Scott Brison

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Scott Brison
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Scott Brison

The Honourable Scott A. Brison (b. May 10, 1967, Windsor, Nova Scotia) is a Canadian politician. He is the sixth Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Brison represents the Nova Scotia riding of Kings—Hants as a Liberal Member of Parliament. The first openly gay member of the Cabinet of Canada, he notes that he is "not a gay politician, but a politician who happens to be gay."

Biography

Brison obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University, and 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. 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 on behalf of PC leader Joe Clark, so that Clark could gain a seat in 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. 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, becoming the fourth sitting Member of Parliament to do so after Svend Robinson, Réal Ménard and Libby Davies. He was the first openly gay Progressive Conservative MP.

In 2003, following Clark's retirement, Brison ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives. Although he was widely judged to have run a strong campaign, at the leadership convention, he was knocked off after the second ballot and threw his support to Jim Prentice. Prentice lost on the final ballot to MacKay. He fought publicly with other members of his party, particularly Elsie Wayne, over their opposition to same-sex marriage.

On December 10th, 2003, two days after the PCs merged with the more right-wing Canadian Alliance to form the new Conservative Party of Canada, Brison announced that he would cross the floor and sit as a Liberal MP. 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, however, because he had actively supported the merger when it was first proposed.

On December 12, he was appointed as a parliamentary secretary and sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. In the 2004 election, Brison was re-elected, his first victory as a Liberal. On July 20, 2004, Brison was named to cabinet as Minister of Public Works in Martin's post-election shuffle. In doing so, he became Canada's first openly gay cabinet minister.

27th Ministry - Government of Paul Martin
Cabinet Posts (1)
Preceded by:
Stephen Owen
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
(2004-)
Succeeded by:
(incumbent)


Members of Parliament from Kings—Hants
Preceded by:
John Murphy, Liberal (electoral district changed names from Annapolis Valley—Hants)
First term (1997-2000) Followed by:
Joe Clark, PC
Preceded by:
Joe Clark, PC
Second term(2000-present) Followed by:
(incumbent)

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