Q&A with Marilyn Gladu, Conservative Party

Q1: The climate crisis and changing attitudes globally have put fossil fuels in the crosshairs. Any ideas on transitioning the Sarnia-Lambton economy to one less reliant on oil and gas?

Marilyn Gladu

GLADU: We need to continue to diversify into the cleantech and bio industry jobs that I have helped to bring to Sarnia (Origin Plastics, LCY Biosciences, the renewable energy plants, etc.).

We have made progress in our petrochemical industry to reduce our emissions and must continue to implement technology that can also be leveraged to those in the world who are the substantive contributors to the footprint.

Our agricultural sector has done much good work to reduce their footprint and contribute to the absorption of CO2. Canadians are innovators and we need to do a better job of being a competitive place to launch and commercialize new ideas.

We will invest an additional $3 billion between now and 2030 in natural climate solutions focused on management of forest, crop and grazing lands and restoration of grasslands, wetlands, and forests. These solutions can have multiple benefits: not only will they help sequester carbon, but they can also provide protection for communities and additional benefits for wildlife. We’ll work with the agriculture and forestry sectors to identify and support ways in which the sectors can contribute to enhancing carbon sequestration.

Q2: Many of our young people are drowning in student debt and home ownership has become a pipe dream. What can be done to make life more affordable for young people in our community?

GLADU: The dream of affording to own a home has become out of reach under the current Liberal government. The Conservative Canada Recovery Plan outlines ways to increase the supply of housing, restrict foreign investment, and lower the financial hurdles so that people will be able to purchase a home. To put more money into the hands of students (and all Canadians), the Conservative job strategy will increase the opportunity for students to work at higher wages. The plans to reduce credit card fees, Internet expenses, cell phone bills and to lower taxes will allow students to quickly repay their loans.

Q3: Vaccine passports. Where do you stand, personally, on government requiring citizens to provide proof of vaccination to attend events and access non-essential services?

GLADU: Vaccines are an important tool in the fight against COVID-19 and I encourage everyone who is able to get one. But Canadians have the right to make their own choices when it comes to their health.

Here in Sarnia-Lambton, we have achieved a high percent of double vaccinated individuals and have an extremely low COVID-19 case count. Our citizens have continued to observe the COVID-19 protocols for the safety of all. The provinces have the authority to establish and implement their own health guidelines.

Q4: Canada’s federal debt surpassed a mind-boggling $1 trillion this year and is growing at the rate of $17 million each and every hour, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Are you concerned about federal spending, and if so, what can we do without?

GLADU: The out-of-control government spending has left Canadians with a 1.3 trillion-dollar debt that will cost each person $250 a month every month for 20 years to repay. This type of spending is not sustainable. That said, we must repair our economy and help transition to a secure future. The Conservatives have a plan to budget in the ten-year term while at the same time increasing funding for things like health care, mental health, support for persons with disabilities, palliative care, and employment insurance. By contrast, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has reported that the Liberals plan will not balance the budget before 2070. We cannot put this debt on future generations.

Q5: What, to you, is the most important issue in Sarnia-Lambton right now, and why?

GLADU: The most important issue in Sarnia is to come with a plan to exit this pandemic and restore the economy. People want to work, to have their lives return to normal, and to be able to gather again with family that they have not seen in nearly two years.

That and addressing health issues such as mental health, addiction and suicide, which have risen to epidemic levels must be a priority. Additionally, continuing to bring and protect jobs to Sarnia-Lambton, including the fight to keep the Line 5 pipeline open, is a critical issue that I will continue to address.