Sarnia-Lambton Conservative MP considering leadership run, will confirm decision after winter holidays

Sarnia-Lambton Conservative MP considering leadership run, will confirm decision after winter holidays

Conservative Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu says she's not ruling out plans to run for the Conservative Party of Canada's top leadership job.

Gladu, who currently holds the post of official opposition critic for health, said "a lot of people [are] encouraging me to enter the leadership race," adding that she'll be ready to confirm her decision after the Christmas holidays, once she's had a chance to speak with friends and family. 

"I think as it comes to what we need, somebody that can unite the Conservative Party, obviously, and somebody that can in the next election, I could be both of things," said Gladu, who has held the Sarnia-Lambton riding for the Conservatives since 2015. 

She cited "32 years of global business experience," as well as successful performances in Parliament, among her credentials.

"The question that I have to reflect on is, am I ready to put in the amount of time?" Gladu said. "You can see from [Andrew Scheer] stepping down, he had a lot of family commitments and found that very difficult. I'm in a different position. My children are all grown up and moved away, so it's just me."

Scheer steps down

Conservative Regina-Qu'Appelle MP Andrew Scheer announced on Thursday plans to step down as party leader as soon as his successor has been elected. 

Scheer cited the toll the leadership role has taken on him and his family as one reason why he's stepping down. 

Questions regarding payments made to cover the cost of private school for Andrew Scheer's children also began to swirl amidst his resignation.

His office confirmed to CBC News that the Conservative Party was paying the difference between the cost of private school tuition for Scheer's kids in Saskatchewan and the higher cost of tuition in Ottawa, along with some other expenses. That cost was described as "minimal" but amounted to thousands of dollars.

His office insisted the tuition matter was not the reason for Scheer's resignation.

The announcement came after more than a month of discussions between Conservative party members and other Conservative voices regarding the future of the party and the future of Scheer's leadership. 

CBC News has also learned that Conservative Durham MP Erin O'Toole, who served as Veterans Affairs Minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper, has told high-profile Conservatives that he plans on running for the post of party leader. 

The Conservative Party of Canada's National Council has yet to formally announce when the next leadership election will be held.