Derek Sloan says there are pluses and minuses to being an independent MP, but on the whole he has accomplished much more sitting as an independent than when he was part of a political party. And with a possible election on the horizon, he says he will run again and thinks he has a good chance of being elected as an independent.
“We’ve been able to vote against certain legislation that no one else was willing to. We’ve been able to ask questions in the House of Commons on subjects that no one else was wishing to,” Sloan told The Epoch Times. “And when I say we, I just mean myself and my few staff.”
Being independent, he said, has allowed him to be more vocal in his opposition to COVID-19 lockdowns, give voice to medical whistleblowers who hold divergent views on COVID treatments, sound the alarm on social media censorship, and question why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was able to attend a Black Lives Matter protest last year while those who joined anti-lockdown protests got fined, among other issues.
“This is the type of thing I would never have been able to do as a member of a party,” he said.
Sloan was ousted from the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) on Jan. 20 on the grounds that he had accepted a small donation last year during his leadership campaign from a known white nationalist—something Sloan insisted he was unaware of. Party leader Erin O’Toole said Sloan was also removed due to a “pattern of destructive behaviour,” while Sloan accused O’Toole of going “on a warpath to have me expelled from the CPC caucus.”
He decided to sit as an independent and continue to be a voice for conservative Canadians.
Sloan notes, however, that there are also challenges when not a member of a party.
“You don’t have the resources of a party, so you have to kind of become your own little party in the sense of researching bills,” he says. “You also are not generally privy to the discussions that are going on behind the scenes with the major parties.”
In addition, having enough time for lengthy speeches in the House doesn’t come easily. “To get an actual 10-minute speaking slot on a bill is challenging, because there’s only one slot for independents.”
Sloan says that among the many pressing issues confronting Canada, one of the most important right now is the federal government’s lack of transparency around certain aspects of its response to the pandemic.
“We’re seeing a major censorship issue, a major government transparency issue, on many things in relation to COVID,” he said. He noted that Bill C-10 and Bill C-36—two controversial bills that aim to regulate internet streaming services and to combat online hate speech respectively—will place “more and more censorship powers in the hands of the government” if they pass. Bill C-10 passed in the House on June 21 and is currently before the Senate, and Bill C-36 was introduced in the House on June 23.
Sloan says other notable bills having great impact on Canadians that should be watched are Bill C-6 (conversion therapy ban), Bill C-7 (medically assisted dying), Bill C-12 (net-zero emissions), Bill C-19 (mail-in ballots), Bill C-21 (banning of certain firearms), and Bill C-22, which would abolish mandatory minimum sentences for all drug crimes and certain gun crimes.
“It’s very bizarre, the logic that’s being used on a lot of these bills,” Sloan said, adding that Canadians need to “wake up and use more discernment and demand better from your politicians.”
“This is a different kind of government—a government that has been passing very freedom-impacting bills. They’ve been spending money hand over fist, there’s probably all kinds of conflict of interest with this spending that we’re only beginning to discover,” he said.
Two other top issues facing Canadians, he adds, are the spread of neo-Marxist ideology, which creates “intersectionality, identity politics, and other things that create numerous different classes of people that are pitted against each other,” and “climate alarmism,” which negatively impacts Canada’s oil and manufacturing industries.
“There are many ways to treat the environment well without destroying our major industries and giving other big polluters like China, India, and other places a free ride,” he said.
As for the next election, which could happen this fall, Sloan said it’s “yet to be determined” whether he will join another party, but he will most likely run as an independent.
“It’s always challenging to get elected as an independent. … It’s not a for-sure thing, but I think my chances are good. I have a lot of support in the riding.”