Rona Ambrose

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Rona Ambrose

Rona Ambrose at the 67th World Health Assembly - 2014 (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Opposition
In office
November 5, 2015 May 27, 2017
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General David Johnston
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Preceded by Tom Mulcair
Succeeded by Andrew Scheer
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
November 5, 2015 May 27, 2017
President John Walsh
Scott Lamb
Deputy Denis Lebel
Preceded by Stephen Harper
Succeeded by Andrew Scheer
Minister of Health
In office
July 15, 2013 November 4, 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Leona Aglukkaq
Succeeded by Jane Philpott
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
In office
January 19, 2010 July 15, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Christian Paradis
Succeeded by Diane Finley
Minister of Western Economic Diversification
In office
November 5, 2010 May 18, 2011
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Jim Prentice
Succeeded by Lynne Yelich
In office
January 4, 2007 October 29, 2008
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Carol Skelton
Succeeded by Jim Prentice
Minister of Labour
In office
October 30, 2008 January 19, 2010
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Jean-Pierre Blackburn
Succeeded by Lisa Raitt
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
In office
January 4, 2007 October 30, 2008
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Peter Van Loan
Succeeded by Josée Verner
President of the Privy Council
In office
January 4, 2007 October 30, 2008
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Peter Van Loan
Succeeded by Josée Verner
Minister of the Environment
In office
February 6, 2006 January 3, 2007
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Stéphane Dion
Succeeded by John Baird
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Sturgeon River—Parkland
Edmonton—Spruce Grove (2004–2015)
In office
June 28, 2004 July 4, 2017
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded by Dane Lloyd
Personal details
Ronalee Chapchuk

(1969-03-15) March 15, 1969 (age 50)
Valleyview, Alberta, Canada
Political party Conservative
Bruce Ambrose
(m. 1994;div. 2011)
Domestic partnerJ. P. Veitch [1]
Education University of Victoria (BA)
University of Alberta (MA)

Ronalee Chapchuk "Rona" Ambrose PC ( /ˈrɒnəˈæmbrz/ ; [2] born March 15, 1969) is a former Canadian politician who was interim leader of the Conservative Party and the Leader of the Opposition between 2015 and 2017. [3] She was the Conservative Party member of the House of Commons for Sturgeon River—Parkland between 2015 and 2017, and had previously represented Edmonton—Spruce Grove from 2004 to 2015.

Queens Privy Council for Canada

The Queen's Privy Council for Canada, sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs. Responsible government, though, requires the sovereign or her viceroy, the Governor General of Canada, to almost always follow only that advice tendered by the Cabinet: a committee within the Privy Council composed usually of elected Members of Parliament. Those summoned to the QPC are appointed for life by the Governor General as directed by the Prime Minister of Canada, meaning that the group is composed predominantly of former cabinet ministers, with some others having been inducted as an honorary gesture. Those in the council are accorded the use of an honorific style and post-nominal letters, as well as various signifiers of precedence.

An interim leader, in Canadian politics, is a party leader appointed by the party's legislative caucus or the party's executive to temporarily act as leader when a gap occurs between the resignation or death of a party leader and the election of their formal successor. Usually a party leader retains the leadership until a successor is formally chosen — however, in some situations this is not possible, and an interim leader is thus appointed by the party's caucus or the party executive. An interim leader may also be appointed while a leader is on a leave of absence due to poor health or some other reason, and then relinquish the position upon the leader's return.

Conservative Party of Canada political party in Canada founded in 2003

The Conservative Party of Canada, colloquially known as the Tories, is a federal political party in Canada. It was formed in 2003 from the multiple right-wing parties which had existed in Canada for over a century, historically grouped into two camps, "Red Tories" and "Blue Tories". The party sits at the centre-right to the right-wing of the Canadian political spectrum, with the Liberal Party of Canada positioned centre to centre-left. Like their federal Liberal rivals, the party is defined as a "big tent", welcoming a broad variety of members. The party's leader is Andrew Scheer, who serves as Leader of the Official Opposition.


In her first term as an Opposition MP, she was the Conservative Party's Intergovernmental Affairs critic. Ambrose also served as vice-chair of the Treasury Board and has held multiple cabinet positions as Canada's Minister of Health, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister of Western Economic Diversification, Minister of Labour, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and Minister of Status of Women. She was President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. She is also a former communication consultant and public policy consultant for the Alberta government.

The Treasury Board is the central agency that reviews and approves spending by the Government of Canada. The President of the Treasury Board is a member of the federal Cabinet.

Minister of Health (Canada) minister in the Cabinet of Canada

The Minister of Health is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing health-focused government agencies including Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as enforcing the Canada Health Act. The current Minister of Health is Ginette Petitpas Taylor, MP for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.

The Minister of Western Economic Diversification is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who served as the chief executive of Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD). The post was traditionally held by an MP from Western Canada, although occasionally the responsibilities were accorded to a more senior cabinet minister, such as the Industry minister.

On May 15, 2017, she announced her retirement from federal politics to take effect during the summer. The next day, she was named a visiting fellow by the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. [4] [5] [6] She retired on July 4, 2017, stating that she hoped she was "able to inspire women to consider public service". [7]

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars think tank in the U.S.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, located in Washington, D.C., is a United States Presidential Memorial that was established as part of the Smithsonian Institution by an act of Congress in 1968. It is also a highly recognized think tank, ranked among the top ten in the world.

In August, 2017, Justin Trudeau's Liberal government appointed Ambrose to a 13-member NAFTA advisory council that will provide opinion and feedback on the upcoming negotiations with the United States and Mexico. [8] [9] [10]

Justin Trudeau 23rd Prime Minister of Canada

Justin Pierre James Trudeau is a Canadian politician serving as the 23rd and current Prime Minister of Canada since 2015 and Leader of the Liberal Party since 2013. Trudeau is the second-youngest Canadian Prime Minister after Joe Clark; he is also the first to be related to a previous holder of the post, as the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau.

29th Canadian Ministry

The Twenty-Ninth Canadian Ministry is the combined Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Ministers that began governing Canada shortly before the opening of the 42nd Parliament. The original members were sworn in during a ceremony held at Rideau Hall on November 4, 2015. Those who were not already members of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada were sworn into the Privy Council in the same ceremony. The Cabinet currently consists of 35 members including Trudeau, with 17 women and 18 men. When the ministry was first sworn in, with fifteen men and fifteen women, it became the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history.

Early life and education

Ambrose was born Ronalee Chapchuk in Valleyview, Alberta, as the daughter of Colleen (née Clark) and James Chapchuk. [11] [12] [13] She grew up in both Brazil and Parkland County of Alberta. In addition to English, she also speaks Portuguese and Spanish but is less fluent in French. [14] Ambrose has a Bachelor of Arts in women's and gender studies from the University of Victoria and a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of Alberta. [14]

Valleyview, Alberta Town in Alberta, Canada

Valleyview is a town in northwest Alberta, Canada within the Municipal District of Greenview No. 16 and Census Division No. 18.

Brazil Federal republic in South America

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

Parkland County Municipal district in Alberta, Canada

Parkland County is a municipal district in central Alberta, Canada. Located west of Edmonton in Census Division No. 11, its municipal office, Parkland County Centre, is located 0.25 km (0.16 mi) north of the Town of Stony Plain on Highway 779.

Political views

Ambrose is a feminist. [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] Prior to her work in Canadian federal politics, Ambrose's community service 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. [21]

Ambrose also calls herself a libertarian and is a fan of Ayn Rand novels such as Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead . [22] She was a member of the Trilateral Commission, as reported in Vancouver's Georgia Straight , August 24, 2006. According to the Trilateral Commission's 2018 membership list, Ambrose was a current member of the North American group. [23]

Political career

Ambrose was first elected as a Member of Parliament in the 2004 federal election for the newly created riding of Edmonton-Spruce Grove in west Edmonton.

On February 16, 2005, she made headlines after making a remark in Parliament directed at Liberal Social Development Minister Ken Dryden saying "working women want to make their own choices, we don't need old white guys telling us what to do", in reference to the Liberal national child care plan. [24]

When the Conservatives were consigned to opposition in the 2015 federal election, Ambrose was elected as interim leader, and hence Leader of the Opposition, until a permanent successor to Stephen Harper was chosen in May 2017. Ambrose is the third female leader of Canada's conservative party. The first was former Prime Minister Kim Campbell [25] who led Canada's now defunct Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, and the second was Deborah Grey, of the former Canadian Alliance. She is also the third woman to be Opposition Leader, after Deborah Grey and Nycole Turmel. All three of them served in an interim capacity.

Environment Minister

In 2006 elections, Ambrose successfully defended her seat in Edmonton–Spruce Grove with 66.8% of the vote in the riding. She was then appointed Environment Minister in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority government. Ambrose's appointment to cabinet made her the youngest woman appointed to cabinet at the time. [26]

On April 7, 2006, Ambrose announced that Canada had no chance of meeting its targets under the Kyoto Protocol and must set more realistic goals for cutting greenhouse gases. "My departmental officials and the department officials from natural resources have indicated that it is impossible, impossible for Canada to reach its Kyoto target. And let me be clear. I have been engaging with our international counterparts over the past month, and we are not the only country that is finding itself in this situation", said Ambrose. [27]

On April 13, 2006, Ambrose stopped an Environment Canada scientist, Mark Tushingham, from speaking at the launch of his science fiction novel, Hotter than Hell, set in a dystopian future caused by global warming. Tushingham's publisher and environmentalists believed this was because the book was not in line with the government's views on climate change, but Ambrose's spokesperson said that the speech was billed as coming from an Environment Canada scientist speaking in official capacity and thus out of process. [28] [29]

On April 25, 2006, Ambrose expressed her support of the (now defunct) Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate as an alternate to the Kyoto Protocol, because it includes China and India, two large polluting nations that are not bound by the latter agreement. [30] The APP had voluntary emissions reduction targets and was focused on developing technological solutions to solving climate change. [30]

In May 2006, Ambrose criticized the previous Liberal government's failure to meet the high targets that they had negotiated at Kyoto, saying, "We would have to pull every truck and car off the street, shut down every train and ground every plane to reach the Kyoto target the Liberals negotiated for Canada." [31] [32]

In June 2006, opposition discontent over Ambrose's actions as environment minister prompted the NDP and the Bloc Québécois to try and table a motion in the Commons environmental committee calling for her resignation. [33] The motion was blocked with the help of the Liberals after the Conservatives said that the motion would be a confidence motion, that if passed would trigger an election in Fall 2006. [33]

In August 2006 she stated, "I welcome the commitment from British Columbia to preserve and increase the population of Northern Spotted Owls ... It is my opinion that, given the measures they are taking, such as stopping logging in areas currently occupied by the owls, there is no imminent threat to the survival or recovery of the Northern Spotted Owl at this time." [34]

On October 19, 2006, Ambrose introduced a Clean Air Act that aimed to reduce the level of greenhouse emissions starting in 2020, cutting them to about half of the 2003 levels by 2050. She also introduced other regulations to industries and vehicles as well as a possible cooperation between the federal government and the provinces to create a system that would report air emissions. In an interview with the media, Ambrose denied that the Conservative government had withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol despite its previous opposition to it. However, industries will have until 2010 before they are expected to reduce emissions, and the government will not have final (and voluntary) targets ready until 2020. Oil companies will have to reduce emissions on a per-barrel basis, reduction proportional to production basis. [35] [36]

Ambrose attended the November 2006 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. [26]

A few weeks before Ambrose was shuffled out from the environment portfolio, she told a parliamentary committee that Canada had paid its debts under the Kyoto Protocol only to have an Environment Canada official point out that the bill was still unpaid. [37]

Western Economic Diversification and Intergovernmental Affairs

News stories began to appear in late 2006 of a possible Cabinet shuffle that included shifting Ambrose from her environment portfolio. As part of the January 4, 2007 cabinet shuffle, Ambrose was replaced as Environment Minister by John Baird and became Minister of Western Economic Diversification, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

Minister of Labour and Minister of Public Works and Government Services

After winning reelection in the 2008 election, Ambrose was appointed Labour Minister on October 30, 2008. [38] On January 19, 2010, Ambrose succeeded Christian Paradis and was appointed as the new Minister of Public Works and Government Services where she introduced a major project to improve the way the government administers its pay and pension systems and "which will modernize service, introduce efficiencies, and improve our stewardship responsibilities in those areas." [39] That system was to be the Phoenix Pay System. [40]

Minister responsible for the Status of Women

On April 9, 2010, Ambrose was also named Minister responsible for the Status of Women after Helena Guergis was dismissed from Cabinet.

The International Day of the Girl Child was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada in the United Nations General Assembly. Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister for the Status of Women, sponsored the resolution; a delegation of women and girls made presentations in support of the initiative at the 55th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass a resolution adopting October 11, 2012, as the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child. [41]

On September 26, 2012, Ambrose voted in favour of Motion 312, a motion by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth that would have directed a Commons committee to revisit the section of the Criminal Code defining at what point human life begins. Viewing the motion as an attempt to re-open debate on abortion laws, Canadian pro-choice groups and Commons opposition parties considered her vote inconsistent with her ministerial role [42] [43] and prompted a call for her resignation. The motion was eventually voted down. [44] Ambrose responded to her critics, stating her concern of discrimination against girls that is made possible by sex-selection abortion. [42] [43] Pro-Life groups praised Ambrose for supporting the Motion. [45]

Minister of Health

Ambrose at a Trilateral with Mercedes Juan Lopez and Kathleen Sebelius in 2014 Trilateral with Mexico, Canada and U.S at the 67th World Health Assembly - 2014.jpg
Ambrose at a Trilateral with Mercedes Juan López and Kathleen Sebelius in 2014

In July 2013, Stephen Harper appointed Rona Ambrose as Minister of Health and kept her as Minister of Western Economic Diversification. [46]

On June 11, 2015, she made headlines for being "outraged" that (in a unanimous decision) the Supreme Court of Canada expanded the definition of what constituted medical marijuana to include oils, teas, brownies, etc. from its previous limitation to dried leaves, arguing "Marijuana has never gone through the regulatory approval process at Health Canada, which requires rigorous safety reviews and clinical trials with scientific evidence". [47]

When asked why the testing has not been done when people are taking medical marijuana every day, she responded, "It is not my job as Minister. If there is clinical evidence and a company decided ... to submit it to the regulatory approval process, it would be looked at. That has never happened." [48]

Leader of the Opposition

Stephen Harper resigned as Conservative party leader after the party was defeated by the Liberals in the 2015 election. Ambrose, who was elected in the new riding of Sturgeon River-Parkland—essentially the suburban portion of her old riding, announced that she would run for the interim leadership of the Conservative Party. She was elected to that post on November 5, 2015—becoming the third woman to hold the post. [49] Under the party constitution, as interim leader she was not eligible to run for the leadership at the subsequent Conservative Party of Canada leadership election.

On November 13, 2015, Ambrose responded to the terrorist attacks in Paris committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Ambrose stated, "The fight against ISIS (ISIL) requires a strong humanitarian response, but also a military response ... It's important that we remain resolute and support our allies." [50] [51] [52]

Ambrose supports an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. [53]

Resignation from Parliament

In May 2017, Ambrose announced to her caucus that she would leave federal politics at the end of the spring session of Parliament, in June 2017, several weeks after her successor as Conservative leader is chosen. [54] [55]

Post resignation

Ambrose has stated that though she supports the merger of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta and the Wildrose Party, she will not be a candidate for the leadership of the proposed new United Conservative Party of Alberta. [56]

She joined the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Washington, D.C. based think tank, as a visiting fellow focused on Canadian–American trade and to lead the organization's campaign to educate officials in both countries about the benefits of an integrated North American economy. [57]

She was also appointed a member of the NAFTA advisory council set up by the Trudeau Liberal government in August 2017. [8]

Personal life

Ambrose is married to J.P. Veitch, a private investment businessman and former rodeo bull rider. [26] She was previously married to Bruce Ambrose from 1994 to 2011. [58] [59]


In 2008, Ambrose was No. 17 on the Western Standard's "Liberty 100" top Canadian "pro-freedom activists, journalists, think-tankers and partisans". [60]

Electoral record

2015 Canadian federal election : Sturgeon River—Parkland
Conservative Rona Ambrose43,22070.237.26$98,166.59
Liberal Travis Dueck9,58615.58+10.11$258.78
New Democratic Guy Desforges6,16610.022.95$7,730.56
Green Brendon Greene1,8753.050.95$3,593.60
Christian Heritage Ernest Chauvet6901.12$10,477.93
Total valid votes/Expense limit61,537100.00 $222,470.71
Total rejected ballots1570.25
Eligible voters86,994
Conservative hold Swing 8.68
Source: Elections Canada [61] [62]
2011 Canadian federal election : Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Conservative Rona Ambrose41,78271.10+2.56$88,882
New Democratic Catherine Chaulk-Stokes9,27215.78+3.30$50
Liberal Chris Austin5,4839.332.17$9,593
Green Josh Lund2,2323.803.68$0
Total valid votes/Expense limit 58,769100.00
Total rejected ballots 146 0.25+0.08
Turnout 58,915 56.53+3.01
Eligible voters 104,226
2008 Canadian federal election : Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Conservative Rona Ambrose36,40268.54+1.71$94,219
New Democratic Barbara Phillips6,62712.48+2.00$10,939
Liberal Chris Austin6,09911.505.33$20,611
Green Wendy Walker3,9757.48+1.62
Total valid votes/Expense limit53,103100.00 $97,141
Total rejected ballots910.170.02
Turnout53,194 53.529.93
Conservative hold Swing 0.1
2006 Canadian federal election : Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Conservative Rona Ambrose38,82666.83+6.43$67,100
Liberal Brad Enge9,77616.838.74$17,620
New Democratic Jason Rockwell6,09110.48+1.56$5,315
Green John Lackey3,4045.86+0.77$2,097
Total valid votes58,097100.00
Total rejected ballots1090.190.02
Turnout58,20663.45 +3.12
2004 Canadian federal election : Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Conservative Rona Ambrose30,49760.40$73,732
Liberal Neil Mather12,91225.57$63,512
New Democratic Hayley Phillips4,5088.92$2,802
Green Jerry Paschen2,5725.09$154
Total valid votes50,489100.00
Total rejected ballots1060.21

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  8. 1 2 "Liberals tap Rona Ambrose for new NAFTA advisory council". The National Post . August 2, 2017.
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