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Questioning Conservatives

Jan. 19, 2021

By Nate Smelle

Since Hastings Lennox and Addington MP Derek Sloan unseated our area's former MP Mike Bossio in 2019, he has garnered the attention of the media nationwide. Though some might believe that in politics any attention from the press is good press, in Sloan's case the seemingly ever-growing string of scandals attached to him has now become a sort of ball and chain.

On Monday, Jan. 18 federal Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole decided that the weight bogging down our local MP had grown too heavy for the party to carry him any further. Only a few hours after PressProgress broke the news that Sloan had accepted a donation from a known neo-Nazi last August, O'Toole released a scathing statement in which he indicated that there was no longer any room for the social conservative MP within the party.

Throughout his short political career so far, Sloan has come under fire for his views on LGBTQ2S rights. First, for expressing his support of conversion therapy: and second, for suggesting that the science was “unclear” regarding the cause of sexual orientation. During his campaign to replace former federal Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, Sloan also provoked a public backlash when he indicated that if selected to lead the party he would re-open the abortion debate, and introduce a private member bill to overturn same sex marriage.

The current scandal regarding his acceptance of a donation from white supremacist and Holocaust denier Frederick Paul Fromm - the same neo-Nazi recently seen supporting an anti-lockdown protest held by a barbecue restaurant owner in the GTA defying the provincial COVID-19 regulations- is not the first time Sloan has been accused of racism. For example, last year at this time Sloan was criticized for his racial insensitivity when he labeled the land defenders from the Tyendinaga Mohawk First Nation who organized a blockade in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs campaign to protect their traditional territory as “radical extremists.”

Sloan, who has repeatedly been accused of governing from the “Donald Trump playbook,” was again called out for promoting a racist ideology when he falsely asserted that Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam was in fact an agent of the Chinese Communist Party.

Nevertheless, whether you believe our MP to be a racist, homophobic, conspiracy theorist and Trumpist or not, Sloan has exposed a deep divide within the Conservative Party. A chasm similar to the one that the outgoing U.S. president and his white supremacist supporters have dug south of the border. If indeed O'Toole sincerely wants the Conservative Party to be one that "welcomes all Canadians, regardless of race, religion, economic standing, education, or sexual orientation," expelling one scandalous social conservative MP from his caucus will not bring about the political transformation he desires.

That my friends will require O'Toole and his fellow Conservatives to engage in some soul searching in regard to what exactly their party stands for in 2021. Instead of seeking out and expelling individual candidates who loudly profess a political ideology that many other elected Conservatives uphold through their voting patterns, O'Toole first needs to ask why a notorious neo-Nazi like Fromm would choose to support his party above the others. Before the Conservatives can expect to convince anyone that they are a party for progressive change, O'Toole and every member of his caucus what it is about their policies and style of government that racists and fascists find so appealing.

Post date: 2021-01-19 18:59:03
Post date GMT: 2021-01-19 23:59:03
Post modified date: 2021-01-19 18:59:09
Post modified date GMT: 2021-01-19 23:59:09
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