Angelica Vecchiato:

Glorious and Free

By Derek Sloan (Sloan Publishing Inc., $38.80, 270 pages)

Since Derek Sloan was kicked out of Conservative Party of Canada caucus in 2021, the tales of his political career have garnered quasi-mythic proportions. In the mainstream media vernacular, the former Conservative MP turned Ontario Party leader has been condemned as a “racist” for accepting a donation from a “white nationalist” and has been the victim of widespread censure for his socially conservative views on abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. Ergo, the purpose of Sloan’s newly released book Glorious and Free is twofold. It serves as a vessel to clear his blemished public reputation and plainly outline his political views and vision for the future of Canada.

Although, admittedly, the book has more than mild hints of self-praise—perhaps to gain political “clout,” unsurprising for an ambitious politician — it gets at the heart of real, important problems in current-day Canadian society and discusses tangible policy solutions to remedy them. The first part of Glorious and Free opens with the details of Sloan’s personal life: his childhood, young adult years, and family life. With added commentary from his parents David and Erika, Sloan stresses the importance of his upbringing, a very rural one. David and Erika instilled into young Sloan core values and beliefs, fostering a strong spiritual foundation – they are Seventh Day Adventists — that the soon-to-be politician would take with him for the rest of his life.

Still in the autobiographical part of Glorious and Free, he relates his foundational marriage with his wife Jennifer and the challenges, common to both spouses, of juggling three children while pursuing studies and realizing career ambitions. The politician also briefly addresses the moment he was kicked out of caucus. He suggests he was kicked out of caucus and expelled from the party as backlash from amassing a great deal of nationwide support leading up to the 2021 Conservative policy convention, for which “certain MP’s feathers were ruffled needlessly.” Sloan was essentially told that his “canvassing” for the convention broke Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission rules. Then stories broke, detailing how a certain “Paul Fromm,” a notorious white supremacist, donated to Sloan’s campaign. Although the Ontario Party leader defended his honour, stating that he knew nothing of this man — that it was just an obscure name to him, and he donated under the name Frederick Fromm — his political career was quickly derailing into shambles.

The second part of the Glorious and Free is Sloan’s political vision. He discusses immigration, abortion, euthanasia, the carbon tax, western alienation, gun control, and a slew of other hot-button issues. There is significant focus on socially conservative issues.

Sloan elevates the pro-life position as a “common sense” position, arguing that, “we should be protecting life, whether in the womb or nearing the grave. Every person has irreplaceable, incomparable value.” He condemns Canada’s lack of legislation on abortion and calls out the political parties who refused to support Bill C-233 which would have outlawed sex-selective abortions. Sloan also advances methods to better care for mothers and children so that “abortion does not feel like the only option available to women under pressure.” Using pro-life apologetics 101, the Tory MP debunked the pro-abortion position, noting that someone’s value should never be dependent on their size or level of independence. Sloan also argued that “it is impossible” for politicians “to be neutral on this issue,” encouraging Conservative MPs to take up a strong pro-life, pro-family stance and not shy away from expected media scrutiny and critique.

He also focussed on euthanasia, stating that he was “deeply saddened” when the Liberals passed Bill C-7 which would liberalise current legislation to expand access to euthanasia. Sloan mentioned how this could be particularly dangerous in the context of COVID-19 during which mental illness was at an all-time high. He suggests that one “very simple way to discourage euthanasia” is to curate appropriate and respectful palliative care options, which he adds is “woefully underfunded and unavailable for many Canadians who need it.” Life, Sloan argues, needs to be made more meaningful and dignified.

He concluded the family issue section with the phrase, “we need to make an alliance with life,” which are very palatable words to hear from a politician.

In the former MP’s own words, the book serves as a sobering factcheck to Sloan’s circulating legend and lore among his devotees. He unabashedly owns up to his socially conservative identity and holistically paints a picture of optimism for the future of the nation.

Angelica Vecchiato writes for The Interim, Catholic Register, and True North.