Conservative MP Derek Sloan defiant ahead of removal vote over campaign donation

Conservative MPs will vote on whether to expel Eastern Ontario MP Derek Sloan from the party caucus Wednesday morning in response to Sloan accepting a donation from a notorious white nationalist during his bid to lead the party.

More than two dozen of the 121 sitting Conservative MPs have signed a letter requesting a review of Sloan’s membership — the first of two steps required to eject a caucus member under party rules — according to multiple Conservative sources who spoke to CBC News on condition they not be named.

Two sources said the meeting where MPs will vote by secret ballot will take place at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday.

O’Toole said yesterday he initiated the process to remove Sloan after news emerged that Paul Fromm contributed $131 to Sloan’s leadership campaign.

Fromm has been a fixture in Canadian hard-right politics for decades and has participated in events with the neo-Nazi Heritage Front. He is is widely regarded as a white supremacist, although he has personally rejected the “neo-Nazi” label.

The donation, which was made under the name Frederick P. Fromm, was first reported by PressProgress, a non-profit news website funded by the left-leaning Broadbent Institute.

Sloan vows to challenge ouster

Sloan said he plans to fight back against the effort to eject him and accused O’Toole and the party of hypocrisy.

Sloan said Fromm was accepted as a member of the party and voted in its 2020 leadership election without raising red flags with party officials or the other candidates — O’Toole included.

“If I am guilty of something, they are guilty of something,” Sloan said in a video posted to Facebook late Monday.

“I’m not going to go down without a fight.”

In a statement to CBC News, Conservative Party director of communications Cory Hann said it was Sloan’s campaign that sold the party membership to Fromm. He said the party would be revoking Fromm’s membership and remitting the funds.

Several Conservatives said Sloan has reached out to caucus members to make his case. His office said he plans to take part in Wednesday’s meeting.

Sloan, who represents the riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington, is a polarizing figure who attracted controversy during the leadership campaign with his socially conservative views on such topics as sexual orientation and conversion therapy. He came under fire from his own colleagues in April after he questioned whether Canada’s chief public health officer was working for China.

O’Toole justified his move by saying there is no place for racism in the Conservative Party.

Just two days ago, O’Toole released a lengthy statement saying there is “no place for the far right” in the party and pushing back at Liberal attempts to link his party to Trump-style politics.

In Sunday’s statement, O’Toole asserted his own views on such issues as abortion, gay rights and reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada, while insisting that his party is not beholden to right-wing extremists and hatemongers.

WATCH | O’Toole moves to kick Derek Sloan out of caucus after donation from white nationalist

O’Toole moves to kick Derek Sloan out of caucus after donation from white nationalist

The National

12 hours agoVideo

1:36

Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole is looking to remove former leadership candidate Derek Sloan from caucus after learning Sloan accepted a donation from a self-described white nationalist.1:36

The move to eject Sloan represents something of an about-face for O’Toole. During the leadership race, O’Toole told MPs Sloan ought not to be kicked out of caucus over the remarks he made about Tam — and even bought ads on social media defending that position.

Some in party circles are questioning the decision to move against Sloan in response to Fromm’s donation.

“That he plays silly bugger word games that homosexuality is a choice should have disqualified him. But kicking him out over a donation from a racist who disguised his identity? So many good reasons to kick him out. Not sure this is one,” wrote Chisholm Pothier on Twitter. Pothier worked on Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay’s campaign and has a long history in provincial and federal conservative politics.

“Glad he’s gone. But ends justifying the means is easy, principled politics is hard.”

That he plays silly bugger word games that homosexuality is a choice should have disqualified him. But kicking him out over a donation from a racist who disguised his identity? So many good reasons to kick him out. Not sure this is one. /3

—@chisholmp

The party leader doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally remove an MP from caucus. Under the Reform Act, an MP can only be expelled from caucus after 20 per cent of caucus members formally request a membership review, and after a majority vote in favour of removal.

O’Toole does, however, have the authority to prevent Sloan from running under the Conservative banner in future elections — a power he has said he’ll invoke.

Speaking to reporters earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Liberal Party has called on the Conservatives to remove Sloan from its caucus for months due to “unacceptable comments” he has made in the past.

WATCH| Trudeau is asked about controversial Conservative MP Derek Sloan

Trudeau is asked about controversial Conservative MP Derek Sloan

8 hours agoVideo

2:17

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters outside Rideau Cottage on Tuesday.2:17

“Political parties need to remain vigilant — particularly in the wake of what we see in the United States — from the infiltration or the active presence of fringe or extremist, or violent or unacceptable or intolerant elements, ” Trudeau said.

“We are pleased that Erin O’Toole has finally decided to take leadership. We’ll see how that unfolds.”

Trudeau himself faced questions about why two groups run by Fromm received COVID-19 relief money through the Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS). In response, Trudeau said the federal government moved quickly to set up relief programs with broad eligibility and that the Canada Revenue Agency is conducting due diligence after the fact to make sure all individuals and organizations who received money actually qualified.

Front Burner19:11Erin O’Toole’s far-right line in the sand

“There is no place for the far right in our party.” That’s a quote from a statement released on Sunday by Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, where he condemns the riot in the U.S. Capitol and paints a moderate picture of the Conservative Party under his leadership. On the heels of the statement, PressProgress revealed that MP Derek Sloan accepted a donation from a notorious white supremacist, leading O’Toole to move to oust Sloan from the Conservative party. Today, CBC parliamentary hill journalist Aaron Wherry on why O’Toole felt he had to declare the Conservatives to be “sitting squarely in the centre of Canadian politics” and what it says about him and the party he leads.19:11

Credits belong to : www.cbc.ca

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