Conservative MPs Chant 'How Many Times' After Ambrose Asks Trudeau About Ethics Probe

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Hours after she confirmed she was beginning her departure from political life, interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose stood in the House of Commons for what she said was "likely" her last question to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Ambrose, who announced Tuesday she will be resigning as an MP shortly after handing over the reins to the new Tory leader later this month, made Trudeau an offer.

If he answers a question the opposition has been peppering him with for months, she would "call off the attack dogs and nobody on this side will ask the question 18 more times."

"I think it sounds like a pretty fair deal," she said.

rona ambrose
Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose is given a standing ovation as she stands to ask a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 16, 2017. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

The query Ambrose was referring to is one Trudeau dodged repeatedly in the House last week: how many times has he met with the federal ethics watchdog?

Tories have pressed the PM for details on ethics commissioner Mary Dawson's probe into his vacation at the Aga Khan's Bahamas island, as well as the use of a private helicopter. Trudeau has responded to inquiries about the investigation by saying he is “happy to answer” whatever questions the ethics watchdog has for him.

Ambrose hoped her last attempt would yield a different response from Trudeau — and it did, to a certain extent.

“Canadians expect every member of this House to cooperate with the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner," Trudeau began, as the Tories started shouting across the aisle.


"The commissioner has stated at committee and to my office that she does not want us discussing the process in place," echoing a statement Dawson's office sent to HuffPost Canada last week. A spokesperson said subjects being examined by the office are asked to keep "any information" related to the probe confidential.

Trudeau continued: "But I can answer the member and say that in all my years as a parliamentarian, I have met a number of times with the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner on both formal and informal occasions…”

The prime minister was cut off after a chorus of Conservatives began yelling "How many times!" before being gently reminded by House Speaker Geoff Regan to take any unified chanting outside.

Later in the day, the House embraced a much warmer tone as MPs and leaders from all parties stood to pay tribute to Ambrose, who will resign her seat when MPs break for the summer in June.

The Conservatives choose their new leader on May 27.

With files from Althia Raj and Ryan Maloney

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