Interview With Derek Sloan, First Adventist Elected to Canada’s Parliament
On Oct. 21, 2019, Derek Nathaniel Sloan was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ontario riding of Hastings–Lennox and Addington, for the Conservative Party of Canada. Friends and family, including wife, Jennifer and children, surrounded Derek when he finally saw victory after a tense hour and a half of waiting after the polls closed. After the press and most family and friends left, Adventist Barry W. Bussey, director of Legal Affairs at Canadian Council of Christian Charities, had a chance to interview Derek.
Barry Bussey: Derek, congratulations on your win.
Derek Sloan: Thanks very much, Barry.
What does this experience mean to you now?
I obviously did this because I thought that God was leading me, and that God had placed me in the riding at an opportune time, and a lot of doors opened for me. But at the same time, it has been a long journey: about a year and a half of campaigning — whether for the nomination itself — or while being the candidate to be the MP. It’s been a big investment of emotion and time and so forth. I’m really glad that it has worked out so far; I’m thankful for all of the support I have received.
In the distant past, did you envision yourself as a Member of Parliament?
No, I didn’t actually think about it at all until a couple of years ago. In fact, when I was in law school, I started to become aware of certain trends that were going on, and initially I thought I would get into religious liberty work as a lawyer. I interned at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada for a summer, and through that experience I began to be more drawn to politics and began to be more concerned about the trend of intolerance toward people who hold non-mainstream views. That includes people, obviously, of a religious persuasion, but it also includes others as well.