Bid­ding farewell to po­lit­i­cal life

In­terim Con­ser­va­tive leader Am­brose to take po­si­tion with Wash­ing­ton-based pub­lic pol­icy think tank

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

When in­terim Con­ser­va­tive leader Rona Am­brose be­gan us­ing the photo-shar­ing so­cial me­dia site In­sta­gram, the pic­tures she posted were all in black and white.

She opened the ac­count just days af­ter be­ing elected the party’s tem­po­rary boss and the re­flec­tive tone of the pho­tos matched the mood of the party: 99 MPs bruised and de­mor­al­ized by an elec­tion de­feat that saw Con­ser­va­tives wiped off the elec­toral map in At­lantic Canada and pushed to the mar­gins of the coun­try’s ur­ban cen­tres.

Seven months later, the first colour pho­to­graph emerged: Am­brose, on stage at the party’s an­nual con­ven­tion in Van­cou­ver, with the cap­tion “So. Much. Energy. #LookFor­ward.”

Am­brose, it turns out, is now the one look­ing for­ward, an­nounc­ing Tues­day she will re­sign her seat in the House of Com­mons when MPs break for summer, in prepa­ra­tion for a new life in the pri­vate sec­tor.

The 48-year-old Val­leyview, Alta., na­tive will leave pol­i­tics cred­ited with in­ject­ing new energy into the Con­ser­va­tive party and into Cana­dian pol­i­tics it­self. Dur­ing a trib­ute to her in the House of Com­mons, fel­low politi­cians com­pli­mented her sense of hu­mour, her style and her work ethic.

“Con­ser­va­tives have thrived, our party is strong, our fundrais­ing is very ro­bust, our cau­cus is united and we are an ef­fec­tive op­po­si­tion,” said House leader Candice Bergen.

Proof of Am­brose’s skill as leader can be seen in fundrais­ing re­sults. While in the mid­dle of a lead­er­ship race that usu­ally drains funds from party cof­fers, the Tories took in $5.3 mil­lion in the first three months of 2017, nearly twice as much as the gov­ern­ing Lib­er­als – and not in­clud­ing the $4.6 mil­lion be­ing raised by the lead­er­ship can­di­dates now vy­ing for the per­ma­nent job.

Party mem­bers choose a new leader on May 27.

“No­body walks on wa­ter to get to the party lead­er­ship,” Am­brose told a crowd of MPs and po­lit­i­cal watch­ers dur­ing break­fast at Ot­tawa’s sto­ried Chateau Lau­rier ho­tel.

“Which­ever woman or man who wins this job will un­doubt­edly spend time learn­ing, and lis­ten­ing and work­ing. I did it, Stephen Harper did it and so did our pre­de­ces­sors.”

Am­brose will stay on to help man­age the tran­si­tion be­fore mak­ing her way into the pri­vate sec­tor, which will in­clude tak­ing up a po­si­tion as a vis­it­ing fel­low at the Canada In­sti­tute of the Wil­son Cen­ter, a Wash­ing­ton­based pub­lic pol­icy think tank.

Am­brose was first elected in an Ed­mon­ton-area rid­ing in 2004, and when the Con­ser­va­tives formed a mi­nor­ity govern­ment in 2006, she was ap­pointed as en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter.

Am­brose

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