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Derek Sloan announces independent run for Banff-Airdrie

“I am disappointed by many Conservative MPs, but some of them deserve more … ire from their constituents than others, and one of them is the MP of this riding, Blake Richards. He’s the whip of Erin O’Toole and he’s carrying O’Toole’s water out here."
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Derek Sloan announced his intentions to run in the Banff-Airdrie riding from the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre on Thursday (Aug. 19). (Tyler Klinkhammer/The Cochrane Eagle)

COCHRANE – Controversial conservative Derek Sloan announced his intention to run for MP in Banff-Airdrie from the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre on Thursday (Aug. 16). 

The new Banff-Airdrie hopeful was ousted from the federal Conservative Party in January for accepting a donation from well-known white nationalist Paul Fromm. 

“Derek Sloan’s acceptance of a donation from a well-known white supremacist is far worse than a gross error of judgment or a failure of due diligence,” said Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole in a statement at the time, indicating that he had begun the process of formally removing Sloan from thew Conservative Party caucus. “Racism is a disease of the soul, repugnant to our core values. It has no place in our country. It has no place in the Conservative Party of Canada. I won’t tolerate it.” 

Sloan, giving up his position of MP in southeastern Ontario’s Hasting—Lennox and Addington riding, now plans to take on four-term Conservative MP Blake Richards.  

“We are starting a movement that’s going to spread across the country, but for the next 33-and-a-half days we’re going to take a brief hiatus right here in Banff-Airdrie,” Sloan said.  

During his announcement speech, Sloan took aim at the Liberals, NDP and even his former Tory colleagues, including the incumbent Richards.  

“I am disappointed by many Conservative MPs, but some of them deserve more … ire from their constituents than others, and one of them is the MP of this riding, Blake Richards. He’s the whip of Erin O’Toole and he’s carrying O’Toole’s water out here,” he said. "When you take your constituents for granted, when you care more about Ottawa than you do your own constituents, we’re going to come for you.” 

Sloan, running as an independent, said to a crowd of about 500 he chose to intentionally run against Conservative Party whip Richards, adding that his running in Banff-Airdrie will serve as a “shot across the bow” of the Conservative Party. 

“It’s going to be Blake, or it’s going to be me,” he said. “We’ve done our homework, we know how this is shaping up. The NDP or the Liberals, they cannot win. There’s no way.” 

In a press release issued by People’s Party of Canada candidate Nadine Wellwood, she criticized the “Ottawa transplant” for trying to steal a seat from an Albertan. 

“Obviously, Sloan lacks the confidence and the courage to run in his own riding, where he would face a strong Liberal opponent. So, he has decided to come to Alberta in an attempt to steal one of Alberta’s seats, denying an Albertan a voice in the House of Commons,” Wellwood said. “Sloan has just proven himself to be another egotistical, selfish Ottawa transplant that sees Albertans as nothing more than an opportunity to advance his own political career.” 

She continued to say Alberta did not need “Ottawa’s leftovers” to be their representative in the east. 

“Albertans do not want or need another Ottawa politician to ‘save us.’ Albertans want and deserve an actual Albertan to be their voice, their representative in Ottawa.”