Alberta MP and former Minister Rona Ambrose launches in the race for the interim leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Ms. Ambrose, who was until recently Minister of Health, is the fifth candidate declared officially in the race to replace Stephen Harper as Leader of the Official Opposition in the Commons, the time to hold a race for the party leadership. The outgoing prime minister has indicated on the evening of the vote that he would not be party leader but remain member for Calgary Heritage.
The new interim leader should be chosen at the first meeting of the Conservative caucus next week in Ottawa. So far four MPs have applied for the position: former Ministers Rob Nicholson, Diane Finley, Candice Bergen and Erin O’Toole.
Ms. Ambrose, who held eight portfolios since his first election in 2006, argues that it has a reputation for courteous Parliamentary Room, and that the party has rightly need to adopt a more respectful tone. She said the interim leader will also ensure a strong presence in the media to compete Justin Trudeau in this area.
Ms. Ambrose, aged 46, said she has the energy to travel the country to rally volunteers and replenish the coffers of the party, while the Conservatives will run another race to give a permanent leader, and already preparing for the next election in four years.
The caucus will also decide next week if senators can participate in the election of the interim leader.
Under amendments to the Parliament of Canada Act, adopted in June on the proposal of Conservative MP Michael Chong, only elected members can now choose their interim leader. For cons, the statutes provide that the Conservative Party’s new interim leader is elected by caucus members – deputies and senators.
Ms. Ambrose, she believes that senators should not be excluded from the election of the new interim leader.
The National Executive of the Conservative Party will establish a committee to organize the race for the leadership of permanent leader, establish rules and set the date for the election of the successor of Stephen Harper.