Gladu appointed to shadow cabinet

Marilyn Gladu delivers a victory speech after winning re-election as Sarnia-Lambton MP on Oct. 21, 2019. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz

Sarnia-Lambton’s MP says her goal is to bring prosperity back to southwestern Ontario with her new appointment to the Conservative Party’s shadow cabinet.

Marilyn Gladu has been named to the federal government’s Privy Council and as the shadow minister for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Within the “broad ranging role” she said she intends to rebuild the economy as Canada reels from the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, she is committed to ensuring Sarnia-Lambton makes a full economic recovery, she said.

“We need to protect the jobs that we have already,” said Gladu. “There are things that are coming against our refineries and our plastic businesses in Sarnia – that’s a huge part of our life blood. There are challenges for a lot of businesses due to the pandemic.”

Gladu’s appointment to the 42-member shadow cabinet comes weeks after MP Erin O’Toole was chosen leader of the Conservative Party this summer.

Gladu says her 32 years working within Sarnia-Lambton’s industrial sector will come in handy for the role, which includes collaborating with her counterparts in other provinces.

“On the economic development side, especially in southwestern Ontario, I’m very familiar with industry here and those that were hardest hit from the pandemic,” she said.

She’s “very excited” about her new role as part of the 12-member Privy Council, she said. The non-partisan office oversees public sector workers and the implementation of the Prime Minister’s policies.

“This will be an opportunity to broaden my understanding of government and my reach into different areas, especially from an economic point of view.”

Gladu had a short-lived run for Conservative party leadership earlier this year. In May she told The Journal her bid to become leader of the Conservative Party of Canada was derailed by the pandemic and her own party.

But now she’s fully supportive of O’Toole, she said. She’s impressed by his “detailed” platform and how he didn’t waste time moving into the opposition leader’s office.

“He’s a very seasoned individual, he has integrity, and I’m looking forward to working really closely with him,” she said of the Durham Region MP. “One of the things that’s great about Erin is that he’s been able to unite the party from coast to coast.”

Galdu, who’s in her second term in office, previously served as the Official Opposition’s health critic.