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Why Derek Sloan started a party

He says his new party is necessary because the PPC has baggage, Christian Heritage is too doctrinaire to win, and Maverick is as useless as the Bloc Quebecois.




Like a voter who didn’t like his options and decided to run for office, Independent MP Derek Sloan looked at all the parties and thought it best to start his own.

Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. (MST), the Western Standard will live stream Sloan’s campaign launch from Cochrane, Alberta.

Two days ago, the independent MP for Hastings-Lennox & Addington talked to the Western Standard on the phone for 25 minutes, still buoyed by his previous night’s event at the St. Albert Curling Club. 

“There was a meeting room place that can hold about 350 people, and we couldn’t fit them, so we had to bring them out onto the curling floor,” Sloan said.

“We’ve been to 16 different places already. And it’s like standing room only we’re getting, major crowd. If we tour again, we’re going to have to start renting out arenas or something.”

Like Preston Manning did for Reform in 1987, Sloan has been drumming up support for a new political movement. The fourth-place finisher in the Conservative Party leadership race was booted from the party on January 20 for what leader Erin O’Toole called a “pattern of destructive behaviour.” But, as the saying goes, failure is the backdoor to success.

“I’m basically glad that it happened to me looking back on it, I was able to achieve a lot more as an independent than as a member of the party. I hope to change the political discourse for the better, and I think I have already,” Sloan said.

“People are really excited about what I’m doing. And in fact, everyone is willing – that I’m talking to anyways – to support somebody other than a Conservative. And so I’m doing my best to provide candidates in certain areas for people.”

Although Sloan is gaining a following, some other right-leaning voters are nervous about the launch of yet another right-leaning party to bleed away Conservative votes. Sloan said he won’t give anything to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that O’Toole didn’t already hand him. 

“No one seems to think O’Toole’s going to win. He’s not going to win anyways, there is no vote to split. But I would say that a lot of places that we’re going to be running candidates are going to be in strong conservative areas, so, whoever wins is going to be a conservative. It will either be a Conservative or someone who’s more conservative, so you won’t have to worry about that.”

When asked why he didn’t join the other alternatives, such as the People’s Party, Sloan offered three reasons.

“The first is the social conservative values part for the PPC is optional. It’s kind of like if you want them, that’s great, if not, that’s fine. And I think we need to have a party that actually stands for values. The second thing is that it’s kind of the party of Max, in the sense of, they’ve had three or so years to come up with a constitution and a leadership review and all of this, and they haven’t. There’s not a lot of democratic opportunity there,” Sloan said.

“The final thing is they seem to have an incremental plan of winning, but we need a plan to win basically now. So, every election that I go into will be to win. Like, I’m not going to run 338 candidates just to do it. I’m going to run in areas and focus on them in a way that I think I can win.”

If social conservative values are crucial, why not join the Christian Heritage Party?

“The Christian Heritage Party hasn’t been able to win. And part of it is I don’t know if they even expect to, and they kind of want to be more of a [Christian] witness than a force. So, I think a lot of parties are carrying baggage whether fairly or unfairly for them. Nonetheless, they carry baggage. Even the PPC party carries baggage, right? They’re viewed as a conservative protest party, which frankly, can’t win. We need a party that can reach all Canadians, and they’ve been branded in a certain way. And so I really felt that we needed a new party,” Sloan said.

“I’m a Christian, and I’m not ashamed of that. And my party will stand for the generic Christendom of the West, so to speak, but not in a dogmatic or doctrinaire sort of way. And as much as I like the Christian Heritage Party, when you read their founding document it’s more akin to what you might want if you were starting a church. And it’s not that I disagree with some of the things they’re talking about, but I just think it’s a little bit too doctrinaire for a party. They just haven’t been able to get traction. And I hope it doesn’t come across like I’m slandering them. I like the leader of that party and all this, but I just didn’t feel it was an option that Canada needs right now, or at least one that could win.”

Sloan believes the Maverick Party has unfortunate commonalities with the Bloc Quebecois.

“Maverick will never be able to form government, they’ll never be able to pass a bill. And if you really want to get things done on a separatist or even a firewall sort of level for the West, that all has to be done provincially. Police force or pension system or any of that, that’s a provincial thing,” Sloan said.

“The Bloc Quebecois is similar. They’re kind of useless, right? They can make some long-winded speeches, but they can’t do much. They never pass bills unless it’s some minor bill that everyone likes, like, Hey, we need to have more organ donors or something. But they never pass a standard bill. So it’s really just a protest vote. And if you have an option that actually is looking to bring the country together, you might as well vote for it.

“And the other thing that bugs me about them is they didn’t say anything about COVID-19. So they say they’re standing up for the interests of the West. Well, where were they when 10,000 businesses in Alberta were shutting down because of COVID-19? They said nothing. So as far as I’m concerned, useless.”

Sloan isn’t a Westerner either, but he’s introducing his family to the culture. For the past two weeks, the Queen’s University law graduate has brought along his parents, wife, three children (aged 7, 6, and 4), and volunteers.

“Our party was not approved prior to the writ dropping by Elections Canada, so that was a disappointment for our party. The paperwork’s been in for months, right? And I’m not implying that there’s foul play, but we will be running some candidates and they’ll be technically independents. So I would say to people to stay tuned. There’ll be some exciting announcements over the next couple of weeks.”

Lee Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan.

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  1. Andrew Ross McIvor

    September 4, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Just what the west needs, another eastern federalist come to tell us how the rest of Canada is good for us.

  2. Josh

    August 24, 2021 at 9:40 am

    What a waste Derek. It would have been wise to join what is already available and really stop focusing on a Country on its last leg.

  3. Wesley

    August 20, 2021 at 10:03 am

    I fully support Sloan! We need men of deep integrity and who are not in it just to win. Electing Sloan and members of the PPC party would keep O’Toole’s feet to the fire who bends wherever the political wind blows.

  4. Left Coast

    August 20, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Starting another federal party in Canada is just Dumb!

    While it might play in a few ridings in the hinterland . . . a far better option would have been to align with the PPC which could possibly win a few seats in the next election.

    If O’Foole got a minority Govt . . . the PPC with a few seats could have some control.

    I like Sloan and agree with most of his positions, but suspect he is still learning to play politics.

  5. Fergus Hodgson

    August 20, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Sloan is out to lunch and will only embarrass himself. His ego is too big to join the PPC, so he will become irrelevant quickly.

  6. Mars Hill

    August 19, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Good instinct, with the right character and ethics the money will follow and who knows….we welcome you and your family to Alberta Derek

  7. francis witzel

    August 19, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Mr Sloan , I think it’s Avery bad move to dis these other parties , you may have to work with them someday and criticizing them is not a good start . Wouldn’t it be interesting if all these outlying parties won a bunch a seats and you all could form a coalition. Please tone it down , you have good instincts , and a good platform . Good luck

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BC healthcare worker says she’s still suffering adverse effects six months after COVID shot

The 39-year-old youth crisis worker is told she must get her second dose, despite having suffered adverse effects.




Dawn Slykhuis, a 39-year-old youth crisis worker has been told she must get her second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, despite still experiencing adverse effects following dose number one.

Slykhuis, who tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020, got her first shot in April 2021.

“I waited a full six months to make sure that I wasn’t going to have a reaction,” Slykhuis told the Western Standard.

“I got the dose on April 28, and then on May 18 I experienced acute sharp pain in my head, like someone was shooting lasers through my brain.”

Slykhuis said the pain lasted for about a week before settling into a more chronic dull pain, and so — fearing the possibility of cancer — she sought medical attention amid an unrelenting series of bad headaches coincided with a sporadically spiked heart rate.

“They expected nerve damage,” said Slykhuis, who began losing feeling in her left arm.

“It got so tingly yesterday I had to go for a CT. I’m waiting to see a neurologist on November 8.”

Dr. Steven Pelech, president and chief scientific officer at Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation, and chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee at the Canadian Covid Care Alliance, has been voicing concern over potential health risks COVID-19 vaccines may impose — specifically myocarditis.

“Contrary to what a number of people have said, there is no such thing as ‘mild myocarditis,’” Pelech told the Western Standard in an August interview.

“It’s the destruction of the myocytes, the heart cells that contract. When those cells die, they are not replaced in your body and are instead replaced by scar-tissue, which is from fibroblasts — skin cells which don’t have contractile activity, so the remaining muscle cells have to get a little bigger in order to compensate.”

Dr. Charles Hoffe, a physician who practiced in Lytton, BC for over 20 years raised similar concerns to that of Pelech, and he reported patients suffering severe adverse neurological and cardiovascular effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is now clearly apparent with medical evidence from around the world, that the side-effect profiles of the various gene modification therapies against COVID-19, have been vastly understated by their manufacturers, who were eager to prove their safety,” wrote Hoffe in an open letter to BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Interior Health Authority (IHA) suspended Hoffe’s emergency room privileges and he is currently being investigated by IHA and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPBC) for promoting “vaccine hesitancy.”

Hoffe is represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).

Several European countries suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for people under the age of 30, citing heart inflammation as well as inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart.

Iceland has halted the Moderna vaccine for all ages.

“I am a healthy 39-year-old that’s never had nerve damage and all of a sudden I have chronic head pain, nerve damage, and I’m experiencing cognitive deficits as well, which is really hard to talk about because now I want to cry,” said Slykhuis.

“I’m like an old lady seeing my brain slip away. Making errors, dropping things. It’s pretty scary, well, it’s terrifying… to be experiencing these symptoms and still be forced to get another dose to keep my job in healthcare.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

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It’s down to the wire for AHS employees as deadline looms for vaccine mandates

Although the statement from AHS says their COVID-19 vaccine policy is mandatory any “employee who is unable to be immunized due to a medical reason or for another protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act will be reasonably accommodated.”




Tomorrow is deadline day for AHS workers.

The deadline of October 31 for Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) vaccine mandate is just over two weeks away when all employees and contracted healthcare providers will have to be fully immunized.

The AHS policy was released on August 31 and stated, “the latest an employee could receive their second dose to be in compliance with the new policy is October 16, 2021, which allows for the two weeks that must pass to be considered fully immunized.”

The Western Standard has heard from a number of lawyers representing thousands of clients on many fronts who are looking for legal support in pushing back against these workplace and post-secondary institution vaccine mandates.

One of those lawyers, Jeffrey Rath, of Rath & Company, was recently retained by MyAPSChoice, a group consisting of over 4,000 public service and government employees.

Based on a number of legal claims including violations of constitutional rights and freedoms, employment laws, human rights laws and breaches to the Freedom of Information Act, Rath has been advising his clients to not cooperate with the mandates.

Rath has also released a “generalized open letter” for anyone to use in any workplace or post-secondary institution where a worker or student is facing a mandate to be vaccinated “against their will.”

The letter states: “It is my legal opinion that any policy that vitiates the consent of an employee (including staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and other persons acting on their behalf) by threatening to either terminate or suspend them in order to coerce the employee into being vaccinated is a violation of Canadian Law.”

The letter goes on to cite laws protecting one’s medical privacy and highlights courses of action available including exemptions.

Rath also advises that people do not reply electronically or provide their consent for access to their private medical information and that demands for proof of vaccination be responded to in writing via regular or registered mail.

Page six of the document includes a legal letter that can be used by anyone wishing to claim a legal exemption based on “the illegality of the policy under section 7 of the Charter (of rights and freedoms).”

“This is my generalized legal opinion without reference to any one individual personal circumstance,” said Rath advising that people are welcome to email him if they have more specific circumstances that may require legal assistance or if they are interested in registering as a class-action litigant.

Although the statement from AHS says their COVID-19 vaccine policy is mandatory any “employee who is unable to be immunized due to a medical reason or for another protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act will be reasonably accommodated.”

“This is an extraordinary but necessary measure to help protect our vital frontline healthcare teams and help us maintain a safe environment for all patients and clients” said Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services.

An AHS official told the Western Standard that “AHS employee requests for accommodation will be reviewed by an Accommodations Adjudication Panel” which includes members from Human Resources, Employee Relations, WHS, Ability Management, and Organizational Ethics.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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WS EXCLUSIVE POLL: Vast majority of Albertans will vote in Senate election




Near seven out of every 10 Albertans are prepared to mark their ballots in the provincial Senate elections on Monday, according to a new poll done exclusively for the Western Standard.

The Mainstreet Research polls show 67% of Albertans said they would vote in the race to elect three senators-in-waiting.

Courtesy Mainstreet Research

Only 16% of Albertans said they would not participate in the election while another 17% were still not sure whether they would vote at all.

The polling shows a Conservative slate of candidates are currently in the lead, garnering the support of 30% of those surveyed.

Independent candidates are sitting at 17%, People’s Party of Canada candidates at 13% and 28% are still making up their minds.

A total of 12% said they would vote for a combination of candidates.

For those who intend to vote for the UCP in the next election, 75% said they would be voting for the Conservative candidates. For NDP supporters, 37% said they would vote for Independent candidates.

Courtesy Mainstreet research

PPC candidates were the favorite choice of 43% of those aiming to vote for the Wildrose Independence Party.

Mainstreet President and CEO Quito Maggi said while he “expects a slate of Conservatives to be elected” he “was surprised at the number of people who were going to select a mix.”

A full list of the candidates can be found on the Elections Alberta website here.

The analysis in this report is based on results of a survey conducted on October 12-13, 2021, among a sample of 935 adults, 18 years of age or older living in Alberta. The survey was conducted using automated telephone interviews (Smart IVR). Respondents were interviewed on landlines and cellular phones. The survey is intended to represent the voting population in Alberta. 

The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.2% at the 95% confidence level. Margins of error are higher in each subsample. Totals may not add up 100% due to rounding.

Tomorrow: The Western Standard‘s exclusive poll on party support in Alberta.

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