Canadian Conservative Leader to Leave Politics for Wilson Center

(Bloomberg) — Canadian interim Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose is leaving politics to join the Washington-based Wilson Center as her party prepares to choose her successor.

The announcement is set to be made Tuesday ahead of the party’s leadership convention later this month.

Ambrose, 48, will serve as a visiting fellow at the non-partisan think tank’s Canada Institute, focusing on bilateral trade with the U.S. while based in Washington, according to a Wilson Center statement obtained by Bloomberg. Ambrose will lead the institute’s “efforts to convene U.S. and Canadian officials to explore the benefits of an integrated and competitive North American economy that is focused on job creation and prosperity,” the statement said.

The appointment comes as President Donald Trump’s administration prepares to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which also includes Mexico.

“I’m proud to join the Canada Institute in order to promote policies that increase North American competitiveness and to continue my work advocating for greater trade liberalization between the United States and Canada,” Ambrose is quoted as saying in the statement.

She has served as interim leader since late 2015 when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won a majority. The Conservatives governed from 2006 to 2015 under Stephen Harper, who stepped down after his defeat. A wide field of candidates is running to serve as permanent leader of the party, which remains Canada’s official opposition in the House of Commons. The winner will be revealed May 27.

Ambrose was first elected in 2004 and served in several cabinet portfolios, including as minister of environment, labor and health. The Alberta politician “will be a source of insightful ideas and a champion of North American competitiveness during the renegotiation of Nafta this fall,” Canada Institute Director Laura Dawson said in the statement.

Ambrose’s office declined to comment. She’s scheduled to give her final public a speech as official opposition leader in Ottawa Tuesday morning.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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