Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu. Submitted Photo.

Federal Budget Disappointing, Gladu

Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu is disappointed by the federal budget, saying urgent health issues have been left unaddressed despite massive deficit spending.

“One of the things that is most disappointing is that the words palliative care don’t appear in the budget at all,” says Gladu. “They took the $11-billion in home-care, palliative care and mental health care that had been pledged over five years. They’ve now got it over ten years and they’ve taken out the words palliative care, so I find that pretty disappointing.”

Gladu’s private member’s bill that is to ensure better access to palliative care across the country was passed into law late last year.

The Conservative member, who serves as health critic in the party’s shadow cabinet, is concerned that previously announced mental health funding has been reduced.

“And then they’ve added four million dollars per year for dementia in Canada. Do you know how many people in Canada have dementia? Four million dollars is like saying here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.”

Additionally, Gladu says she’s disappointed not to see any treatment centres to address the opioid crisis but they’re spending nearly a billion dollars on legalizing marijuana.

Outside of healthcare, Gladu says a pocket of funding announced for Small Craft Harbours under the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, offers small hope to get the ice-ravaged Sombra ferry crossing reopened.

“So far I’ve been turned down by five ministers and the Prime Minister’s Office, so I would say that I’m not encouraged but I’m not going to give up until we’ve explored every option,” says Gladu. “This small craft harbours funding for 250 million looks like something we may get something out of.”

Gladu says the 2018 budget contains three times the deficit promised, another $18.6-billion with no return to balanced budgets in the foreseeable future.

-With files from Dave Dentinger