First elected as a Member of Parliament for Edmonton–Spruce Grove in 2004, Ambrose was re-elected in 2015 in the newly created riding of Sturgeon River–Parkland. In November 2015 she was elected by the Conservative caucus as the Interim Leader of the Conservative Party. In June 2017 Ambrose resigned from her role in the Conservative Party and the Canadian Parliament.
Ambrose has held several cabinet positions including Environment, Intergovernmental Affairs, Western Economic Diversification, Labour, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Receiver General, Status of Women, Regional Minister of Northern Alberta, and Health.
When she was appointed Minister of the Environment in 2006, she was the youngest woman to be appointed to Cabinet in Canadian history. She introduced the Clean Air Act and was a leader in calling for a new international agreement which would include all major emitters, a position that has been adopted by the international community in the Copenhagen Accord.
In her role as Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Ambrose made improving the transparency, accountability and fairness of the procurement process one of her top priorities. When the Government of Canada made the historic decision to build the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard fleets in Canada, it was under her leadership that the Government developed and implemented the successful National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. This strategy ensured that the process used to award $33 billion in contracts was fair, independent and merit-based.
As Minister for the Status of Women, Ambrose addressed the issue of violence against women and girls. She led Canada’s call for an “International Day of the Girl” at the United Nations to increase worldwide awareness of the discrimination faced by girls, as well as to raise awareness of their tremendous untapped potential. The House of Commons unanimously supported a motion put forward by Ambrose to have Canada lead this international campaign. The resolution designating the International Day of the Girl was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011.
As Minister of Health Ambrose was responsible for various organizations, including Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. With all-party support she oversaw the passage of “Vanessa’s Law”, a major milestone for patient safety in Canada that protects Canadians from unsafe drugs.
Her community service has included involvement with organizations working to end violence against women, including the Status of Women Action Group, the Victoria Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre, and the Edmonton Women’s Shelter.
Ambrose holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta.