With the Prime Minister still capturing most of the news with his daily COVID-19 updates, long-shot Conservative leadership candidate Derek Sloan decided on the low road of dog-whistle politics to get some national traction.
It got pretty ugly pretty quick.
The majority of Canadians are in self-isolation, unemployed, or about to lose their business, of course, and likely uninterested at the moment about the Conservatives’ leadership quest.
In fact, many are beginning to wonder why in hell they should make their bed every morning when they’re going to crawl back into it long before nightfall because the Black Dog of depression has them in such a deep funk.
Sloan apparently felt the need to give them a jolt. And he’s loaded up with some pretty nasty accusations.
The hardcore Conservative, who represents the riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington, would be our MP if we hadn’t recently moved from Baptiste Lake near the rural Ontario town of Bancroft.
Sloan has such a high opinion of himself that being a rookie MP hasn’t stopped him from believing he should be the Conservative party’s next leader, having qualified with both the money and the signatures.
But he’s such a race-baiter that he even got a high-five from longtime “white nationalist” Paul Fromm, Canada’s king of Aaryan whiteness even before the death in Germany of exiled Toronto neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel.
That’s one sad endorsement.
Sloan, who is a lawyer and married father of three, is “unapologetically pro-life.” The LGBTQ crowd? He doesn’t care.
But, in an effort to get some real outlier headlines, Sloan demanded the firing of Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.
His reasons? Well, she’s not a true Canadian. She’s Chinese, a woman, and she might as well be a card-carrying communist.
This is dog-whistle politics. First, it should be an insult to all to suggest as Sloan does that Tam is not a real Canadian because she was born in Hong Kong.
This is racist muckraking. More than 20% of Canadians were born elsewhere, including my own ancestors who pioneered Saskatchewan.
But because Tam is one of seven physicians on a World Health Organization (WHO) oversight committee to prevent politics from interfering during health emergencies, Sloan says she is guilty of malfeasance because of the WHO’s reverence to communist China and that her missteps in handling Canada’s COVID-19 crisis likely cost untold Canadian lives as a result.
It was China, Sloan also claims, who installed Margaret Chan, the WHO’s former director-general, who was widely criticized in 2003 for poorly handling the SARS crisis in Hong Kong while its health director.
It was China, claims Sloan, who installed the WHO’s current director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whose political resume includes the alleged cover-up of the cholera epidemic in his native Ethiopia while serving as health minister in the Marxist Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
To Sloan, all this makes Tam a puppet of the WHO, which is a puppet of communist China and, ergo, she should either resign or be fired.
After taking a pummelling in the media, Sloan later tried to walk it back by saying he wasn’t critical of Tam because she is Chinese or a woman, but critical of her judgment calls.
This, however, is not how anyone would read his original campaign mailout.
Sloan has no shot at becoming the next leader of the Conservative Party, of course, mainly because the party’s alleged base of deep-blue, ultra-right-wing, knuckle-dragging Conservatives who might support his intolerant views has been steadily dying off from old age.
This is likely the only upside.