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Independent Toronto MP Kevin Vuong asks Poilievre to let him join Conservative caucus

Independent Toronto MP Kevin Vuong says he is asking Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre to let him join the Conservative caucus and intends to seek a nomination in a Greater Toronto Area riding. Vuong rises during Question Period, in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Independent Toronto MP Kevin Vuong says he is asking Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre to let him join the Conservative caucus and intends to seek a nomination in a Greater Toronto Area riding. Vuong rises during Question Period, in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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Independent Toronto MP Kevin Vuong says he is asking Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre to let him join the Tory caucus, and intends to seek a nomination for the party in a Greater Toronto Area riding.

Vuong said in an interview Friday that he recently sent a letter to Poilievre and also informed the party's caucus chair, Ontario MP Scott Reid, of his wishes.

"We have sent a formal letter to the leader of the Conservatives, expressing my desire to be able to join his caucus and work with him and his team," he said.

"It is my intention to seek a nomination for a riding in the (Greater Toronto Area)."

The MP for Spadina-Fort York ran as a Liberal candidate in the 2021 election, but the party dropped him days before the vote, saying he failed to inform them of a withdrawn sexual assault charge. Vuong still won the contest.

He said that while his time in the House of Commons got off to a "rough start," he thinks he has made an impact.

Vuong has voted alongside the Conservatives on a range of issues since joining the House of Commons, and said he took out a party membership last November.

But Conservative party spokeswoman Sarah Fischer said the Tories are not considering bringing him into caucus.

Asked whether he had spoken directly to Poilievre about his desire to join the group, Vuong said he hadn't — and that the extent of their relationship is that they sometimes cross paths outside the House.

"We say hi to one another as I think you would speak to any colleague."

Still, the Independent MP said on Friday that over the last year-and-a-half, he's had positive conversations with members of Poilievre's caucus about joining their parliamentary team.

"In the last year is when it really started to, I guess, accelerate in terms of folks actively saying, 'Hey, I think you should be a part of our caucus.' And I started to begin taking that very seriously as well," he said.

The MP also said his desire to seek a Conservative nomination doesn't hinge on him joining the caucus.

"One of the things that I think I really like about the party is they care about the grassroots," he said.

"And so my hope will be that I will have that grassroots support and from there, that grassroots support will show the party that, 'Hey, there are people within (the Greater Toronto Area) who support Kevin.'"

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2024 

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