Rona Ambrose says accepting election defeat a challenge
Published Tuesday, June 21, 2016 6:45PM EDT
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose says the hard part of transitioning from cabinet minister to opposition leader was accepting defeat in last fall's election.
In a year-end interview with Don Martin, host of CTV's Power Play, Ambrose said going from cabinet to the Official Opposition leader's office wasn't hard for her.
"For me the big thing was to actually accept the defeat, take on our role with pride and vigour and energy and be a great opposition party because we have an important role to play. We have to hold the government to account, and Canadians are counting on us," she said.
"I have had an absolute blast leading this group and working with them... We hit the ground running and we hit it hard, and we have a great opposition in Parliament."
Ambrose spoke at length about former prime minister Stephen Harper's economic record and what she sees as failings of the new Liberal government.
"They made some promises and they're following through on them, but I think they're finding that maybe those were actually good policies [that they're changing] and just because Harper brought them in doesn't mean Canadians didn't support them," she said.
Conservative MPs -- including Ambrose -- have distanced themselves from previous Conservative policies such as resistance to an inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. Martin asked if it was hard for the interim Conservative leader to back away from some past positions.
"No, it's not hard for me to do," she said. "Not at all... Mr. Harper left a great legacy on the economy. The lowest tax rate at the federal level in 50 years, free trade agreements with 51 countries, the best job creation record in the G7, the best growth record in the G7, and we are squarely focused with making sure that this government continues on."
Ambrose acknowledged being a softer, gentler leader, but said she's a different personality with a different leadership style.
"We're in opposition now. We have a different role to play, but yes, our parliamentarians have [a] freer hand to be out there advocating. That's part of being in opposition also. People expect that."