O'Toole, racism, residential schools, conversion therapy, Teresa Tam, Neo-Nazis and Derek Sloan

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O'Toole, racism, residential schools, conversion therapy, Teresa Tam, Neo-Nazis and Derek Sloan

Con leader Erin O'Toole had to backtrack by using some of corporate lawyerese after it was revealed that he had told the Conservative students club in November that the purpose of residential schools was to provide education to indigenous people. Of course the backtracking occurred only after Press Progress and Global News made his comments public. He was commenting on what he called the 'woke' campaign to rename Ryerson because of his role in creating the residential school system. The fact that it was still listed on the student Conservative website as "most popular" tells what his audience thought of his comments. Beyond the smiling face, we once again see the real O'Toole, the same guy who proclaimed his intention to go after the union vote - - to a group of businessmen, not a group of workers. 

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is walking back comments he made to Ryerson University students claiming the residential school system was designed to "provide education" to Indigenous children before it went off the rails and became a "horrible program."

"The very existence of residential schools is a terrible stain on Canada's history that has had sweeping impacts on generations of Indigenous Canadians," O'Toole said in a statement released today. "I speak about the harm caused by residential schools regularly. In my comments to Ryerson students, I said that the residential school system was intended to try and 'provide education.' It was not. The system was intended to remove children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures."

O'Toole has been under pressure to retract his statement about residential schools ever since Press Progress — a publication of the Broadbent Institute — and Global News first reported the contents of a zoom call O'Toole held with Ryerson University's Campus Conservative club earlier this month. In that call, O'Toole addressed what he described as the "woke" campaign to rename Ryerson University because of the role the school's namesake played in creating the residential school system. ...

O'Toole claimed former prime minister Pierre Trudeau opened more residential schools than Egerton Ryerson did and said no one is trying to take Trudeau's name off Montreal's airport.

"When Egerton Ryerson was called in by Hector Langevin and people, it was meant to try and provide education," he told the Ryerson students in the call. ...

Press Progress reported that the video was first posted to the Ryerson Conservative Facebook page on Nov. 5. The video was still being hosted on the page as of this morning under the title "most popular." ...

Earlier today, NDP MP Charlie Angus accused O'Toole of engaging in "disgraceful revisionist race-baiting to win Conservative votes. We know that there is a pattern among deniers to re-write the facts that were found in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," Angus said. "These institutions were not set up to provide education. They were set up to destroy the Indian family. That meets one of the tests of genocide."

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde took to Twitter to call O'Toole's comments "reprehensible."  "It is disappointing that Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole sought to use the residential school tragedy, which has devastated generations of First Nations families, to score meaningless political points," he wrote. "No political party can claim the high road on that tragic piece of Canadian history."

Bellegarde said that he was looking forward to sitting down with O'Toole next year to help him better understand how tragic the residential schools system was, and how it was made worse by "decades of political mismanagement and indifference."



Those comments by O'Toole were not only deeply offensive to Residential School survivors and their families, they were just historically wrong and lacking serious facts. The idea that he went into that venue and tried to whitewash the history of those schools in some kind of attempt to "own the Libs" is just disgusting and ugly. What's worse is that he's been singing a different tune towards Indigenous peoples in public. There is no backtracking on this one, sorry. As an Indigenous person, I’m disappointed but not surprised.  https://magpiebrule.ca/2020/12/15/a-glimpse-of-the-real-otoole/


northwestern_lad wrote:

Those comments by O'Toole were not only deeply offensive to Residential School survivors and their families, they were just historically wrong and lacking serious facts. The idea that he went into that venue and tried to whitewash the history of those schools in some kind of attempt to "own the Libs" is just disgusting and ugly. What's worse is that he's been singing a different tune towards Indigenous peoples in public. There is no backtracking on this one, sorry. As an Indigenous person, I’m disappointed but not surprised.  https://magpiebrule.ca/2020/12/15/a-glimpse-of-the-real-otoole/

Which is why he will never be PM of Canada in even a minority situation. No one will remember this during the next election but O'Toole will not be a changed man nor with the base he needs to attract. Fully 30% of the party are social conservatives. They are traditionalists. They don't want Canada to change but Canada will keep changing (immigration) regardless of their desires because we need immigrants economically and practically. Social liberalism has won. People are less and less interested in controlling what other people do unless it impacts them directly in a strongly negative way. Marry, don't marry, have kids, or not, have a 3 way marriage, be trans...etc. There are still many social conservatives across Canada but not enough to elect the government at the federal level. 

O'Toole and others will not be able to resist using dog whistles. Its not like the Liberals are much better in practice, but the Conservatives won't be able to win. 


O'Toole is obviously worried about the "Trumpian taint" facing the Conservatives despite his own racist comments about residential schools. To try to counteract this, he has now indicated that he will remove MP Derek Sloan from the party after he accepted a donation from Neo-Nazi Paul Fromm, although O'Toole was quite willing to appeal to the hard core social conservatives during the Con leadership campaign and get the support of Sloan supporters to win the fight. 

As the following article notes, O'Toole was one of only two the Ontario Conservative party caucus (with Sloan being the other of the two) to vote against demanding Sloan apologize for his attack on Canada' chief public health officer, Teresa Tam. Now that O'Toole doesn't need to court Sloan supporters in the party, O'Toole has announced that he will kick Sloan out of the party. 

Of course O'Toole realizes that his own popularity is at -6% and and -8% in the polls, as described in the article below. So O'Toole responds with his moderate Conservative statement. Can you say two-faced?

Erin O'Toole's decision to issue a 595-word statement on Sunday about his political beliefs suggests he's at least a little worried about his public image. And he might have good reasons to worry. But the question of what kind of conservative Erin O'Toole wants to be is still difficult to answer.

"If the Liberals want to label me as 'far right,' they are welcome to try," O'Toole said in a statement sent to reporters Sunday morning. "Canadians are smart and they will see this as an attempt to mislead people and import some of the fear and division we have witnessed in the United States." The "extreme right" allegation was contained in a fundraising email the Liberal Party sent to its supporters last week. The message was part of a week-long effort by Liberals to link O'Toole's party with the Trumpian style of politics. The Conservative Party had, for example, previously accused the Liberals of "rigging" the last election. O'Toole, the Liberals noted, campaigned for the party leadership on a pledge to "take back Canada." ...

However much O'Toole might want to seem undaunted in the face of Liberal charges, he's not in a position to assume these attacks will fail. Donald Trump's politics have been shown to be even more poisonous than previously understood. Anything that sounds even remotely similar to Trump is in danger of being considered unacceptably toxic in Canadian public life. But O'Toole's own image is also vulnerable. At the end of 2020, according to Abacus Data, 28 per cent of Canadians viewed O'Toole negatively, compared to 20 per cent who viewed him favourably. At the end of November, the Angus Reid Institute found a similar deficit: 36 per cent had a favourable opinion of the Conservative leader, 42 per cent had an unfavourable opinion.

Given the threat of a Trumpist stain and the weakness of O'Toole's brand, some kind of response to the Liberals' criticism was probably necessary. But simply not being Trump is a poor measure of anything and O'Toole's weekend statement also points to a more interesting matter for the Conservative leader — defining his approach to conservatism. ...

In his defence, O'Toole touted a number of his beliefs and political positions on Sunday. He has said he wants the Conservative Party to welcome "all Canadians, regardless of race, religion, economic standing, education, or sexual orientation" and to "govern on behalf of all Canadians." He says he is pro-choice and believes the party must take inequality "seriously." He has "lamented the decline of private sector union membership" and "raised the unfairness of the blood ban for gay men." His first question in the House of Commons as Conservative leader was about reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. ...

But Sunday's statement didn't include O'Toole's previously stated desire to "fight" to "defend our history, our institutions against attacks from cancel culture and the radical left." That was an idea that O'Toole put front and centre when he announced his candidacy for the Conservative leadership in January 2020.

In that campaign — which raised questions about O'Toole's edgier new tone — O'Toole touted himself as the "true blue" Conservative option and suggested that Peter MacKay, the early frontrunner, would turn the Conservative party into "Liberal party lite." The choice, O'Toole said, would be between running on principles and running toward the "mushy middle."

During that leadership race, O'Toole was also one of only two members of the party's Ontario caucus to vote against calling on fellow leadership candidate Derek Sloan to apologize for Sloan's attack on Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer (Sloan was the other member).

On Monday, after it emerged that Sloan had received a donation from a white nationalist, O'Toole announced that he was moving to eject Sloan from caucus and would prohibit him from running as a Conservative in the next election.




Derek Sloan does not plan to go gently into the night of racism now that O'Toole has announced he will kick him out of caucus. 

Ontario Conservative MP Derek Sloan says he'll fight efforts by his party's leader to boot him from caucus. Sloan says a decision by leader Erin O'Toole that he should be tossed out over a donation to his leadership campaign by a known white supremacist is ridiculous.

O'Toole announced he's launching the effort to remove Sloan late Monday, after news broke that Sloan's campaign had received a donation from Paul Fromm last year. O'Toole framed the decision as being a question of having no tolerance for racism within his party.

But Sloan is raising questions about that approach, saying Fromm is a party member and that fact would have previously been known both to O'Toole and to the party itself. Sloan generated controversy during the leadership campaign for his aggressively social conservative views, and his presence in caucus has been polarizing ever since.

He had survived a bid to oust him during the leadership race itself, when comments he made about the country's chief public health officer saw him accused of racism, a charge he denied. At that time, O'Toole refused to support an effort to expel him.

Sloan said in an interview with The Canadian Press that O'Toole ran a leadership campaign on fighting cancel culture and "promoting a big tent version of the Conservative Party. And I hope that he has not jettisoned that in favour of perceived short-term political gain," Sloan said.

To kick out one of their own, 20 per cent of Conservative MPs -- 24 of the party's current 121 MPs -- must sign in writing a notice seeking a review of Sloan's membership in the caucus. The matter must then be put to a vote by secret ballot and a majority of MPs must support expulsion. ...

Several MPs mused privately late Monday there are concerns O'Toole's move sets a high bar for what's considered an offence so severe as to be kicked out of caucus. ...

"I'm not going down into the night quietly, Sloan said. "So they've picked a fight with the wrong person."



Sloan has responded to the threat to have him thrown out of the party by pointing how hypocritical it is for the party to kick him out when the Conservative party accepted the donation from Neo-Nazi Paul From under the name Frederick P. Fromm and only sent it back when the effort to kick Sloan out of the party began. It still is not clear whether Sloan knew Fromm was a Neo-Nazi. They also did nothing about Sloan's many previous comments about conversion therapy, sexual orientation, chief public health officer Teresa Tam being paid by the Chinese government, Holocaust denial, etc.

This hypocrisy extends to O'Toole who courted the extreme social conservative vote to win the Conservative leadership, including, along with Sloan, being the only Ontario Conservatives to vote against banning Sloan during the leadership campaign in the expectation of winning over Sloan's supporters during the leadership vote, which is exactly how he won the leadership in coming from behind to overtake Peter McKay. O'Toole, himself, as leader, has made comments on residential schools to a Conservative youth group in private that he thought would not reach the public, railed against vaccinating prison inmates during Covid-19, and made,   "Take Back Canada" and "Canada First" comments that contain shades of Trumpism. Now he suddenly wants to pretend he is a champion of treating everyone equally. Give me a break. 

From phony controversies over “barbaric practices” and veils at citizenship ceremonies to the hysteria over M-103, an innocuous parliamentary motion condemning Islamophobia; from over-hyping fears about illegal border-crossers to fanning conspiracy theories about the UN Global Migration Pact, the Conservative Party has too often seemed to put out the welcome mat to ignorance and intolerance. Is it any wonder that more than 40 per cent of Conservative voters, according to a Leger poll, would have voted for Donald Trump in the recent election? Or that a similar number believe he actually won?

As party leader, Erin O’Toole can hardly disclaim his own responsibility for this. It was Mr. O’Toole who campaigned for leader on a pledge to “Take Back Canada.” It was Mr. O’Toole who later adopted the Trumpesque slogan “Canada First,” railing against the “elites” who had supposedly “betrayed” the country. It is Mr. O’Toole who has lately elected to make an issue out of, of all things, vaccinating prison inmates against the coronavirus. Each alone might not be evidence enough to convict, but taken together, they leave little room for doubt about who and what he was pandering to. If the Liberals are too quick to paint the entire party with the same brush, well, the Conservatives handed them the paint.

Since the Capitol insurrection, the days when mainstream parties could flirt with these sentiments are over. If principle were not enough to persuade Conservatives of this, political calculation should: The public is in no mood for this sort of cynical gamesmanship. Defenestrating Mr. Sloan, then, is only the start. Conservatives need to make a firm break with extremism of any kind, together with the appeals to anger and resentment that inflame it.



The Conservative Party caucus has voted to expel social conservative MP Derek Sloan after it came to light that a known white nationalist had donated to his leadership campaign. 

Sources say a majority of 121 sitting Conservative MPs voted to remove him from their caucus on Wednesday.

Sloan has represented the northeastern-Ontario riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington since 2019.



laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Good riddance. As for the rest of the party, it's a shame that the Capitol Hill riots is what finally opened up their eyes to how heinous it was to court extreme right wing "nationalists" (aka white supremacists, hard core racists).


Nothing has changed. Sloan is going to fight his expulsion and he will have a lot of support. Even if he goes away the far right still has its claws in the party. In courting the anti-immigrant anti-abortion crowd they strengthened them.  This is not the Progressive Conservative party. This is the Reform-Conservative party and they can't hide it.

Now they are stuck. They need the anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, pro-oil voters but keeping them prevents them from attracting enough moderates to beat the Liberals. O'Toole announcing his official pro-choice pro-LBGTQ stance won't help him because Sloane is not the only social conservative MP and O'Toole can't silence them.