TORONTO, March 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-life Conservative Member of Parliament Derek Sloan has now become an “authorized contestant” for leader of the Conservative party of Canada after having submitted the required $150,000 to the party and 2000 verified signatures of party members who have vouched for him.
“With all the donations and signatures pouring into the campaign, I’ve reached the next stage in my journey to represent true Conservative ideas in the CPC leadership race,” said Sloan in an email update to supporters.
Candidates in Canada’s Conservative Party leadership race have until March 25 to submit the balance of $300,000 and 3,000 signatures in order to stay in the contest and get on the ballot. This leaves Sloan with another $150,000 to raise and submit along with another 1000 signatures in order to cross the finish line to becoming an official “verified” candidate.
So far, there are two verified candidates. There are six other candidates who are working to become verified so that they will appear on the ballot.
Three of the six candidates are supported by Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family lobbying group: Jim Karaholios, Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan.
Sloan, however, has now leaped a significant hurdle in being listed as an “authorized contestant” on the Conservative Party website. This allows the rookie Ontario MP and father of three to have access to the coveted party membership list, which he can mine for donations and votes in the dash to the deadline just two weeks away.
The only other two candidates to reach this benchmark so far are also fully verified and on the ballot: former Nova Scotia MP Peter MacKay, and Ontario MP Erin O’Toole.
“I’m thrilled to be the third authorized contestant and have reached the ‘stage two’ milestone of the journey toward getting my name on the ballot for CPC leader,” Sloan told LifeSiteNews in an email statement.
“The membership will now be able to receive email communications from a real conservative candidate in this race.”
Karaholios, an Ontario lawyer and businessman well-known in political circles for his 2017 “Axe the Carbon Tax” campaign, has also reportedly reached this point, but at press time was not yet listed as an authorized candidate on the Conservative website.
Lewis was in Ottawa Tuesday giving media interviews and her campaign told the National Post that she has enough signatures, and is hoping to submit the next installment of money soon.
Of the candidates supported by Campaign Life, Sloan is the only sitting MP, having been elected in October 2019 when the Trudeau Liberals won a second term but were reduced to a minority.
Critics inside and outside the party blamed their loss to a great extent on leader Andrew Scheer’s personal pro-life views and his poor handling of the media hounding him about those beliefs, and they claimed social conservativism was an electoral liability.
Shortly after the election, current leadership contender MacKay said Scheer’s personal views — which Scheer repeatedly rejected as a basis for any policy — put controversial issues like abortion and homosexual “marriage” on the agenda, and that this “hung around Andrew Scheer’s neck like a stinking albatross.” Two months later Scheer announced his resignation.
But Sloan says his success so far is proving MacKay wrong.
“I am honoured and humbled by the groundswell of support I’ve received and I think that everyone who shares my unapologetically pro-life outlook can feel a certain amount of vindication in seeing that, far from being what one of my leadership rivals once called ‘a stinking albatross’ around the neck of the CPC, we are and always will be a vibrant and essential component of the party and of the Canadian social fabric,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“We are showing the strength and commitment of the grassroots who want to keep ‘conservatives’ in the CPC, including social conservatives, democratic conservatives, and fiscal conservatives,” added Sloan.
However, Sloan still needs to raise another $150,000 in the next two weeks to get on the ballot.
“Anyone who wants to see me keep standing up for life, for family, and for all the truly Conservative truths that our country so desperately needs can donate to help me get through the final hurdle,” he said. (To donate to Sloan’s campaign, go here.)
“I am so grateful for all the support, and I am proud to represent the aspirations of those who have put their trust in me.”
Campaign Life is urging all pro-life advocates to buy Conservative Party memberships (here) by April 17 to be eligible to vote in the leadership race, which will end June 27 when the new leader is announced at a party convention in Toronto.