Newly named Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose says her caucus will leave the former Harper government’s “nastiness” behind and opt for more “constructive, effective” work as the Official Opposition.

Speaking to CTV’s Question Period, Ambrose said she looks forward to establishing a more-positive tone as interim leader.

“I think you can be constructive, I think you can be strong, but you don’t have to be angry,” said Ambrose. “I do think that my colleagues have sent the message loud and clear that we want to be effective and constructive but leave the nastiness behind.”

In her former ministerial roles, Ambrose appeared media-shy. And despite only taking three questions at a press conference on Parliament Hill Thursday, Ambrose said she also hopes to make herself “open,” “accessible” and available “as much as possible” to the media.

Harper, who stepped down as Conservative leader on election night, had an adversarial relationship with the media, restricting access and rarely using the National Press Theatre in Ottawa.

Expect a long leadership race

Ambrose, who was chosen as interim leader on Thursday, says she expects the race for her permanent replacement to be a lengthy one.

“The feedback I’ve received from all of the members of our party that I’ve spoken to is that they want a long, long leadership race. And I agree. I think that we should have a long, comprehensive, inclusive leadership race.”

Ambrose invited anyone with Conservative values and interest in leadership to put their name forward for the race. “This is an important opportunity to welcome people to the party,” she said.

But she also didn’t hesitate to rhyme off the names of star Conservative MPs who she suspects will go for the job.

“I think we’ll see Tony Clement, Jason Kenney, Lisa Raitt, Kellie Leitch; amazing people that would put their name forward in the party. Maybe Peter MacKay, not sure if we could convince him to come back.”

Time to renovate 24 Sussex

With her new title, Ambrose gets an extra $80,100 in salary, as well as a car and driver. She will also live at the residence of the official leader of the Opposition, Stornoway.

When asked what should be done about the crumbling state of the prime minister’s official residence, 24 Sussex, Ambrose called for a renovation. She said the Harpers did not choose to renovate because it would have been too inconvenient to move the entire family out.

“It’s one of our historic national treasures so it needs to be renovated,” said Ambrose. “I always thought that when they do renovate it, they should make it the greenest home in Canada.”