The Conservative Party of Canada was formed in 2003 and proudly governed Canada for almost a decade. Now, the party will hold a leadership race while its parliamentary caucus holds the new government to account as the Official Opposition. The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Opposition and interim Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, will talk about the challenges and opportunities she sees on the horizon for Canada in 2016, and the broader future of the party as it looks ahead to the next election.
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, PC, MP
First elected as a Member of Parliament for Edmonton – Spruce Grove in 2004, Ms. Ambrose was re-elected in 2006, 2008, 2011, and most recently in 2015 in the newly created riding of Sturgeon River – Parkland.
Ms. Ambrose has held several federal cabinet positions including Environment, Intergovernmental Affairs, Western Economic Diversification, Labour, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Receiver General, Status of Women, Regional Minister of Northern Alberta, and Health.
On November 5th, 2015, Ms. Ambrose was chosen to be the interim Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition.
When she was appointed Minister of the Environment in 2006, she was the youngest woman to be appointed to Cabinet in Canadian history. As Environment Minister, Ms. Ambrose introduced the Clean Air Act and was a leader in calling for a new international agreement, which would include all major emitters, a position now adopted by the international community in the Copenhagen Accord.
As Minister of Labour, she helped resolve strikes at VIA Rail, Ottawa’s public transit system and the Canadian National Railway.
In her role as Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Ms. Ambrose made improving the transparency, accountability and fairness of the procurement process one of her top priorities. When the Government of Canada made the historic decision to build the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard fleets in Canada, it was under her leadership that the Government of Canada developed and implemented the successful National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. This strategy ensured that the process used to award $33 billion in contracts was fair, independent and merit-based.
As Minister for the Status of Women, she worked tirelessly to address the problem of violence against women and girls. She has shown leadership by raising awareness of honour crimes in Canada and promoting equal rights for Aboriginal women. She led the call for an “International Day of the Girl” at the United Nations to help raise awareness of the discrimination faced by girls, as well as their tremendous potential. The House of Commons unanimously supported a motion put forward by Ms. Ambrose to have Canada lead this international campaign.
As Minister of Health she oversaw the passage of “Vanessa’s Law”, a major milestone for patient safety in Canada that protects Canadians from unsafe drugs, with all-party support.
Her community service has included involvement with organizations working to end violence against women; including the Status of Women Action Group, the Victoria Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre, and the Edmonton Women’s Shelter.
Ms. Ambrose holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta.
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