Rona Ambrose happy in role, no desire to seek leadership
Published Saturday, December 10, 2016 7:13AM EST
OTTAWA -- Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose says she doesn't second-guess her decision not to run for the party's leadership.
In a year-end interview with Evan Solomon, host of CTV's Question Period, Ambrose says people ask her to run, but she loves having the job for a limited time. She has repeatedly said she doesn't want to lead the party on a longer-term basis.
"The rules are there for a reason," Ambrose said of requests she run. "I feel really strongly this is my role. I love it. I love leading our caucus in Parliament."
The Conservative Party rules say no one who has been the interim leader can run for the party's leadership. Members could have changed the rule at the party's convention last spring, but voted not to. The party's executive had already said any rule changes made in the 2016 convention would not apply to the current leadership race, which will select the successor to Stephen Harper on May 27, 2017.
Asked whether there are days she wishes she had decided to run, Ambrose said no.
"Really, I made a decision, I'm happy with my decision, I like what I'm doing," she said.
The Conservatives have 14 official candidates in the race, with several expected to be forced to drop out as the Dec. 31 deadline for submission of their full $100,000 leadership fee nears: $50,000 to enter the race and a $50,000 compliance deposit. But, with more than a dozen candidates vying for the attention of Conservative Party members, the ones who have so far stood out are the ones promoting the most controversial policies.
Ambrose says she won't be jumping into the debate to try to moderate the more extreme proposals.
"We have 14 people running for the leadership of the party because it's a big prize. And it's exciting," she said.
"There's going to be all kinds of things that go on when people are competing for attention and getting their own ideas out there and jockeying for position.... As the leadership race plays out, I feel strongly about being neutral. Letting that play out."
"At the end of the day, our members are going to be the ones to cast the final decision. And I have a lot of faith in them."
Watch the full interview Sunday on CTV's Question Period at 11 a.m. ET, 10 a.m. CT, 9 a.m. MT and 8 a.m. PT