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
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Canada’s most-awarded
newsroom for a reason
Stay informed for a
lot less, cancel anytime
“Exemplary reporting on
COVID-19” – Herman L
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
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); } //

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose says Trudeau isn’t prepared for a Trump administration, which could lead to loss of Canadian jobs to U.S.

CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose says Donald Trump's election "changes everything" for Canada and is questioning whether the Liberal government will reconsider some of its major policy planks to keep the country competitive.

Ms. Ambrose, who holds her position until the new Conservative leader is chosen in May, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to come up with a plan to protect Canadian jobs in the face of the president-elect's pledge to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement and lower corporate and income taxes.

"Now Trump is elected and this changes everything. The government is not recognizing that or responding to it," Ms. Ambrose said in a year-end interview in her Parliament Hill office.

Story continues below advertisement

Related: Canadians want Trudeau to stand up to Trump, but welcome a visit: Nanos poll

Related: American political debate defined by stark divisions

Related: Everything Trump wants to do threatens everything Trudeau wants to do

"This next year is going to be a huge test for Justin Trudeau."

Mr. Trudeau, however, recently said he will forge ahead with policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions, regardless of Mr. Trump's retreat from climate-change measures. He also said he remains a supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline, which the president-elect has vowed to approve.

Ms. Ambrose criticized a number of the Trudeau government policies that will raise costs on business and consumers, including a national price on carbon, an expanded Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums that won't be as low as the Conservatives had planned. She also noted that the Liberals are planning to make changes to various tax credits and have not ruled out imposing new taxes on health and dental benefits.

"A responsible leader has to respond to a changing environment and a changing situation. And things changed a lot when Trump got elected," she said.

Story continues below advertisement

The interim leader, who has been on the job since November, 2015, said she's proud of the work she accomplished in the past year, representing 99 Conservative MPs.

But she never viewed her position as temporary.

"We made a decision that this wasn't going to be a placeholder position," Ms. Ambrose said. "I would lead the party. And so I would make decisions."

Those decisions included everything from administration ("We walked into this office, and there wasn't a phone. There was not a scrap of paper," she says), to policy, to tone. One of Ms. Ambrose's first moves as interim leader was to support an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women – something her predecessor resisted. She's also visited Atlantic Canada five times, hoping to regain support in a region that rejected her party in the past election.

With nine ministerial portfolios under her belt, she said she never considered running for permanent leader.

"I just felt like this was a good role for me. I'm a bridge builder. I know a lot of these people very well. I felt like I could have their trust," she said.

Story continues below advertisement

There are currently 14 candidates running for the Conservative leadership, and Ms. Ambrose is staying neutral in the race.

She said she's happy there are two women – Kellie Leitch and Lisa Raitt – currently in the running.

"It's very unusual, right, in this day and age still, to have women running for the leadership of a national party with such broad support as ours," she said. "So it's great to see."

In the meantime, Ms. Ambrose said she's concerned about what will happen to the Canadian economy once Mr. Trump is sworn in as U.S. president on Jan. 20.

"If we can't compete … we're going to lose Canadian jobs to the U.S., and that's the reality. We live in a global environment and jobs move, and investment moves. And I don't think the Prime Minister is ready for this," she said.

Ms. Ambrose said outgoing Vice-President Joe Biden's recent visit to Ottawa served to further highlight the contrast between Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Trump's environmental policies. Mr. Trump has vowed to abandon U.S. commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions under the Paris Accord and roll back President Barack Obama's signature policies on climate.

Story continues below advertisement

"It begged the question, 'Are we ready?'"

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:

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

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: 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