Rona Ambrose to step down

MP Rona Ambrose speaks at a Rotary meeting in Morinville. – Morinville News File Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

Eleven days before Conservative Party of Canada members vote for their party’s new leader, Interim Leader and Sturgeon River-Parkland MP Rona Ambrose has announced she will resign her seat when the House rises this summer.

Ambrose was first elected to Parliament in the 2004 and returned to Ottawa to serve another run in the House of Commons after receiving 70.2 per cent of the vote in the 2015 federal election.

“I feel a little lighter this morning,” the long-time Conservative politician joked at the beginning of a news conference at the Canadian Club in Ottawa Tuesday morning. “It’s been an amazing experience, especially living in Stornoway. It’s been quite surreal.”

Ambrose went on to discuss how she believes the party has continued to be the voice of the Canadian taxpayer.

“We are the voice of everyday working people and their families,” Ambrose said, noting Canadians wanted to see a Conservative team that was principled, firm and focused on doing the hard work. “We’ve done that. We’ve presented a fresh face to Canadians who now see a smart Conservative team that is a very real alternative to a Liberal government that is increasingly out of touch and entitled.”

While Ambrose has spent her time as Opposition Leader keeping the Liberal’s feet to the fire, she was able to find unanimous support for her private member’s bill this week.

In February of this year, Ambrose tabled her plan to hold the Canadian judiciary more accountable when it comes to presiding over sexual assault trials. Ambrose’s Private Member Bill – the Judicial Accountability through Sexual Assault Law Training Act (JUST Act) was tabled Feb. 23 and passed unanimously in the House of Commons May 15.

Ambrose is set to leave federal politics at a time when she believes her party is on the rise.

“I’ve had such an incredible pleasure serving the people of Edmonton-Spruce Grove and, of course, most recently the people of Sturgeon River-Parkland,” Ambrose said, adding MPs know what a privilege it is to serve the people. “As my time comes to an end, I think it’s important to look forward, so I am, as you know, going to be resigning my seat as a member of Parliament when the house rises in the summer and to seek a new chapter in my life. JP and I are both very excited but very grateful.”

Ambrose went on to say serving the public from the House of Commons has been one of the greatest honours of her life.

Following Ambrose’s resignation this summer, a by-election will take place for the Sturgeon River-Parkland seat.

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