A Toronto MP booted by the Liberals during the last federal election is considering a move to the Conservative bench.

Kevin Vuong was elected in 2021 despite his ejection as the Liberal candidate following details of a withdrawn sexual assault charge from over two years earlier coming to light. He still appeared on the ballots as a Liberal, but went to Parliament as an independent.

In an exclusive interview on The Andrew Lawton Show, Vuong said he would like to join the Conservative caucus and run under Pierre Poilievre in the next election.

“The door has always been open from my side,” Vuong said. “I’ve chatted with people and they’re like ‘Yeah, Kevin, I think you’d fit right into caucus.’ But you know, it’s not just up to me, I think it’s up to the party brass and the leadership, as well, to find a fit and a path.”

Vuong said he’s had some informal conversations with Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre “on the margins” to express his interest in working with him.

“If that’s something they want to pursue, listen, like I said, I’m open to it,” Vuong said.

Poilievre’s office declined to comment.

Vuong said in the interview that he had only been a “card-carrying Liberal” for a few weeks when he ran for the Liberals in Spadina—Fort York to replace Adam Vaughan. Vuong said he had never been especially partisan, which is partly what drew him to municipal politics as a Toronto city council candidate in 2018.

He was unsuccessful but said he was approached by former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s team to run as a Conservative candidate in Toronto in the 2019 election. While he ultimately chose to run for the Liberals in 2021, he noted he finds sources of agreement with both them and the Tories.

“I can tell you for a fact I wouldn’t vote for the NDP. They do not reflect my values,” he said. “I think like the majority of Canadians, I’m pretty centrist.”

Vuong has been critical of the Liberals on numerous occasions since being elected. He has sharply condemned antisemitism and accused the Liberals of not doing the same. He has also called for relief on Trudeau’s carbon tax.

Vuong has also supported the Liberal government on key votes, including to support Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act to crack down on the Freedom Convoy in 2022. However, he wrote last month that if he were to go back knowing what he does now, he likely would have opposed it.

The son of Chinese refugees from the Vietnam war, Vuong has been an officer in the naval reserves since 2015.

He was named the Liberals’ candidate in Spadina—Fort York on Aug. 13, 2021, just over a month before the election. His campaign was derailed days before the election when the Toronto Star reported that Vuong had been charged with sexual assault in 2019. The charges were withdrawn seven months later, but Vuong did not disclose them to the Liberal party or to the Royal Canadian Navy.

The Liberals dropped him as a candidate, but ballots were locked in and many had already been cast through advance voting. Vuong won the election by 2,158 votes.

In his interview on True North, Vuong said he believes the accusation against him, which was from a woman he had dated for a few months, was part of a “honey trap” operation. He claimed his opposition of China’s communist regime given his family’s background would make him a prime target of such a move by China.

The Conservatives have made no formal overtures to Vuong to welcome him into their ranks either as a caucus member or candidate for the next election, which Vuong believes they will win. He was candid that the opportunity to be part of a government was enticing.

“I think the Conservatives will form the next government,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to be able to contribute and, I think, course correct and right the ship of the direction that Canada has been going?”


  • Andrew Lawton

    A Canadian broadcaster and columnist, Andrew serves as a journalism fellow at True North and host of The Andrew Lawton Show.