Rona Ambrose, Former interim Conservative leader and MP for Sturgeon River – Parkland, has officially stepped down from federal politics.
The Speaker accepted a letter from Ambrose formally resigning her seat in the House of Commons on July 5.
Ambrose was not available for comment.
On Wednesday she posted photo of her resignation letter on Twitter, writing “After 13 years as an MP, I’m excited to embark on new challenges today! I hope I’ve been able to inspire women to consider public service.”
On Thursday her MP website www.ronaambrose.com was discontinued.
Tom Flynn, mayor of Sturgeon County, says Ambrose was a strong advocate for the area.
“She worked hard to help promote the industrial heartland and the needs of Sturgeon County and was always responsive when I would call and look for some help, so I was always impressed,” he says.
He says it was an honour to work with her and that she had done a “tremendously good job” serving the country as the official opposition leader.
“I would have loved to have her continue to represent us, but everybody in this business has to make some choices in their life and she’s made what’s right for her.”
Michael Cooper, Conservative MP for St. Albert, says Ambrose will be missed.
“She was an incredible interim leader. She stepped in at a time when our party had lost government. Of course when any political party goes from government to opposition sometimes it’s not the easiest of transitions, and Rona was able to step in as interim leader to provide leadership the party needed.”
Ambrose represented Sturgeon River – Parkland (formally Edmonton–Spruce Grove) for the last 13 years. In 2015 she became the interim Conservative leader.
Her resignation didn’t come as a shock, as she announced in May that she would resign her seat once the House rose for the summer.
On May 27 Andrew Scheer, a Saskatchewan MP, was elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
A byelection to fill her position as MP for Sturgeon River – Parkland has yet to be announced.
A byelection must be called between July 15 and Dec. 31. Election Canada rules stipulate that the byelection period must last for at least 36 days from when it is called and the byelection must be held on a Monday. If it was called by July 15, the earliest the vote could be is Aug. 21.
Ambrose plans to move to the private sector, working for the Canadian Institute of the Wilson Centre, which is a Washington-based public policy think tank.
Her role will be to bring together Canadian and American officials to explore key issues in the North American economy.
Ambrose was first elected in 2004 and went on to hold eight cabinet positions under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, including Minister of Environment and Minister of Health.
Cooper says he understands why the former interim leader is stepping away from federal politics.
“Stepping in as interim leader, that’s a major commitment. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of energy. I understand Rona’s desire to start a new chapter in her life and I certainly respect it. I have no doubt that she has much more to contribute and we’ll be seeing more of Rona down the road.”