Derek Sloan, Member of Parliament for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, says he was unaware of a $131 donation made to his Conservative Party of Canada leadership campaign last summer by a known white supremacist.
The funding revelation, reported by Press Progress on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, has the MP at risk of removal from the party altogether.
“Derek Sloan’s acceptance of a donation from a well-known white supremacist is far worse than a gross error of judgement or a lack of due diligence,” said a statement from Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole Monday evening. “I have initiated the process to remove Mr. Sloan from the Conservative Party of Canada Caucus.”
Sloan responded on Twitter shortly afterwards.
“My campaign raised well over $1,300,000 and had over 13,000 separate donations,” Sloan tweeted Monday night. “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.”
“Paul Fromm is a notorious name to some, but not to everyone, and clearly this name, mixed as it was in the midst of thousands of other donations, did not ring any bells to my team,” he added. “Upon learning about what happened, I immediately contacted the Executive Director of the Conservative Party, Janet Dorey, and requested this donation be returned.”
During his 2020 leadership campaign, Sloan drew attention for his social conservative views, stating that if elected he would allow Conservative MPs to reopen the topic of abortion rights in the House of Commons. “Bring on the debate,” he reportedly told the CBC in January, 2020.
In April, Sloan denounced the response of Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Theresa Tam to the COVID-19 pandemic, questioning whether she worked for Canada or China in a video shared on social media. The video was publicly criticized as racist, and called inappropriate by then CPC leader Andrew Scheer.
As the CPC’s new leader, and Sloan’s formal rival for the job, O’Toole seized the question of the campaign donation to make a firm statement about the CPC’s position on racism.
“Racism is a disease of the soul, repugnant to our core values,” O’Toole’s statement tonight read. “It has no place in our country. It has no place in the Conservative Party of Canada. I won’t tolerate it.”