Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of stories about the federal candidates in the Sarnia-Lambton and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex ridings in the Oct. 21 election
Marilyn Gladu wants to return to Ottawa to help repair Canada’s health care system.
The 57 year-old Conservative candidate is the incumbent in the Sarnia-Lambton riding. She was the shadow minister of health while in the opposition benches “so I got a view into the state of health care in Canada.” That view, she says, was not so pretty.
Gladu says Canada is aging and the health care system isn’t keeping up – something she blames on the Liberal government. “Health care is seen to be a provincial matter…but there are things the federal government can and should do. The Trudeau government has abdicated their leadership responsibility saying it is up to the provinces and they don’t do anything.”
Gladu says the federal government needs to solve the doctor and nursing shortages. And she says there is an infrastructure problem in Canada’s aging hospitals. She point’s to Petrolia’s hospital as an example. It needs a $5 million grant to update the heating, cooling and electrical systems. “The federal government could bring funds here for that.”
A recent poll suggested health care is one of the main concerns of Canadian voters, but it hasn’t been receiving a lot attention during the campaign. And Gladu says most often when she knocks on doors in her riding, people area talking about how prices keep going up.
“I’m hearing about affordability,” she says. “A lot of people are finding it hard to get through the month to get pay their bills especially seniors.
“If we look at what happened under the Trudeau, the Liberals increased taxes by eliminating tax credits.” Gladu says the feds eliminated income splitting, education credits and credits for sports for young families. Those items would all be back on the table if the Conservatives were elected. And she says, they would scrap the carbon pricing system in place now saying it is driving the cost of everything up.
Gladu has faced criticism from Sarnia-Lambton Liberals for taking credit for bringing $200 million in funding to the area when she voted against each budget the Liberals offered. “It’s naive to think the federal government knew anything about the oversized load corridor….without my advocacy. I am collegial, I work across party lines and I took advantage of the programs available.
“I didn’t vote for the budgets because they had huge deficits and the money wasn’t spent on what they said it was going to be spent on – infrastructure at home.”
Gladu says the Conservatives will continue to invest in infrastructure – spending $180 billion over 15 years instead of the 12 years the Liberals pledged. She says that’s unlikely to cause any issues since the Liberals aren’t meeting the targets to approve projects. “We will actually get the money out the door.”
And she says the $14 billion in unspecified cuts which have been the source of speculation since the party’s platform was released Friday, will be taken from “corporate welfare,” aid to hostile countries, and government efficiencies. “The good news is we’re not saying were cutting anything, we’re saying we’re going to look and see.”
She adds the Conservatives have will spend more where it’s needed, including hiring 250 more border security officers.
Gladu faces Carmen Lemieux (L), Adam Kilner (NDP), Peter Smith (Green), Brian Everaert (PPC) and Tom Laird (CHP) in the Oct. 21 vote.