Ontario MP Derek Sloan says he will now sit as an independent in the House of Commons, according to a statement he released on Jan. 20 shortly after the Conservative Party caucus voted to oust him.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole on Jan. 18 had announced plans to remove Sloan from the party over a $131 donation from Paul Fromm, who has described himself as a “white nationalist,” to Sloan’s leadership campaign in 2020. “Acceptance of a donation from a well-known white supremacist is far worse than a gross error of judgment or failure of due diligence,” O’Toole said.
Sloan responded that he wasn’t aware of that donation, as his campaign received over 13,000 contributions. He added that the Conservative Party is also responsible for not flagging the donation and for taking its standard cut.
“If I am guilty of something, they are guilty of something,” Sloan said in a Facebook video on Jan. 18.
He released a statement the same day saying that, “after further investigation, it was clear the donation was made using the name Frederick P. Fromm. Using this obscure form of his identity, he donated $131 dollars, and 10% went to the party. His donation was processed without either my campaign or the CPC [Conservative Party of Canada] realizing who had made the donation, and the party accepted its 10% cut of the donation. I presume the party kept its 10%.”
Following Sloan’s ousting on Jan. 20, O’Toole said in a statement that the vote to remove him wan’t held because of one specific event, “but because of a pattern of destructive behaviour involving multiple incidents and disrespect towards the Conservative team for over a year.”
For his part, Sloan in his Jan. 20 statement accused O’Toole of going “on a warpath to have me expelled from the CPC caucus.”
Sloan, who along with Leslyn Lewis had the support of social conservatives in the last Conservative leadership race, also said he will continue to “represent true conservative values and policies.”
He urged his supporters not to cancel their party membership, so that they can take part in upcoming delegate selection meetings and vote for those they want to represent them at the next party convention in March.
“I would like you to help vote for the most conservative delegates possible,” Sloan said.