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Brison seeking return to Ottawa in Kings-Hants

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KINGS-HANTS - Seeing his little girls frolicking in a berry patch, barefoot and in their pyjamas, brings a smile to incumbent MP Scott Brison's face.

The new father says he cherishes the moments he spends with his partner, Maxime, and their 19-month-old daughters Rose and Claire. He reads to the girls every morning that he's home, and says Julia Donaldson's The Gruffalo is their favourite tale.

Brison is drawing upon his newfound parenthood to help form public policy with the Trudeau Liberals.

“Actually, having children has made me a better politician because I can understand now, firsthand, parenthood,” he said, noting that he worries how families are making ends meet.

“Families are tapped out; families are struggling.”

Brison sees that first hand as the co-chairman of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's economic council.

“One of the things we're offering Canadians is a tax cut for middle class families and a new Canada Child Benefit that would help low and middle income families.”

Brison, who calls the small West Hants community of Cheverie home, was bitten by the political bug early on.

“I was taken to my first political meeting at the age of 11 by my uncle George Brison, who took me to a Ron Russell rally at the Summerville fire hall,” said Brison. It was the election of 1978.

Brison soon ran for high school politics, becoming vice-president and then president of the Hants West Rural High School student council. He went on to become president of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Youth Association and was part of Canada's national executive for the PC Youth of Canada.

While he went to work in the business sector following university, the pull of politics drew him back in the mid-1990s. He ran for the Kings-Hants riding in 1997, winning the seat as a Progressive Conservative. He gave up his seat in the summer of 2000 so PC leader Joe Clark could enter the House of Commons. When the election was called later that year, Brison was re-elected.

In 2002, Brison became the fourth openly gay sitting MP. In 2003, he crossed the floor to join the Liberal party and was returned to Ottawa in the subsequent elections of 2004, 2008, and 2011.

Brison said he always thought he would serve the area, but figured it would be when he was in his 50s.

“I had no intention of running for politics until later in life,” he said, adding life has a funny way of changing one's plans.

Looking back at nearly two decades of political representation, he’s had many highlights — including working to get federal funding for much of the previous Highway 101 twinning — and is hopeful to return to parliament this fall to continue making a difference for local constituents.

 

QUICK QUESTIONS

1.Who inspires you?

“I'd say I'm inspired by my 92-year-old father Clifford Brison. He's tough as a boiled owl.”

2.What book do you recommend everybody read?

“I recommend that everybody read the Economist magazine, which is the best news magazine in the world and I try to read it every single week. I find it incredibly important. In terms of a specific book, William Manchester's trilogy biography of Winston Churchill.”

3.What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

“My mother used to say 'hard work never hurt anyone.' She and dad raised four kids who work very hard. I think that that's great advice.”

4. What's your number one bucket list item?

“The thing I want to do more than anything else? I want to be a really great dad.”

The new father says he cherishes the moments he spends with his partner, Maxime, and their 19-month-old daughters Rose and Claire. He reads to the girls every morning that he's home, and says Julia Donaldson's The Gruffalo is their favourite tale.

Brison is drawing upon his newfound parenthood to help form public policy with the Trudeau Liberals.

“Actually, having children has made me a better politician because I can understand now, firsthand, parenthood,” he said, noting that he worries how families are making ends meet.

“Families are tapped out; families are struggling.”

Brison sees that first hand as the co-chairman of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's economic council.

“One of the things we're offering Canadians is a tax cut for middle class families and a new Canada Child Benefit that would help low and middle income families.”

Brison, who calls the small West Hants community of Cheverie home, was bitten by the political bug early on.

“I was taken to my first political meeting at the age of 11 by my uncle George Brison, who took me to a Ron Russell rally at the Summerville fire hall,” said Brison. It was the election of 1978.

Brison soon ran for high school politics, becoming vice-president and then president of the Hants West Rural High School student council. He went on to become president of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Youth Association and was part of Canada's national executive for the PC Youth of Canada.

While he went to work in the business sector following university, the pull of politics drew him back in the mid-1990s. He ran for the Kings-Hants riding in 1997, winning the seat as a Progressive Conservative. He gave up his seat in the summer of 2000 so PC leader Joe Clark could enter the House of Commons. When the election was called later that year, Brison was re-elected.

In 2002, Brison became the fourth openly gay sitting MP. In 2003, he crossed the floor to join the Liberal party and was returned to Ottawa in the subsequent elections of 2004, 2008, and 2011.

Brison said he always thought he would serve the area, but figured it would be when he was in his 50s.

“I had no intention of running for politics until later in life,” he said, adding life has a funny way of changing one's plans.

Looking back at nearly two decades of political representation, he’s had many highlights — including working to get federal funding for much of the previous Highway 101 twinning — and is hopeful to return to parliament this fall to continue making a difference for local constituents.

 

QUICK QUESTIONS

1.Who inspires you?

“I'd say I'm inspired by my 92-year-old father Clifford Brison. He's tough as a boiled owl.”

2.What book do you recommend everybody read?

“I recommend that everybody read the Economist magazine, which is the best news magazine in the world and I try to read it every single week. I find it incredibly important. In terms of a specific book, William Manchester's trilogy biography of Winston Churchill.”

3.What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

“My mother used to say 'hard work never hurt anyone.' She and dad raised four kids who work very hard. I think that that's great advice.”

4. What's your number one bucket list item?

“The thing I want to do more than anything else? I want to be a really great dad.”

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