Bill Vankoughnet

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Bill Vankoughnet
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byFred Wilson
Succeeded byRiding abolished
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington
Hastings—Frontenac (1979-1983)
In office
Preceded byRe-established riding
Succeeded byLarry McCormick
Personal details
Born (1943-01-07) January 7, 1943 (age 77)
Kingston, Ontario
Political partyPC (Canada) (1979-1993)
PC (Ontario) (1995-1999)
OccupationMunicipal administrator

William John "Bill" Vankoughnet (born January 7, 1943) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the House of Commons of Canada from 1979 to 1993, and a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 to 1999.


Vankoughnet was educated at Loyalist College and Queen's University, and subsequently worked as a municipal administrator. He was also an active freemason and shriner, and is a life member of the Monarchist League of Canada and the Royal Canadian Legion.

Federal politics[edit]

He was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1979 federal election, defeating Liberal candidate Ron Vastokas by about 6,500 votes in the rural riding of Hastings—Frontenac, near Kingston.[1] He was re-elected over Vastokas by a narrower margin in the 1980 election,[2] and by a greater margin in the 1984 election in the renamed riding of Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington.[3] In the 1988 election, he defeated Liberal candidate Earl Smith by fewer than 1,000 votes.[4] During his fourteen years in parliament, Vankoughnet never held an official legislative position. Unlike most Progressive Conservative MPs, Vankoughnet opposed the Meech Lake constitutional accord.

The Progressive Conservatives lost all their Ontario seats in the 1993 federal election, and Vankoughnet lost to Liberal Larry McCormick by over 13,000 votes.[5]

Provincial politics[edit]

Vankoughnet was elected to the provincial legislature two years later, defeating Liberal candidate Peter Walker and incumbent New Democrat Fred Wilson in the riding of Frontenac—Addington.[6] He served as a backbench supporter for the next four years.

Vankoughnet's prospects for career advancement all but ended on May 1, 1996, when he was caught trying to buy sexual favours from an undercover police officer who was posing as a prostitute in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto.[7] The charges were dropped when Vankoughnet agreed to attend a "john school".[8] After he was arrested he withdrew from the Progressive Conservative caucus and briefly sat as an independent until he returned on September 23, 1996.[9] Vankoughnet played only a minimal role in the legislature after this incident. Ironically, he was formally accepted into the exclusive Albany Club of Toronto on the same day as his arrest.

In 1996, the government of Mike Harris reduced the number of provincial ridings from 130 to 103. This forced a number of sitting MPPs to compete against one another for renomination. Vankoughnet, his reputation still damaged by the prostitute incident, lost the Progressive Conservative nomination in Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington to Harry Danford in 1999.[10]

Federal politics (2nd time)[edit]

Vankoughnet sought a political comeback in 2004 by challenging Scott Reid for the Conservative Party of Canada nomination in Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington. The party refused to permit his candidacy, however, and Vankoughnet challenged Reid in the general election as an independent candidate.[11] He received only 820 votes.[12]


  1. ^ "Counting the votes: The Liberals watch from their Quebec Conservatives sweep most of the West". The Globe and Mail. May 24, 1979. pp. 10–11. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ "Election '80". The Toronto Star. February 19, 1987. p. B7.
  3. ^ "How Canada voted". The Globe and Mail. September 5, 1984. pp. 14–15. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. ^ "Decision '88: The vote". The Globe and Mail. November 22, 1988. pp. C4–C5. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. ^ "Results may be more complete than as published Riding-by-riding results from across Canada Ontario Algoma". Toronto Star. October 26, 1993. p. B10.
  6. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  7. ^ Gombu, Phinjo (May 3, 1996). "MPP quits caucus after arrest as 'john' Tory backbencher withdraws until case resolved". Toronto Star. p. A1.
  8. ^ "Vankoughnet Completes Course". The Kitchener Record. August 15, 1996.
  9. ^ Crone, Greg (September 25, 1996). "Vankoughnet returns to Tory caucus". Kingston Whig - Standard. p. 1.
  10. ^ Varga, Christina (April 12, 1999). "Danford's nomination ends Vankoughnet's run". Kingston Whig - Standard. p. 9.
  11. ^ "Conservatives confirm Vankoughnet's ouster". Kingston Whig - Standard. March 5, 2004. p. 5.
  12. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 29, 2004. p. A14. Missing or empty |url= (help)

External links[edit]