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OTTAWA, April 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused a Conservative leadership candidate of “racism” for questioning Canada’s top health officer’s ties to the World Health Organization and its relationship to the Communist Party of China.

But Ontario MP Derek Sloan has refused to back down, and instead released a letter Friday stating his charges against Dr. Theresa Tam had nothing to do with her race or sex but were based on “her performance as our Chief Public Health Officer.”

“I heard the Prime Minister’s comments yesterday. Trudeau seems to have taken note of my observation of Dr. Tam’s excessive deference to the increasingly discredited World Health Organization (WHO), which is heavily influenced by the Chinese Communist Party, after which he leaped all the way to unfounded accusations of racism,” Sloan wrote.

“No one knows better than Justin Trudeau that anyone — of any race — can hold foolish international Communist sympathies. He himself has spoken of his admiration for China’s ‘basic dictatorship,’” added the MP.

“Would I be called a racist for using his own remarks to point out his bias in favour of the Chinese Communist Party?”

Sloan also said he expected such accusations because “we are in a culture where political correctness and identity politics are used as a shield to deflect or even outlaw criticism.”

A social conservative and one of four approved candidates in the Conservative leadership race — which has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic — Sloan sparked a controversy on social media Tuesday when he tweeted a letter and video calling for Tam to be fired or resign.

“Does (Tam) work for Canada or for China?” Sloan asks in the video — the statement many in the media, such as CTV’s Evan Solomon, focused on as unfairly questioning Tam’s loyalty.

Reporters duly asked Trudeau on Thursday about Sloan’s remarks.

“Intolerance and racism have no place in our country. Canada has succeeded because of our diversity,” the prime minister replied.

Sloan’s views were likewise denounced on social media as “repugnant,” “vile” and “xenophobic,” according to CBC, which reported that Tory MPs Dan Albas, Tim Uppal, Eric Duncan, and Michelle Rempel Garner also publicly distanced themselves from the remarks, with the latter scolding Sloan in seven indignant tweets.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also weighed IN, alleging on Twitter that Chinese Canadians have been abused during the crisis and that “there is no question that MP Sloan’s comments against Dr. Theresa Tam fuel this kind of racism. (Conservative leader) Andrew Scheer needs to clearly denounce this.”

The warden and the chief administrative officer of Hastings County, which is within Sloan’s eastern Ontario riding, also asked Scheer in a letter to denounce Sloan’s alleged “cruel” and “racist” remarks, and possibly expel the rookie MP from the party, to show his views don’t reflect those of the Tory caucus, CTV News reported.

Scheer, however, punted questions about controversy back to Sloan.

“I won’t be commenting on individual statements or positions that leadership candidates take. That’s up for them to explain, and ultimately the members of our party will decide when they vote in a leadership race,” he said at a news conference Thursday.

Scheer himself has questioned the WHO’s record during the pandemic and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) but focused his criticism not on Tam but on the Trudeau government, CBC reported.

Moreover, while many denounced him on social media, as many, if not more, agreed with Sloan, who pointed out in his April 21 letter that Tam was “one of seven physicians on a WHO oversight committee whose job is to prevent politics from interfering with what happens during health emergencies.”

He contended that the “WHO has been a puppet of the People’s Republic of China for over a decade now” and that Tam “dutifully repeats the propaganda of a CCP government obsessed with political control and saving face.”

That was echoed by Daniel Bordman, an independent political commentator who tweeted in response to Singh:

Sloan, whose campaign slogan is “Conservative. Without apology” linked to a Facebook video by Bordman in his Friday letter.

“Dr. Theresa Tam has shown terrible judgment and great incompetence handing COVID-19. She was wrong on travel bans. She was wrong on asymptomatic transmission. She was wrong on voluntary quarantines. And Justin Trudeau stood by Dr. Tam’s — and the WHO’s — advice every step of the way,” he wrote then.

“Dr. Tam’s mismanagement is more than just a political scandal. Very likely, it has cost many Canadians their lives, and that is beyond unacceptable,” he said.

Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group, lauded Sloan for his stance.

“Sloan was 1000 percent correct in calling for this bureaucrat, who has a clear conflict of interest between Canada and the Communist Chinese dictatorship, to be fired,” said Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life’s director of political operations.

“Sloan is once again showing true leadership by saying what needs to be said, and not worrying about political correctness, nor the predictable attacks by the pro-Trudeau ‘Media Party,’” he added.

“This willingness to go outside the media party’s official talking points is precisely what would make Derek Sloan a great Conservative Party Leader, and future Prime Minister.”

Ironically, the Toronto Globe and Mail report on Trudeau condemning Sloan’s remarks as “racist” led with news that the one million masks Ottawa bought from China “failed to meet standards for health care professionals and will not be distributed to provinces or cities.”

Campaign Life is urging all pro-life, pro-family Canadians 14 years of age or older to buy a Conservative Party membership by May 15 in order to vote for the new leader.