Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole wants to oust MP and failed leadership candidate Derek Sloan from the Tory caucus over his campaign’s acceptance of a donation from a white supremacist.
“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,” Mr. O’Toole said in a statement late Monday.
“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.”
As leader, Mr. O’Toole doesn’t hold the power to boot a caucus member, but his Monday statement was quickly met with support by other Conservative MPs, who, along with Tory senators, will vote on Mr. Sloan’s future “as quickly as possible.”
“Good riddance,” Ontario Conservative MP Eric Duncan wrote. He was quickly followed by fellow Ontario MP Scott Aitchison, who thanked Mr. O’Toole for “doing what must be done.” The Conservatives are holding a caucus retreat this week, but no date has been set for the vote.
The Conservative Party will also revoke Mr. Sloan’s nomination to run in the next election.
On Monday, Press Progress, a website funded by the Broadbent Institute (named for former NDP leader Ed Broadbent), first published news of the donation. The $131 contribution from Frederick P. Fromm in August is listed under the Conservative Party. Tory spokesman Cory Hann said the donation was made to Mr. Sloan, but the party processed the donation.
Mr. Fromm is more widely known as Paul Fromm, but he made the donation to Mr. Sloan under his full name.
“You better believe I’m fighting this – this is a straight setup,” Mr. Sloan said in a statement to The Globe and Mail.
Mr. Sloan said he did not know until Monday that Mr. Fromm had donated to his campaign and he pointed out that Mr. Fromm used an “obscure form of his identity” to make the donation. He said the party also had a responsibility to vet Mr. Fromm’s contribution because it processed the donation on Mr. Sloan’s behalf and charged a 10-per-cent fee for the service.
Mr. Sloan said the party accepted a membership application from Mr. Fromm and he was allowed to vote in the leadership election last August. A search of Elections Canada records shows Mr. Fromm did not make a donation to any other leadership candidates.
Mr. Fromm was stripped of his teaching licence in Ontario in 2007, after he attended Heritage Front events, celebrated Adolf Hitler’s birthday and shared a stage with David Duke, a former head of the Ku Klux Klan. In December, CBC reported that two of Mr. Fromm’s organizations received pandemic relief funds through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
Mr. Sloan has previously suggested that Canada’s top doctor is a pawn for China, sponsored a petition that called COVID-19 vaccines “human experimentation,” and said that most children questioning their sexual or gender orientation will just “grow out of it.”
During the 2020 leadership race, Mr. O’Toole paid for an ad pointing out that he was a hold-out in a previous bid to boot Mr. Sloan from caucus. That move was triggered by Mr. Sloan’s call to fire Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam in April. In one video, he asked: “Does she work for Canada or for China?”
“Erin was the only MP to speak out on Derek’s behalf,” the Facebook ad said.
In his Monday statement, Mr. O’Toole said “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.”
With reports from Jill Mahoney and The Canadian Press.
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