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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was air.

Last in Parliament July 2017, as Conservative MP for Sturgeon River—Parkland (Alberta)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Member for Sturgeon River—Parkland May 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, thank you for those kind words.

I want to thank my hon. colleagues on both sides of the House for their kind and generous tributes. It is rare to get compliments in the House, which makes my colleagues' words today all the more meaningful.

I really want to thank all my colleagues in the House, from all sides of the House, for their thoughtful and generous tributes. It really has been the privilege of my life to serve as the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Before I get to thank yous, I wanted to make a point.

As we all know, for this place to function, we also need a good opposition, no matter what party. A great Canadian prime minister, the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker, said once, “If Parliament is to be preserved as a living institution His Majesty’s” or as we know now “Her”, “Loyal Opposition must fearlessly perform its functions.”

When it properly discharges them the preservation of our freedom is assured....It must be vigilant against oppression and unjust invasions by the Cabinet of the rights of the people....It finds fault; it suggests amendments; it asks questions and elicits information; it arouses, educates and molds public opinion by voice and vote. It must scrutinize every action by the government and in doing so prevents the short-cuts through democratic procedure that governments like to make.

I hope I have in some small part done my job as Leader of the Opposition.

I am overwhelmed by the kind comments and good wishes from my colleagues. However, for members who are new in the House, if you are wondering how long it takes, or how long they have to be here until people say nice things about you, you actually do not have to wait; you just have to quit.

I really want to thank my good friend and our House leader for her heartfelt words she conveyed on behalf of our caucus and the members of our party. It is truly humbling. Of course I want to thank my caucus, because those members put their trust in me to lead the party for this time. I have loved every minute of it. In large part, that is because I get to work with this amazing group of people every single day, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished together.

I know people say that being the leader of a caucus is a challenge. I am sure the Prime Minister and the leader of the NDP know what that feels like. I hope one day the leader of the Green Party will know what that feels like too.

People say that leading a caucus of politicians is like herding cats, but at least it is better than dealing with the media, which is like giving a cat a bath.

I sincerely want to thank the Prime Minister for his generous words, especially after I just hammered him in question period. In all seriousness, we have had a very respectful working relationship. I want to thank him for supporting my private member's bill and, with all sincerity, I want to wish him the best. To Sophie and the kids, and his whole family, all the best. It must be said that never again will two competitors be so well matched up for the battle of best hair.

I want to thank the leader of the NDP for his words, for his friendship and in particular, I want to thank him, and he mentioned it, for his unequivocal support for my private member's bill. I also need to tell him he is on some very good western street cred. He and my spouse JP have now become really good friends, which always happens when anyone meets JP. He found out that the leader of the NDP wore cowboy boots all the time, and not just any cowboy boots. He wears the kind of cowboy boots that real cowboys wear. I want to wish him and Catherine, and the whole family all the best.

I also thank very much my friend from the Green Party and my colleagues from the Bloc for their great words. They are truly humbling.

I want to thank my parents who are here. I am so fortunate to have them in my life. They are amazing people who taught us the important things like respect, compassion and integrity, and I want to thank them. I want to thank both my brothers who are here. All these years, we are still good friends, even though one of them votes NDP. Who knows, Mr. Speaker, maybe they both do. I do not know.

I am also thankful to have my in-laws here and so many friends. I am so incredibly thankful to all of them for being supportive, loving, and extremely patient through these years.

I want to thank my constituents and my volunteers back home who have worked with me over the years on many campaigns and have been especially understanding over the last 18 months while I travelled across the country as leader.

Of course, to all my staff over the years in all the offices—in the riding, here on the Hill, at the Conservative Party headquarters, and the leader's office—I thank them for their commitment, their passion, and their professionalism. We have had a lot of fun.

My staff, even those who have left the Hill, have always referred to themselves affectionately as “Team Ambrose” and the great little group that I travel with now on tour calls themselves the “Rontourage”. They have made work a lot of fun, and truly my success is their success.

I also want to take a moment to give a special thanks to my friend and mentor the Right Hon. Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen. He gave me his trust and his friendship, and for that I am forever grateful. I thank the two of them because they have just been wonderful.

Last and most important, of course, I want to thank J.P. and the kids because they make my life so great. When they came along, they embraced this crazy life with so much enthusiasm, and I thank them for that. In fact, it is great because it reminded me about how important the little things in life are.

It reminds me of a story. When Garrison was only six, he asked me what I did today. At the time, I was the minister of health, so I proceeded to tell him about the important meetings I had that day, the important people I met, the important decisions I made, the press conference I had, and the millions of dollars I gave away to some stakeholder, and he said “Huh, what else did you do?” That says it all.

Like many members, I have seen that the exposure to this life has really benefited them, and they have thrived on it and loved it. Makena, when she was only eight, did a speech about the International Day of the Girl in front of 1,200 students, to talk about the importance of girls' education.

Garrison was only eight when he actually talked about the importance of science for kids, and this was in front of 2,000 people before he handed the microphone over to astronaut Chris Hadfield. They have done quite well in this life.

One of our favourite memories is when I had to work on a weekend and they had some friends here in Ottawa. We came to Parliament so I could do my job, and a security guard gave them an all-access pass—I hope that is okay—and they literally had the run of the House and played hide and seek. I am thankful that my life has afforded us such fun and lasting memories.

Last, I want to thank J.P., who has been a rock for me since the day we met. He embraced this life and in so doing, he made it a partnership from day one, and we have had a blast together. He always says never would he have imagined, as a former bull riding champion, that he would be hosting tea parties at Stornoway, but he did. He brought his down-to-earth love of life and love of people to everything he did.

It was not just tea parties. He handed out candy to the kids on Halloween at Stornoway, but it was not really fair, because he dressed up as a cowboy. He brought beer pong tournaments for the interns to Stornoway, karaoke for the press gallery parties, great bands, and even a mechanical bull for our caucus party. The truth is that everybody loves J.P. In fact, one of my caucus colleagues actually said this to me: “Rona, the truth is that if J.P. ran against you in a nomination, I'm not sure who I'd vote for”.

Words cannot express our love and thanks to our friends and family for making this such an unforgettable part of our lives. We are excited to start a new chapter of our lives. We will not be far away, and I am still here until June.

I want to say what an honour it has been to serve in this great place. Thank you. I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Ethics May 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, this is likely my last question for the Prime Minister, so I am going to make him an offer. I will call off the attack dogs and nobody on this side will ask the question 18 more times. I think that sounds like a pretty fair deal, so let us end this with a real answer.

Has he met with the Ethics Commissioner, yes or no, and if yes, how many times?

Government Appointments May 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as you know, the Prime Minister is under investigation by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. We know that the Ethics Commissioner will retire before the investigation has been completed and that the Prime Minister has to appoint her successor. This is a clear conflict and so is asking the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons to make the appointment in his place.

This is one of the most important non-partisan appointments that the Prime Minister will make. Does he understand that his party and his caucus cannot be involved in this process?

Oil and Gas Industry May 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has talked about phasing out the oil sands and now we know how he plans to do it. He is going to slowly but surely kill it with red tape. Everything he does is making it harder and harder for energy companies to create jobs. Business investment is at an all-time low and this is at a time when the U.S. is unleashing the oil and gas sector in the United States.

Can the Prime Minister not see that the decisions he is making are costing Canadian workers their jobs?

National Energy Board May 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about confidence, because the Prime Minister's latest report recommends that the National Energy Board headquarters be moved from Calgary to Ottawa. Why? Does the Prime Minister not have confidence in Calgarians to do the job? This is supposed to be an independent group of people. The farther away from Ottawa and politicians it is, the better.

Can the Prime Minister understand why this is such an insult to western Canadians? Will he commit to leaving the National Energy Board headquarters in Calgary on the front lines and not burying it in some government department in Ottawa?

National Energy Board May 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government released a report on the future of the National Energy Board. It is the second report in a month, and surprise, surprise, it recommends something completely different. This is creating even more uncertainty in the oil and gas sector and there is a lot at stake. Any changes the Prime Minister makes will affect thousands and thousands of families.

When is the Prime Minister going to stop interfering in the independent National Energy Board process and let it do its job so projects can get approved and people can get to work?

Justice May 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce that my bill to protect victims of sexual assault passed at committee with all-party support and was reported back to the House by the member for Sarnia—Lambton.

This is about building confidence in our justice system so that more victims of sexual assault feel comfortable reporting and seeking justice. This is something we can all do together to show victims that we believe them.

Will the Prime Minister join me and the leader of the NDP and fast-track this bill to the Senate?

Justice May 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, once again the Prime Minister is putting the needs of criminals and lawyers ahead of the needs of victims, but gutting Wynn's law is a new low. Wynn's law is not controversial. It is a common sense, simple answer to a real loophole in our system. If an accused wants to be released at a bail hearing, a judge should know whether this individual has a history of being dangerous to Canadians.

Why will the Prime Minister not start standing up for victims instead of criminals?

Justice May 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, Wynn's law could have literally saved the life of Constable Wynn. When an accused criminal is already facing over 12 other charges and a judge releases him on bail, we have a problem. The system failed, and we need to fix it. This is a common sense fix.

When will the Prime Minister start supporting Wynn's law and start putting the safety of Canadians first?

National Defence May 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have a hard time believing that this defence minister actually designed and devised this defence policy himself. I know the chamber has not seen it, members of Parliament have not seen it, and the military has not seen it. Now the Prime Minister is meeting in secret with the Americans to get their okay. They know our defence plans before Canadians know them.

Why do Washington insiders get privileged access to Canadian defence policies before the Canadian public does and before the Canadian military does?