Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu running to be Conservative leader

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Marilyn Gladu on the night she first became the MP for Sarnia-Lambton in 2015

Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu is in the running to be the next federal Conservative Leader.

Andrew Scheer announced his resignation last month and Gladu was one of few who immediately said she was interested in a bid. Thursday afternoon, she made it official.

“Conservatives need to win the next election. To do that, we need to expand the base. And to do that, we need a better balance of fiscal responsibility and social compassion. Canadians care about having a good economy with job creation and lower taxes, but they are also looking for a credible plan for climate change and the environment, support for our struggling Health care system and compassion for people like seniors who can’t afford to live, veterans who are homeless, and people who can’t afford their medications,” she said in a news release.

In an interview with the CBC’s Hanna Thibedeau, Gladu says she has the $300,000 entry fee and the team in place and ready to go.

Gladu has represented Sarnia-Lambton since 2015 and has held various positions in the Conservative’s shadow cabinet. She’s known on Parliament Hill as someone who works with other parties to get things done, including the passage of her private members bill on access to palliative care. Gladu handily defeated her opponents in the 2019 election with 49.1 per cent of the votes.

Gladu’s tenure has not been without controversy. Early in her first mandate, she raised eyebrows at a Conservative convention by dressing as the Grim Reaper proclaiming doom for the party which lost the election – but later danced around the stage to indicate things were not all that bad. She also gained national attention during the debate about the legalization of cannabis when she suggested during a debate in the House of Commons young children would put cannabis “in the toaster oven” and smoke it up.

The Conservatives will hold a leadership race in Toronto in June. So far, reports suggest MPs Pierre Polilievre and Erin O’Toole, former Conservative cabinet minister Peter McKay and former Conservative leader Jean Charest are interested in the job.

Here is the full text of Gladu’s news release

PRESS RELEASE: MP Marilyn Gladu announces her candidacy in the race for Conservative leadership

OTTAWA, ON— Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu is excited to announce her candidacy in the race for the Conservative leadership. “Conservatives need to win the next election. To do that, we need to expand the base. And to do that, we need a better balance of fiscal responsibility and social compassion. Canadians care about having a good economy with job creation and lower taxes, but they are also looking for a credible plan for climate change and the environment, support for our struggling Health care system and compassion for people like seniors who can’t afford to live, veterans who are homeless, and people who can’t afford their medications”.

MP Gladu has represented the riding of Sarnia-Lambton in Parliament since her election in 2015. She served as the Official Opposition Science Critic, as well as the Chair for the Status of Women, as well as the Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Rail Caucus, in addition to the Vice-Chair of the Aerospace Caucus. She is currently the Shadow Minister of Health, and the Vice Chair on the Standing Committee on Health. As one of the most respected leading members of the current Parliament, Marilyn works cooperatively and respectfully with her parliamentary peers, having been named “The Most Collegial Parliamentarian” by all party members of parliament in 2016.

A professional chemical engineer by training and profession, MP Gladu has had a broad range of experience in her 32-year career, including global work in the energy sector, plastics, building & construction, automotive, mining, nuclear, the bio-industry and medical products industry. She worked for Dow Chemical for 21 years both domestically and globally, before becoming the Engineering Manager, and subsequently, the Director of Engineering at Suncor. From there, she became a business director as a consultant at WorleyParsons.

She was recently named as a prestigious “Fellow” by the Canadian Academy of Engineers and Engineers Canada. She is the first female engineer to be elected to the House of Commons.

A special moment in her early political career is her private members bill, C-277 (on palliative care) receiving unanimous consent of the House of Commons and Senate. By achieving Royal Assent. Her palliative care bill will now make a positive difference in the lives of millions of Canadians choosing to live as well as they can, for as long as they can.

MP Marilyn Gladu is a strong leader with experience in both the real world and in parliament who can bring new vision to the Conservative Party.