Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose, seen in 2017, says she won't run in this year's leadership race.

Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

Former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose announced Wednesday she will not run for the party’s leadership, opening up the possibility that no prominent Westerners – or women – will enter the race to replace Andrew Scheer.

Ms. Ambrose ended weeks of speculation, by announcing in a social-media video that she would not return to political life.

“Right now I’m focused on making a difference through the private sector,” Ms. Ambrose said in the video.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Ambrose, a cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s government, is credited with steering the party through its return to the opposition benches after losing the 2015 election. She left politics soon after Mr. Scheer won the party’s leadership in 2017. However, since he announced in December that he would quit once a new leader was elected, prominent conservatives hoped Ms. Ambrose would take a run at the permanent job.

In December, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told The Calgary Herald she would be a “brilliant leader” and former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall said he hoped Ms. Ambrose would run.

In response to her decision to stay out of the race, Mr. Wall told The Globe and Mail, “I’m disappointed but I respect her decision.”

Ms. Ambrose, who has been weighing a leadership bid for nearly six weeks, said she struggled with the decision and called the encouragement to run humbling.

“I know we’ll choose a good leader, and I’ll be there to support her – or him," she said in the video.

Her decision though makes it less likely that the next leader will be either a woman or a Westerner. So far ex-cabinet minister Peter MacKay (from Nova Scotia) and Ontario MPs Pierre Poilievre and Erin O’Toole are the most prominent candidates in the race. Neither Mr. Poilievre nor Mr. O’Toole have made their bids official.

Other candidates include Ontario MP Marilyn Gladu and Alberta-based Rick Peterson – but both are relative unknowns to the general public and are considered long shots in the race. Ms. Ambrose’s decision is what spurred Mr. Peterson, who placed 12 out of 14 in the 2017 leadership contest, to take a second run at the job.

Story continues below advertisement

He confirmed his candidacy Wednesday, telling The Globe “Rona would have been the best candidate from the West,” but without her in the race he thought it was important to still have a resource-sector voice from the region.

On Tuesday, former Quebec premier Jean Charest also announced he was opting out, citing the race’s tight timelines to recruit members and get a team in place.

With Conservatives set to pick their next leader at a June convention in Toronto, potential candidates have until March 25 to raise $300,000 and gather 3,000 signatures in order to stay in the race. Two social conservatives are also making a bid for leader: rookie Ontario MP Derek Sloan and veteran Conservative organizer Richard Décarie.

Ms. Ambrose would have made a formidable opponent for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and diffused many of the Liberal attacks that hurt the Tories in the most recent election, political scientist Faron Ellis said, but he added a leader from the East could also bolster Conservative prospects as they try to build a winning coalition.

“The West does not have the votes … and the seats in order to continually hold the leadership of one party," said Prof. Ellis, a research chair at Lethbridge College who has been studying the Conservative movement since the 1990s.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies