The Conservative Party of Canada has voted to kick Ontario MP and former leadership challenger Derek Sloan from the party.
Sloan, the MP for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, was removed from the party following controversy over receiving a $131 donation from a noted white nationalist named Paul Fromm — though the donation was made by using his full name, Frederick P. Fromm.
Sloan's campaign to become leader of the Conservative Party raised more than $1-million in donations, and 10 per cent of the funds sent to the campaign by Fromm were taken by the party.
After passing its Reform Act, a member can be removed from the Conservative Party if 20 per cent of its members agree to start a review process. Subsequently, a member can be kicked out should a majority of the party vote to do so.
Today, the Conservative Party held a vote on whether or not Sloan would remain in the party, ultimately voting in favour of his dismissal. Sloan was quickly removed from the Conservative Party's list of MPs on its website shortly after.
The 36-year-old MP has vowed to sit as an independent, and urged his supporters to keep their party memberships and participate in its upcoming virtual convention.
“No matter how ugly — how undemocratic — the events of the last two days have been, always remember, the Party is not the personal property of Erin O'Toole; the CPC belongs to you — the grassroots of the Party,” Sloan told supporters in an email.
Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole said in a statement that he “voted to remove Derek Sloan not 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.”
Disputes between the party and Sloan have arisen over how exactly Fromm was able to donate in the first place. Sloan alleges that individuals who signed up to support him were directed from his personal campaign website to the party's main website. He suggests that the party accepted Fromm as a member and was allowed to vote in the leadership nomination process, adding that “by their own standards, they are more guilty than I am.”
Sloan's political opinions have generated controversy from those outside conservative circles, with critics often pointing to his socially conservative views as troublesome for the party.
Yet, during the leadership race O'Toole courted support from Sloan's backers, likely helping propel the Durham, Ontario MP to his eventual victory, as supporters of Sloan and Leslyn Lewis chose O'Toole as their second or third choice nominee.
“I did not vote to remove Derek Sloan from our caucus because he is a social conservative,” O'Toole's statement said. “We have many Members of Parliament of deep compassion and unmatched character, who like many Canadians, draw strength from their faith.”
Sloan vowed to continue his fight for conservative values, telling supporters that he had no plans of “going quietly into the night.”