Just hours before a scheduled meet-and-greet in Barry’s Bay, MP Derek Sloan was approved to be a candidate in the race to become the new leader of the Conservative Party.
Sloan joins Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu, lawyer Leslyn Lewis, MP for Durham Erin O’Toole and Peter McKay, who was the last leader of the Progressive Conservative Party before its name was shortened to the Conservative Party. He later served as the Deputy Leader for the Party while Stephen Harper was Prime Minister.
To be an official candidate, you need to raise $25,000 for the registration fee and obtain 1,000 signatures from party members along with being approved by the leadership committee. “We’ve been working really hard to get our 1,000 signatures,” Sloan tells the MyBancroftNow.com newsroom.
The next deadline for candidates is March 25th. A $300,000 “entrance fee” needs to be paid and they will need to get 3,000 signatures from party members from 30 electoral district associations in at least seven provinces or territories.
“We’re going to be focusing on fundraising and policy right now,” Sloan says. Now that he’s officially in the race he will be publishing more of his policy on his website and social media in the “next couple of weeks.” He explains he wants to hit “big time” on issues like housing and taxation. Sloan says he always wants to ensure that issues facing residents in the riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington get “national play.” Since joining the race Sloan has published open letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the Wet’suwet’en rail blockades that were happening throughout the country – including in Tyendinaga Township, which is apart of Sloan’s riding. “I’ve also been very concerned about the water levels in the Bay of Quinte,” Sloan adds, noting how he put out an open letter on that issue as well. “I’m trying to highlight issues that are important to our riding as well as other national issues that deserve our attention,” he adds.
The meet-and-greet in Barry’s Bay was sponsored by Renfrew County Right to Life. 14 people attended the get-together at the Paul J. Yakabuski Centre. When asked about bring pro-life, Sloan said his “general impression” is that a “good chunk” of the party is pro-life. He added that many believe there should be a discussion on the issue. He also touched on issues like media bias, climate change and same-sex marriage during the informal gathering.
He also spoke about Peter McKay, saying he considers him to be a “red Tory” and that he’s too concerned about the media consensus. Sloan said he believes McKay will have a tougher time than he thinks getting “the base” of the Party to support him.
“I think people are really excited to see how this race will turn out and they’re looking for new and fresh ideas,” Sloan says.
Right now he and his team are on an “Ontario tour” but will begin gong around to other parts of the Country soon as the race ramps up.