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Rona Ambrose officially resigns as MP on Tuesday

Rona Ambrose wipes away tears, thanks colleagues for tributes
WATCH ABOVE: Opposition leader Rona Ambrose thanked her colleagues for their kind words and tributes after she announced on May 16 that she'd be retiring from federal politics.

After 13 years as a federal MP, Rona Ambrose made it official on Tuesday: she’s stepping down.

Ambrose was the Conservative Member of Parliament for the district of Sturgeon River-Parkland. She also served as interim leader of the Conservative Party when Stephen Harper stepped down after the party lost the election.

READ MORE: Harper to step down as leader of Conservative Party 

Her resignation will take effect immediately, as of July 4.

“It has been the greatest privilege of my life serving as a Member of Parliament, Minister, and Leader of the Official Opposition over the last 13 years,” Ambrose said in a letter shared on Twitter.

“I hope that in some small way I have inspired women and girls to look to public office as a way to make their world a better place.

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“My message to them is this: you are equal, you are worthy, and you can do it!”

READ MORE: Rona Ambrose bids goodbye to politics: ‘I had planned this all along’ 

Ambrose did not provide details about what she plans to do next, but said she’s “excited to embark on new challenges.”

WATCH: Rona Ambrose gets standing ovation in House of Commons 

She said in May that she made the decision to leave political life behind when she chose to run as interim leader.

“If I was going to stay in politics, I would have run for the full leadership. I made that choice then. I knew I was going to leave.”

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While the Tories were booted out of office in 2015, Ambrose won her riding with 70 per cent of the vote and went on to win the internal caucus election for interim leader.

She is credited by many MPs and observers with changing the face of the party in the wake of its election defeat.

“Canadians asked us to change our tone and we listened,” she said during her speech.

“. . . We presented a fresh face to Canadians who now see a smart team that is a very real alternative.”

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READ MORE: Mandatory sex assault training for judges will fix gap in Canadian justice system: Rona Ambrose

On May 15, the Liberal government decided to support Ambrose’s private member’s bill that would require judges to undergo comprehensive training in sexual assault law.

— With files from The Canadian Press