After Liberal sweep, Tories hustle to regain Atlantic support
Interim Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose asks a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Thursday, Feb.4, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Adrian Wyld)
Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, February 6, 2016 3:41PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 6, 2016 4:04PM EST
HALIFAX -- Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose says her party will be working closely with its provincial counterparts to rebuild support in Liberal-dominated Atlantic Canada.
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Nova Scotia Tories in Halifax on Saturday, Ambrose said a lot of work must be done to earn back the trust of voters after the Liberals swept the region in October's election.
Ambrose said it's an opportunity to form a unique partnership with the Tory leaders in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
"At the end of the day, Atlantic Canadians need to know that I care about their issues. They need to know that the Conservative members of Parliament, whether they are Atlantic Canadians or not, they care about Atlantic Canada," said Ambrose after delivering a speech at a hotel in the city's downtown.
"I think we have to learn from our mistakes and look forward and rebuild and that's exactly what we started to do this weekend by reaching out to leaders of the Conservative movement."
Ambrose said she met with all four leaders on Saturday, something she says hasn't happened in two decades.
"It was really wonderful to sit down with the leaders of the four Atlantic Canadian provinces and listen to them about what the issues are on the ground so that I know what they are," said Ambrose, adding that a range of topics were discussed, such as job creation.
"We talked about working together. They have such great insight into what's happening here in Atlantic Canada and so we're going to work together to make sure that we represent Atlantic Canadian issues in Ottawa."
Nova Scotia Tory Leader Jamie Baillie, whose party has 10 of 51 seats in the legislature, said working with his federal counterpoint "is the most constructive thing we can do."
"It has not happened always in the past, but I'm just very pleased that it's happening now," said Baillie.
The federal Conservatives will elect a new leader in May, 2017.