Dogged by controversy since his election in 2019, rookie Conservative politician Derek Sloan, Hastings-Lennox and Addington MP, is facing a call by Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole that he be expelled from the party caucus.
O’Toole has accused Sloan of accepting a leadership campaign donation from an alleged right-wing white supremacist, grounds for ejection from caucus, the party leader said.
O’Toole also signalled he will not allow Sloan to run as a Conservative candidate for re-election.
The call comes not long after O’Toole said there is no room for right-wing extremists in the Conservative Party.
On his Twitter account, O’Toole tweeted: “Racism has no place in the Conservative Party of Canada” in connection to a report that Sloan had reportedly received a cash donation to support his failed bid for the party leadership last year.
“Derek Sloan’s acceptance of a donation from a well-known white supremacist is far worse than a gross error of judgment or failure of due diligence,” O’Toole wrote in a separate statement issued late Monday.
“In accordance with the Reform Act, I have initiated the process to remove Mr. Sloan from the Conservative Party of Canada caucus. I expect this to be done as quickly as possible. Moreover, as Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, I will not allow Mr. Sloan to run as a candidate for our party.”
“Racism is a disease of the soul, repugnant to our core values. It has no place in our country. It has no place in the Conservative Party of Canada. I won’t tolerate it,” O’Toole said.
On his Twitter account, Sloan countered Monday that he had no knowledge of the donation nor the person, Paul Fromm, who made the donation.
Sloan tweeted that he became aware of a news article around 4 p.m. on Monday that “brought to light that Paul Fromm, a person with known connections to racist groups, donated $131 to my campaign.
“My campaign raised well over $1.3 million and had over 13,000 donations. On any given day we had upwards of hundreds of different donations, and my team, which was run in many cases by volunteers, processed cheques and other things. At no time was I ever aware of this donation,” Sloan tweeted.
He also noted that “Fromm is a notorious name to some, but not to everyone, mixed as it was in the midst of thousands of other donations, did not ring any bells to my team.”
“Upon learning about what happened, I immediately contacted the executive director of the Conservative Party Janet Dorey and requested this donation be returned,” Sloan tweeted.
The latest scandal follows a long list of controversies by Sloan, a lawyer, who has repeatedly found himself in hot water before and after he ran against O’Toole for leadership of the Conservative Party in August 2020, placing fourth.
Sloan finished last in the leadership race behind candidates Leslyn Lewis, Peter Mackay, and the party’s new federal leader O’Toole, who won on the third round of delayed ranked-ballot counting and took 57 per cent of the party membership vote.
Sloan became a household name early last year across Canada when he made damning remarks querying whether Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, was working for China instead of Canada in regard to decisions she made regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Critics slammed Sloan’s remarks as racist given Tam’s heritage.