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Prime minister Gladu? Local MP pondering Conservative leadership bid

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Troy Shantz

Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu says she is “definitely maybe” considering a run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

“It’s a lot to think about. I’m going to take it under consideration,” Gladu told The Journal Thursday.

Speculation surfaced just hours after leader Andrew Scheer announced his resignation as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons on Dec. 12.

A source close to Sarnia-Lambton Conservatives said talk of a possible Gladu leadership run has been underway for weeks, and appeals have been made locally for support.

Gladu denied a plan was already in the works.

“Everyone is really shocked by the news today that Andrew is stepping down, so that’s very fresh. And we’ll wait to hear from the national council who will put together the rules for the leadership race, so we’ll see,” she said.

“I do think it’s the right thing for his family and certainly for the party. We need to find a leader that can lead us into the next election to victory.”

Asked what she could offer as party leader, Gladu cited her global business experience and success as a Parliamentarian.

“But that said, this is a big step and it’s a big job, and there’s lots to consider. I’m sure there’ll be many others that will present, and we’ll take it under consideration.”

Scheer faced criticism from within his own party after a disappointing loss in October’s federal election. Though the Tories gained more seats they failed to win a majority, disappointing many party faithful.

The father of five said he was stepping down for family reasons.

“In order to chart the course ahead, this party, this movement, needs someone who can give 100% to this effort, and after some conversations with my kids, my loved ones, I felt it was time to put my family first,” Scheer told the House.

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.

In November she was renamed opposition health critic in Scheer’s shadow cabinet.

A chemical engineer before entering politics, Gladu was named Canada’s “most collegial” MP by Macleans magazine in her first term, made frequent appearances on CBC and CTV political programs, and managed to push through a private member’s bill on palliative care.



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