Derek Sloan Announces He’s Running in the Banff-Airdrie to Unseat Key O’Toole Ally

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on August 19, 2021

Independent Member of Parliament Derek Sloan announced at a major rally in Cochrane, Alberta, that he will be moving federal ridings, and provinces to run in Banff-Airdrie to take on key Erin O’Toole supporter and Whip of the Conservative Party caucus, Blake Richards.

At the event former MPs Rob Anders, Eric Lowther, and Art Hanger spoke before introducing Sloan in a show of political support for both Sloan’s bid to remove Richards, as well as the True North Party of Canada that Sloan is rolling out after the 2021 federal election, due to Elections Canada dragging their feet in verifying his party’s signatures, according to Sloan.


This would mean that Sloan will not be running in Hastings-Lennox and Addington, the riding he was originally elected in, in part because all of the on the ground fundraising he had done was taken away from him after O’Toole removed him from the CPC caucus in January, based on a politically-motivated fake scandal

A couple of hours before the event in Cochrane Sloan spoke to The National Telegraph regarding his decision to run against Richards.

Sloan stated that:

Blake Richards is Erin O’Toole’s water boy in Alberta and he has been the one calling Conservative MPs and telling them not to vote for Conservative values. We need to punch back against these sorts of elected representatives who don’t represent their constituents and instead just represent O’Toole and his inner circle.

Conservatives are fed up with being ignored in Alberta and Richards is O’Toole’s bag man who has been actively pushing other Conservative MPs to ignore their own constituents, and he deserves to be beaten at the ballot box for it. 

It’s true that the Whip in any party is by nature the most supportive and leader as their entire job consists of promoting and often pressuring other members of the party caucus to vote the way the leader wants. 

Richards by being the Conservative Party Whip under Erin O’Toole has himself voted like a deep-red Toronto Conservative, despite being in a very Conservative riding that he won 71 percent of the vote in 2019, with the runner-up Liberal candidate only receiving 10.8 percent of the vote. Although since 2019 the Conservative popularity in Alberta has fallen, especially in Banff-Airdrie where the CPC is currently projected to lose narly 20 points, even before Sloan gets into the race.

It will be interesting to see how many Conservative voters from previous elections in Banff-Airdrie are really strong supporters of Blake Richards himself, or whether they will instead opt for the outspoken independent Derek Sloan, despite being new to Alberta.

So far Sloan has had no trouble packing in crowds of people into various rallies around the province, with some events having more than 700 attendees.

Screen Shot 2021-08-19 at 5.29.02 PM.png

Sloan’s crowds should give him a large pool to draw volunteers from, which may overlap with those who may have previously volunteered for Richards in previous elections, meaning the two men may be competing for both voters as well as volunteers for their campaigns.

In a race where all the major parties are strapped for cash, it will be important to keep an eye on how much money the Conservative Party transfers to Richards to attempt to fed off Sloan, or if O’Toole will now personally have to spend time in Banff-Airdrie to try and bolster support for Richards.

Derek Sloan announcement rally in Cochrane.

Derek Sloan announcement rally in Cochrane.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

Comments are closed.