Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu confirmed today she will seek to become leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
“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,” Gladu said Thursday in announcing her candidacy.
Gladu has represented the riding since 2015. She is vice-chair of the House of Common’s Standing Committee on Health and serves as the party’s shadow health minister.
“Canadians care about having a good economy with job creation and lower taxes,” she said. “But they are also looking for a credible plan for climate change and the environment (and) support for our struggling health-care system …”
Gladu acknowledged she was considering a leadership bid on Dec. 12, just hours after leader Andrew Scheer announced his resignation as Leader of the Opposition.
Scheer faced criticism after a disappointing loss in October’s federal election, when the Tories gained more seats but failed to win a majority.
The new Conservative leader will be elected in Toronto on June 27.
The only other publicly declared candidate is businessman Bryan Brulotte. Other potential contenders, according to media reports, include former Quebec premier Jean Charest, former justice minister Peter MacKay, and MPs Pierre Poilievre and Erin O’Toole.
A professional chemical engineer by training, Gladu worked for Dow Chemical for 21 years before becoming director of engineering at Suncor and a consultant at WorleyParsons.
She is the first female engineer to be elected to the House of Commons.
During her first term of office, Gladu served as Opposition science critic and chaired the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. She also co-chaired the rail caucus and aerospace caucus.
Gladu easily retained her Sarnia-Lambton seat for a second term on Oct. 21 after taking almost 50% of the vote in a six-candidate race.