Leela Aheer

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The Honourable
Leela Aheer
Leela Aheer.JPG
Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism & Status of Women
In office
April 30, 2019 – July 8, 2021
PremierJason Kenney
Preceded byDanielle Larivee
Succeeded byRon Orr
Deputy Leader of the United Conservative Party
Assumed office
October 30, 2017
LeaderJason Kenney
Preceded byMike Ellis
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Chestermere-Strathmore
(Chestermere-Rocky View; 2015–2019)
Assumed office
May 5, 2015
Preceded byBruce McAllister
Personal details
Born
Leela Sharon Aheer

(1970-09-26) September 26, 1970 (age 51)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Political partyUnited Conservative
Other political
affiliations
Wildrose (2015–17)
Residence(s)Chestermere, Alberta, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Calgary
University of Manitoba (B.M.)
OccupationBusiness owner, music teacher[1]

Leela Sharon Aheer ECA MLA (born September 26, 1970) is a Canadian politician who was elected in the 2015 Alberta election to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, and re-elected in the 2019 Alberta general election.

On June 8, 2022, Aheer announced her candidacy in the 2022 United Conservative Party leadership election.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Aheer was born in Edmonton, but her family moved to Chestermere in 1979. After graduating from Chestermere High school in 1988, Aheer spent ten months in South India, where her family originated. Aheer began her university education in Political Science at the University of Calgary, but transferred to the University of Manitoba to earn a Bachelor of Music degree. Post-graduation, she taught music for 22 years and was involved in family-owned businesses including property investment, a car wash and a gas station.[3][4]

Political career[edit]

Wildrose MLA[edit]

Aheer defeated incumbent Wildrose-turned-PC MLA Bruce McAllister by a slim margin in 2015, becoming the second member to represent Chestermere-Rocky View.[5]

UCP Deputy Leader[edit]

Aheer supported the merger between Wildrose and the PCs based on the desires of her constituents.[6] On October 30, 2017, Aheer was appointed deputy leader of the United Conservative Party by newly elected leader Jason Kenney.[7] She expressed surprise at Kenney's move, describing herself as a "very centrist conservative" who might challenge some of his views.[6]

As deputy leader, she urged delegates at the founding UCP policy convention not to adopt an anti-GSA motion as official party policy. It passed with 57% support.[8]

Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women[edit]

On April 30, 2019, Leela Aheer was appointed Alberta's Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women.

As Minister, Aheer introduced Alberta's version of Clare's Law in tandem with Alberta's Minister of Community and Social Services, Rajan Sawhney. The legislation aims to empower those at potential risk of a domestic violence relationship to have access to information about their partner's criminal history, and attempts to provide those at risk of domestic violence with fuller awareness of an intimate partner's previous history of domestic violence or violent acts.[9]

On November 19, 2019, Aheer declared the date Women's Entrepreneurship Day in Alberta at the first-ever Canadian-based Women's Entrepreneurship Day summit. The day seeks to break down the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs, and is the first time the day is recognized in Canada.[10] Aheer says the day is an “opportunity to be able to recognize the many ways women contribute to the economy.”[10]

She was removed as from her position on July 8, 2021 after criticizing Jason Kenney.[11]

UCP Leadership Campaign[edit]

On June 8, 2022, Aheer announced her candidacy in the 2022 United Conservative Party leadership election at an event in Chestermere.[2]

Alberta provincial government of Jason Kenney
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Danielle Larivee Minister of Status of Women
April 30, 2019–
Incumbent
Ricardo Miranda Minister of Culture & Multiculturalism
April 30, 2019–
Incumbent

Electoral history[edit]

2019 general election[edit]

2019 Alberta general election: Chestermere-Strathmore
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Leela Sharon Aheer 15,612 68.48% 3.43%
New Democratic Melissa Langmaid 3,558 15.61% -2.63%
Freedom Conservative Derek Fildebrandt 1,683 7.38%
Alberta Party Jason Avramenko 1,460 6.40%
Liberal Sharon L. Howe 238 1.04%
Alberta Independence Roger Dean Walker 136 0.60%
Independent Terry Nicholls 112 0.49%
Total 22,799
Rejected, spoiled and declined 132 35 6
Eligible electors / turnout 35,595 64.4%
United Conservative pickup new district.
Source(s)
Source: "56 - Chestermere-Strathmore, 2019 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Alberta. Chief Electoral Officer (2019). 2019 General Election. A Report of the Chief Electoral Officer. Volume II (PDF) (Report). Vol. 2. Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta. pp. 243–248. ISBN 978-1-988620-12-1. Retrieved April 7, 2021.

2015 general election[edit]

2015 Alberta general election: Chestermere-Rocky View
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Wildrose Leela Aheer 7,676 37.04% -21.32%
Progressive Conservative Bruce McAllister 7,454 35.97% 0.64%
New Democratic William James Pelech 3,706 17.88% 14.80%
Independent Jamie Lall 1,093 5.27%
Green Coral Bliss Taylor 405 1.95%
Independent Matt Grant 391 1.89%
Total 20,725
Rejected, spoiled and declined 91
Eligible electors / turnout 34,928 59.60% 4.38%
Wildrose hold Swing -10.98%
Source(s)
Source: "54 - Chestermere-Rocky View Official Results 2015 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Member Information".
  2. ^ a b Joannou, Ashley (2022-06-08). "'Defeat the machines': Former cabinet minister Leela Aheer launches campaign for UCP leadership". The Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2022-06-15.
  3. ^ "Getting to Know Leela Aheer, WIldrose candidate | the Chestermere Anchor".
  4. ^ "Q&A with Leela Aheer".
  5. ^ "Chestermere-Rockyview: Wildrose candidate wins in controversy-ridden riding". Gwendolyn Richards. Calgary Herald. 2015-05-06. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  6. ^ a b "Aheer named deputy leader for UCP". Rocky View Weekly. Archived from the original on 2019-04-05. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  7. ^ "Kenney Appoints Leadership Team To Stand Up For Albertans |". UCP Caucus. Archived from the original on 2019-04-05. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  8. ^ "'They need to be safe': Alberta Conservatives clash on motion outing children who join after-school gay-straight alliances". National Post. 2018-05-06. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  9. ^ "Alberta introduces 'Clare's Law' bill that will allow access to partner's criminal records". Global News. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  10. ^ a b "Breaking barriers for women in business". www.mtroyal.ca. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  11. ^ Press, The Canadian (2021-07-08). "Alberta premier shuffles cabinet, drops critic Leela Aheer, carves up her ministry". Todayville. Retrieved 2021-07-09.