Scott Brison

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Scott Brison
President of the Treasury Board
In office
November 4, 2015 – January 14, 2019
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byTony Clement
Succeeded byJane Philpott
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
In office
July 20, 2004 – February 6, 2006
Prime MinisterPaul Martin
Preceded byStephen Owen
Succeeded byMichael Fortier
Member of Parliament
for Kings—Hants
In office
November 27, 2000 – February 10, 2019
Preceded byJoe Clark
Succeeded byKody Blois
In office
June 2, 1997 – July 24, 2000
Preceded byJohn Murphy
Succeeded byJoe Clark
Personal details
Born (1967-05-10) May 10, 1967 (age 57)
Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada
Political partyLiberal (2003–present)
Other political
Progressive Conservative (1997–2003)
Maxime Saint-Pierre
(m. 2007)
Alma materDalhousie University

Scott A. Brison PC (born May 10, 1967) is a former Canadian politician from Nova Scotia. Brison served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Kings-Hants from the 1997 federal election until July 2000, then from November 2000 to February 2019. He was the first openly gay MP to sit as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. In 2003, just days after the Progressive Conservatives and the more socially conservative Canadian Alliance voted to merge into the Conservative Party of Canada, Brison crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party.

Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Brison graduated from Dalhousie University. After entering Parliament in 2000, he served as the Minister of Public Works and Government Services from 2004 until 2006 in the Paul Martin government. In 2005, he was named by the World Economic Forum (WEF) of Davos, Switzerland, as one of its "Young Global Leaders".[1] In Opposition from 2006 to 2013, Brison has served as the Liberal Party's Finance Critic. He was President of the Treasury Board of Canada in Justin Trudeau's ministry until January 2019.

Brison announced on January 10, 2019, that he would not be standing in the 2019 federal election and stepped down from cabinet.[2] On February 6, 2019, he announced he was resigning his seat in the House of Commons of Canada effective February 10, 2019.[3] After leaving politics, Brison became Bank of Montreal's vice-chair of investment and corporate banking[4] and is a member of the Canadian American Business Council's advisory board.[5]

Early life[edit]

Brison was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the son of Verna Patricia (née Salter) and Clifford Brison, who ran a grocery store.[6][7] He attended Hants West Rural High School and then obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University in Halifax. While there, he started and operated a successful business renting small fridges – he has jokingly referred to himself as a "fridge magnate".[8] Brison then worked in corporate sales for ten years.


He entered politics as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the Nova Scotia riding of Kings—Hants in the 1997 election.[9] Brison was one of a handful of new PC "Young Turk" MPs (along with John Herron, André Bachand and Peter MacKay) who were considered the future youthful leadership material that would restore the ailing Tories to their glory days.

In July 2000, Brison resigned his seat so that PC leader Joe Clark could enter the House of Commons. In the interim, Brison was appointed co-chair of the Tories' Election Policy Platform Committee, and became vice-president of investment banking at Yorkton Securities in Toronto.

When the 2000 election was called in October, Clark stood for election in a Calgary, Alberta riding. Brison returned as the PC candidate in Kings—Hants, and was returned to Parliament.[10] In 2001, he served as the party's Finance and Industry critic, and was vice-chairman of the House of Commons Finance committee. Brison came out as gay in 2002, saying that he is "not a gay politician, but a politician who happens to be gay."[11] He became the fourth sitting Member of Parliament to do so after Svend Robinson, Réal Ménard, and Libby Davies.

Progressive Conservative leadership bid[edit]

In 2003, following Clark's retirement, Brison ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives[12] on a platform of "new ideas", that consisted of Employment Insurance reform, more private involvement in health care, integrated defence strategy with the US, and socially liberal policies. At the leadership convention, his campaign was dealt a crucial blow by John Herron who defected to the MacKay camp. Despite gaining votes on the second ballot, Brison was eliminated by three votes and threw his support to Jim Prentice.[13] Prentice lost on the final ballot to Peter MacKay (who won with the support of David Orchard). He fought publicly with other members of his party, particularly Elsie Wayne, over their opposition to same-sex marriage.[citation needed]

Crossing the floor[edit]

On December 10, 2003, four days after Brison voted in favour of the PCs merging with the Canadian Alliance to form the new Conservative Party of Canada, Brison announced that he would cross the floor and sit as a Liberal MP.[14] He stated that he had reservations about the perceived dominance of former members of the more socially conservative Canadian Alliance in the new party. Brison was criticized for this move,[by whom?] however, especially because he had actively supported the merger when it was first proposed. Others[who?] had also pointed out that as Finance Critic, he had been outspoken in his attacks on Paul Martin who was Finance Minister; Brison was criticized as an opportunist[by whom?] for switching parties and accepting a position as parliamentary secretary. Brison claimed his enthusiasm for the merger had become discernibly lukewarm in the final weeks before the vote. He indicated that he would honour his prior commitment to support the proposal, but said that he would reconsider his allegiance once the results were announced.[citation needed]

Cabinet Minister[edit]

On December 13, 2003, he was appointed as a parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister[15] with special emphasis on Canada-U.S. Relations and sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. In the 2004 election, Brison was re-elected, his first victory as a Liberal.[16] On July 20, 2004, Brison was named to cabinet as Minister of Public Works in Martin's post-election shuffle.[17] In doing so, he became Canada's first openly gay cabinet minister.[11]

As the youngest member of cabinet, Brison also served on three cabinet committees – Treasury Board, Domestic Affairs, and Expenditure Review. Previously, he had served as vice-chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance, been a member of the Standing Committee on Industry, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

He is also a member of the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group and has served as the vice-president of the Canadian group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union where he took part in conferences in Moscow and New York. He was also part of the Canadian delegation sent to two annual meetings of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London.

On November 4, 2015, he was appointed the Treasury Board President in Justin Trudeau's cabinet,[18] a position he held until the end of 2018. In the summer of 2018, Brison initially committed to running in the 2019 federal election, however in December 2018 he decided to leave politics, around the time that he was linked to the controversy from the prosecution of Admiral Mark Norman.[1] Norman's lawyers said that Brison "tried to have the (Davie Shipbuilding) deal killed on behalf of the Irving family – who operate rival Irving Shipbuilding."[19] Announcing his decision to leave politics, Brison said at the time that it "feels very right" to him.[20]

Liberal leadership bid[edit]

Brison and Michael Ignatieff in Ottawa in 2010

On April 22, 2006, Brison entered the race for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.[21] His Liberal leadership platform emphasised both environmentalism and economic reform calling for a "green" platform that called for personal and corporate tax cuts to prompt business growth and curb pollution.[22] Brison won 4.0% of the vote on the first ballot with 192 delegates, leaving him in 6th place out of eight candidates.[23] He dropped out and threw his support behind Bob Rae.[24] When Bob Rae dropped out on the third ballot and released his delegates, Scott Brison opted to support the politically similar Michael Ignatieff. The final winner of the leadership convention was Stéphane Dion.

Electoral record[edit]

2015 Canadian federal election: Kings—Hants
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Scott Brison 33,026 70.74 +31.19 $88,355.31
Conservative David Morse 8,677 18.59 –18.05 $80,877.49
New Democratic Hugh Curry 2,998 6.42 –13.60 $15,831.09
Green Will Cooper 1,569 3.36 –0.42 $1,277.65
Rhinoceros Megan Brown-Hodges 184 0.39 $730.27
Independent Edd Twohig 132 0.28 $1,070.96
Independent Cliff James Williams 100 0.21
Total valid votes/Expense limit 46,686 100.00   $200,775.69
Total rejected ballots 202 0.43
Turnout 46,888 70.56
Eligible voters 66,454
Liberal hold Swing +24.62
Source: Elections Canada[25][26]
2011 Canadian federal election: Kings—Hants
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Scott Brison 15,887 39.56 -4.62
Conservative David Morse 14,714 36.63 +10.49
New Democratic Mark Rogers 8,043 20.03 -1.98
Green Sheila Richardson 1,520 3.78 -2.46
Total valid votes/Expense limit 40,164 100.0    
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 200 0.50 +0.01
Turnout 40,364 61.76 +3.17
Eligible voters 65,355
Liberal hold Swing -7.56
2008 Canadian federal election: Kings—Hants
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Scott Brison 16,641 44.18 -1.38
Conservative Rosemary Segado 9,846 26.14 -6.05
New Democratic Carol Harris 8,291 22.01 +2.99
Green Brendan MacNeill 2,353 6.24 +4.04
Christian Heritage Jim Hnatiuk 528 1.40
Total valid votes/Expense limit 37,659 100.0    
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 187 0.49 +0.08
Turnout 37,846 58.59 -6.60
Eligible voters 64,593
Liberal hold Swing +2.34
2006 Canadian federal election: Kings—Hants
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Scott Brison 19,491 45.56 -1.05
Conservative Bob Mullan 13,772 32.19 +2.07
New Democratic Mary Dewolfe 8,138 19.02 +1.33
Green Sheila Richardson 947 2.21 -1.41
Marijuana Chummy Anthony 436 1.02
Total valid votes/Expense limit 42,784 100.0    
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 177 0.41 -0.35
Turnout 42,961 65.19 +2.77
Eligible voters 65,898
Liberal hold Swing -1.56
2004 Canadian federal election: Kings—Hants
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Scott Brison 17,555 46.61 +16.11
Conservative Bob Mullan 11,344 30.12 -19.42
New Democratic Skip Hambling 6,663 17.69 +0.08
Green Kevin Stacey 1,364 3.62
Christian Heritage Jim Hnatiuk 493 1.31
Independent Richard Hennigar 242 0.64 +0.34
Total valid votes/Expense limit 37,661 100.0    
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 289 0.76
Turnout 37,950 62.42
Eligible voters 60,801
Liberal gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +18.56
2000 Canadian federal election: Kings—Hants
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Scott Brison 17,612 40.29 -13.16
Liberal Claude O'Hara 13,213 30.23 -0.03
New Democratic Kaye Johnson 7,244 16.57 -10.57
Alliance Gerry Fulton 4,618 10.56 -5.58
Marijuana Jim King 669 1.53
Independent Kenneth MacEachern 140 0.32
Natural Law Richard Hennigar 133 0.30 -0.28
Communist Graham Jake MacDonald 85 0.19 -0.33
Total valid votes 43,714 100.00
1997 Canadian federal election: Kings—Hants
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Scott Brison 17,401 36.27 +16.04
Liberal John Murphy 14,515 30.26 -9.23
New Democratic Philip A. Brown 9,101 18.97 +13.97
Reform Lloyd Schmidt 6,424 13.39 +0.57
Natural Law James McLelland 278 0.58 -0.47
Independent Graham Jake MacDonald 251 0.52
Total valid votes 47,970 100.00

Personal life[edit]

It was announced in October 2005 that he and his partner Maxime Saint-Pierre, an investment advisor with RBC Dominion Securities, intended to marry.[27] They were married on August 18, 2007, in Brison's riding.[28] Their daughters, Claire Brison-St. Pierre and Rose Brison-St. Pierre, were born via a surrogate mother on February 21, 2014.[29][30]


  1. ^ "A generation of change" (PSF). World Economic Forum. 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Scott Brison resigns from federal Liberal cabinet |".
  3. ^ "Former Liberal cabinet minister Scott Brison stepping down as MP effective next week |".
  4. ^ "Scott Brison takes job with Bank of Montreal, weeks after resigning from cabinet". The Canadian Press. 2019-02-14. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  5. ^ "Who We Are". CABC. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  6. ^ "Brison, Hon. Scott, B.Comm. (Kings—Hants) Minister of Public Works and Government Services |".
  7. ^ "Clifford Raymond Brison: 1923-2020". J. Wilson Allen Funeral Homes. Archived from the original on September 29, 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  8. ^ Lawrence Martin (3 November 2015). "Expect Brison to bring sunny ways to finance". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Brison victorious for Tories in Kings-Hants". The Chronicle Herald. June 3, 1997. Archived from the original on November 30, 2001. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  10. ^ "Brison headed back to hill after brief break". The Chronicle Herald. November 28, 2000. Archived from the original on January 24, 2005. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  11. ^ a b "MP Scott Brison marries same-sex partner". CTV News. August 18, 2007. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  12. ^ "Brison 'ready to lead' Tories". The Chronicle Herald. January 31, 2003. Archived from the original on April 22, 2003. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  13. ^ "MacKay crowned Tory leader". Ottawa Citizen. June 1, 2003. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  14. ^ "Brison joins Liberals". The Chronicle Herald. December 11, 2003. Archived from the original on December 23, 2003. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  15. ^ "Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation". Government of Canada. 26 March 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Clear win for Brison". The Chronicle Herald. June 29, 2004. Archived from the original on September 27, 2005. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  17. ^ "Brison gets hot potato". The Chronicle Herald. July 21, 2004. Archived from the original on July 23, 2004. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  18. ^ "Full list of Justin Trudeau's cabinet 31-member cabinet includes 15 women, attempt at regional balance". CBC News. 2015-11-04.
  19. ^ Pinkerton, Charlie (28 January 2020). "Failed prosecution of vice-admiral Mark Norman cost government more than $1.4 million". iPolitics.
  20. ^ "'Feels very right': Liberal Scott Brison resigns from cabinet, not running in 2019". CTVNews. 2019-01-10. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  21. ^ "Brison joins Liberal leadership race". CBC News. April 23, 2006. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  22. ^ Whittington, Les (2006-04-23). "Brison set to go 'green' in Liberal race: Will focus on environmental concerns". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  23. ^ "Ignatieff leads after first ballot, but outcome still in question". December 2, 2006. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  24. ^ "Rae gets Scott Brison support". December 2, 2006. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  25. ^ "October 19, 2015 Election Results — Kings—Hants (Validated results)". Elections Canada. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  26. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2015-08-15 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison mulls wedding bells". 2005-10-08. Archived from the original on 2006-01-09. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  28. ^ "Brison first MP to wed under same-sex marriage law". CBC News. 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  29. ^ Raphael, Michael (October 1, 2012). "Mitchel Raphael on cross-border babymaking and wives' last names". Maclean's Magazine. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  30. ^ "Brison, St. Pierre welcome twin girls". The Chronicle Herald. February 24, 2014. Archived from the original on November 10, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.

External links[edit]

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