Recent comments made by an eastern Ontario MP has caused two local officials to ask Andrew Scheer to expel him from his caucus.
This week, Hastings-Lennox and Addington MP Derek Sloan took to social media posting a video suggesting Canada’s top doctor, Theresa Tam, worked for China and “parrots” misinformation handed down by the World Health Organization.
“Dr. Tam must go! Canada must remain sovereign over decisions. The UN, the WHO, and Chinese Communist propaganda must never again have a say over Canada’s public health!” said Sloan on twitter.
The social media posts caught the attention of Hastings County CAO, Jim Pine, and warden, Rick Phillips.
On Thursday, the pair sent Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer a letter asking him to take action against his rookie MP.
“MP Sloan’s comments were cruel, racist and completely unbecoming of a Member of Parliament,” the letter continued on to read.
“If this means expelling him from the Conservative Party, so be it.”
Both Phillips and Pine say Sloan’s comments against Dr. Tam are “disgusting”, and the leader of the opposition needs to take immediate action against the MP — an opinion that many constituents in Sloan’s riding share, according to the bureaucrats.
Over the last few days, social media comments have surfaced accusing Sloan of being “a racist” and “a misogynist”, which he addressed on Friday via an email to supporters.
“None of my arguments for Dr. Tam’s removal were based on Dr. Tam’s race or her sex: they were based on her performance,” read the letter.
This week, Sloan took aim at the Liberal government’s response to COVID-19 writing, “Canada continued to allow flights from Wuhan, believing there was no danger. Donald Trump did the right thing when he cut off funding to the WHO,” he said. “But what about Canada?”
On Friday, Sloan stuck by his Tory leadership campaign slogan, “Conservative – Without Apology”, saying he will not apologize for his comments about Dr. Tam.
“Holding our public officials accountable for their mistakes is my duty as a member of parliament. All the name-calling in the world won’t change that,” the letter read.
The two Hastings County officials told Global News that their MP’s comments have damaged the reputation of the area, but his viewpoints are not indicative of community members. Phillips and Pine said Dr. Tam is a great Canadian, and Sloan’s attacks on her character were disrespectful to all front-line workers.
“We know how hard people are working on the front lines, and Dr. Tam is one of those people, and it is just not right. We thought it was important for us to stand up for it,” said Pine.
On Thursday, Scheer said he would not be commenting on the situation, and so far, he hasn’t responded to the letter from Pine and Phillips.