Alberta MP Rona Ambrose has been elected interim leader of the Conservative Party.

Alberta MP Rona Ambrose has been elected interim leader of the Conservative Party.
Photo Credit: (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Rona Ambrose elected interim Conservative leader

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The Conservative Party of Canada elected former Health Minister Rona Ambrose as interim leader at a caucus meeting in Ottawa Thursday.

“I’m excited that we are going to be moving forward with a strong opposition with confidence and optimism,” Ambrose said following a lengthy caucus meeting Thursday.

Under Canada’s parliamentary tradition this means Ambrose will also become leader of the official opposition.

The interim position comes with an extra $80,100 in salary, a car and driver, and the official residence, Stornoway.

Ambrose, 46, who was first elected in 2004 and has several cabinet positions under her belt, was chosen following voting under a preferential ballot process. MPs decided earlier in the day that Conservative senators could take part in the vote.

She beat eight other interim leadership contenders. Conservative MPs and senators met behind closed doors Thursday for an election campaign post-mortem and to start the process of rebuilding the battered party.

The senators had lobbied to have some role in the selection of the interim leader. Under the Reform Act, a bill drafted by Conservative MP Michael Chong and passed last spring, the MPs could have voted to adopt a provision that only MPs vote for the interim leader.

It is expected that, as interim leader, Ambrose will not be eligible to run for the permanent job, but the rules around a leadership contest are not expected to come before January.

Harper speech ‘well received’

Earlier in the day, outgoing leader Stephen Harper addressed the caucus in a speech that was “well received,” according to sources cited by CBC News.

He took responsibility for the party’s electoral defeat, and listened to others voice their thoughts on the campaign — both good and bad.

Harper’s new office on Parliament Hill will be one used by former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin.

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One comment on “Rona Ambrose elected interim Conservative leader
  1. Donald Allen says:

    I think you are doing a credible job. I am one of the 1% who Mr Trudeau has targeted by raising my income tax . I started with nothing actually negative noting and worked my whole life 70 to 80 hours per week. Drove my Volvo for 17 years was careful and have done well. I employ about 18 people in my two Dental practices and send lots of deductions to Ottawa. Why would Trudeau who has never had to meet a payroll or run a business try to encourage people like me to go out of business .I paid over 500,000 in income tax last year . Margaret Thatcher Said “social programs are great till you run out of other people’s money” Also why would he want to create a negative image for those who work and do well , and profit by working hard? WE are small businesses, but we employ a lot of really nice people. Your comments please, maybe you could ask Trudeau (who was born with a silver spoon) It shows us how things change I campaigned for his dad when I was a student.( That was when I was a socialist , I think most students feel that way till they hit the real world and have to run a business