I caught up with Liberal MP Scott Brison
after question period yesterday to ask him about what is keeping him busy this winter.
Q: What did you get up to over
A: Getting caught up on a lot of constituency work was a big part of
it. I had some nice time with my family in Nova Scotia and Maxime’s family in
Quebec, so there was a little bit of down time, but a lot of catching up on
work in the riding.
Q: Didn’t you have another
trip to Colombia?
A: I had a four-day trip to Colombia in January and had some
productive meetings. I travelled within Canada for some meetings as well.
Q: Do you have anything in
particular on your plate for the upcoming sitting?
A: Certainly leading up to the budget, we’re focused on defending
Canadians from what is increasingly an ideological, hard-edged and
mean-spirited Conservative agenda. One of our principal areas of focus is to
protect Canadian seniors against regressive changes to OAS that are based on
Conservative ideology, not on the sustainability of the program. We have the
government’s own commissioned report saying the system is sustainable. We’ve also
now received the parliamentary budget officer’s report that the system is
sustainable, so it’s a question of Conservative ideology over the evidence. The
OAS is sustainable, and the changes proposed by the government to change the
age from 65 to 67 are disproportionately regressive and hardest for low-income
Q: And committee work?
A: Right now the committee is focused on a review of the charitable
sector, and again there is some well-founded fear that the Conservatives are
going to use this as an opportunity to attack those charities and non-profit
organizations that don’t agree with them, to try and find ways to deny or
reduce charitable status benefits to those organizations that don’t share the
Conservatives’ agenda or who are critical of the Conservatives. We’ll be active
in the coming weeks, particularly leading up to the budget.