Rona Ambrose 'would do anything' to unite Alberta's right

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose won't run for PC leadership in Alberta, but she hints that merger talks are ongoing between the Wildrose and PC parties.

Politicians need to 'get over some of the ego stuff', federal Interim Conservative Leader says

Could Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose be the one to unite the right in Alberta? 'I would do anything I could to help,' she says. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
The interim leader of the Conservative Party, Rona Ambrose, joins us to talk about the economy, her party's leadership race, and uniting the Right in Alberta.

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose would "do anything" to unite the right in Alberta — anything, that is, except run for leadership of the PCs herself. 

"I'm not interested in going for the leadership, but I'm absolutely interested in helping unite the right," Ambrose told host Chris Hall in an interview airing on CBC Radio's The House Saturday.

"I would do anything I could to help with that."

Since Alberta's New Democrats swept their way to power in last spring's election, the province's right-wing parties have struggled to find their footing — and their future.

But if Alberta is to return to its conservative legacy in 2019, Ambrose said the divided right has to come together. 

And that means putting aside big egos, the Alberta-born MP for Sturgeon River–Parkland said.

Can Alberta's right - represented by the PC's interim leader Ric McIver, left, and Wildrose leader Brian Jean, left - be united? That will require setting egos aside, says federal Conservative interim Leader Rona Ambrose. (CBC)

"Maybe there's the right leadership right now, in both parties, to get over some of the ego stuff," Ambrose said. "That's what this gets down to sometimes. People need to reach out, and understand somebody's going to have to let go of some amount of power, in some way."

But, she added, "it's worth it. It's absolutely worth it. These people should be in the same party."

Ambrose hinted that talks are going on at the leadership level about a possible merger.

"You know, there's hope. There's light at the end of the tunnel. Divisions happen, but those things can be rectified, and I'm hearing people aer talking to each other."

Ambrose is also helping facilitate some of those conversations.

"I don't like seeing my friends in separate camps. I know people in both parties, they're all good conservatives, they all want the same thing.

"Every chance I get, I encourage them to [talk], because we do need to see a Conservative government re-elected and back in power in Alberta, and I can tell you the majority of Albertans feel the same way."

"The regular person on the street is waiting for this to happen, and it's really up to the politicians to get it right now."