadian Version of this Medal
  • [30]
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.svg Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012
  • Canadian Version of this Medal
  • [31]
CD-ribbon and 2 bars.png Canadian Forces Decoration (CD)
  • 2 Clasps
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Legion of Merit
POL Order Zaslugi RP kl3 BAR.png Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland

Electoral history[edit]

2015 Canadian federal election: Orléans
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Andrew Leslie 46,542 59.7 +21.72
Conservative Royal Galipeau 23,821 30.5 -14.68
New Democratic Nancy Tremblay 6,215 8.0 -5.98
Green Raphaël Morin 1,410 1.8 -1.06
Total valid votes/Expense limit 77,988 100   $240,250.25
Total rejected ballots 272 0.30
Turnout 78,260 81.37
Eligible voters 96,174
Liberal notional gain from Conservative Swing +18.2


  1. ^ Monitor Polski 2010 nr 83 poz. 992 – number 8.
  2. ^ Laura Stone (18 February 2015). "Lunch with Liberal Andrew Leslie: 'Just going overseas and bombing does not work'". Global News. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  3. ^ "BGen EMD Leslie DSO, CD". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
  4. ^ Julie Beun. "Hon. Andrew Leslie's home pays tribute to family's rich military past". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  5. ^ "April 28, 1953 - COLONEL TAKES NEW NAME TO INHERIT $250,000 | Chicago Tribune Archive". 1953-04-28. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  6. ^ "Andrew Leslie replaced in shuffle of military hierarchy".
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Biography at Canadian Forces site Archived July 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ LGen AB Leslie biography Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, The RCA Museum
  9. ^ "ICTY Transcript Page 1927". 22 April 2008.
  10. ^ "Application of the convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide=3 February 2015=" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Canadian army chief grilled at war crimes tribunal". 24 April 2008.
  12. ^ "Support for Leslie is deserved". 8 May 2008.
  13. ^ "Leslie appointed head of Canada's land forces". CBC News. 15 June 2006.
  14. ^ Canada to get new army boss Windsor Star, 31 March 2010
  15. ^ Canadian Army To Get New Commander DND/CF Media Advisory, 18 June 2010
  16. ^ "Report on Transformation 2011".
  17. ^ "General's report calls for dramatic cuts to bloated military staffing". The Globe and Mail.
  18. ^ Retired Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie To Head Defence and Intelligence Business Unit at CGI Archived November 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine The Ottawa Citizen, 29 September 2011
  19. ^ "Email trail documents Tory job overtures to retired general".
  20. ^ Den Tandt, Michael (18 September 2013). "Andrew Leslie, former commander of Canadian Army, joins Trudeau's team as adviser". National Post. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Liberals Unveil Co-Chairs of International Affairs Council of Advisors". Liberal Party of Canada. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  22. ^ "Joe Oliver, Olivia Chow and more surprising election night upsets". 20 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Andrew Leslie named government's chief whip". CTVNews. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  24. ^ "GingleLive - B2B video platform allowing you to Stream, Share, and Engage live content". Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  25. ^ Andrew Leslie [@AndrewLeslieMP] (May 1, 2019). "It has been my honour and privilege to represent the constituents of Orléans as the federal Member of Parliament. After careful consideration, I believe it is time for me to take a new path." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  26. ^ "Andrew Leslie set to testify for the defence in Mark Norman's breach of trust trial". Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  27. ^ "Andrew Prosecutors to drop criminal case of breach of trust against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman". Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  28. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  29. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  30. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  31. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  32. ^ "Canada Gazette" (PDF). 4 December 2010.
Military offices
Preceded by Chief of the Land Staff
Succeeded by
Special Parliamentary Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
John Duncan Chief Government Whip
Pablo Rodriguez