Interim federal Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose met with all four Atlantic Progressive Conservative leaders Saturday morning, a meeting members of Nova Scotia's Progressive Conservative party say hasn't happened in 20 years.

The party's annual general meeting is underway in Halifax.

"Too many Canadians see conservatism as harsh or austere — or even maybe joyless," Ambrose said.

"We're going to work hard together to earn the trust and votes of Atlantic Canadians. This is the first time that we've had that chance to sit down. It is historic, but it's about time."


Ambrose is the interim leader of the federal Conservative party.

Meeting helped ease rift

Some members say Saturday morning's meeting is helping ease a historical rift between the federal and provincial parties.

"Rona Ambrose has shown a little bit of leadership on this one, which we haven't seen a whole lot of up till now, when it comes to getting the premiers together or the leaders of the other parties together," said Chris d'Entremont, MLA for Argyle-Barrington.

"There's a different tone in how she wants the federal party to work with the provinces to be able to, I guess, soften and I think that's a good thing."

Provincial leader 'very pleased'

Ambrose delivered a speech early in the afternoon. She walked into the luncheon with Nova Scotia Tory Leader Jamie Baillie to the song Uptown Funk.

He said he's looking forward to working together with the four Atlantic provinces and Ottawa.

"It has not happened always in the past, but I'm just very pleased that it's happening now," Baillie said. "I've never been hugged by a Conservative leader before."

D'Entremont says he is hopeful there will one day be a PC government in Nova Scotia and a Conservative one in Ottawa.

With files from Stephanie vanKampen