Liberal MP Scott Brison's friendship with Colombian Trade Minister Luis Plata was one of the crucial parts in securing his amendment to the Canada-Colombian Free Trade Agreement, which now goes before committee. Mr. Plata was in town to meet with the Trade Minister earlier this week to discuss the agreement. As well, Brison and fellow Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett are co-hosting an A Taste For Life event in Ottawa tonight. I spoke to Brison after Question Period today.
Q: Your friend Luis Plata was in town yesterday – did you get a chance to show him around town?
A: We had a lot of meetings. He met with my leader, Michael Ignatieff. He had dinner with Bob Rae and I on Monday night, and we had dinner with the Liberal caucus last night. Very fulsome discussions – in fact, if you check the transcripts from committee, you can see where he reads into the record where he describes in great detail the proposed agreement between Colombia and Canada on human rights. He’s enthusiastic about that agreement and its potential to strengthen and deepen Canada-Colombian bilateral relations on human rights. That’s been a significant step forward.
Like I said, we had dinner last night with the caucus and then a few beverages at the martini bar, and he’s off. I just talked to him a few minutes ago – he’s on the plane to Bogota.
Q: Now, you’re co-hosting an A Taste For Life event tonight.
A: It’s at Chianti [Ristorante Italiano].
Q: Tell me why these kinds of events are important for MPs to show up at.
A: It’s important in terms of awareness. It’s obviously important in terms of a fundraising perspective, but also from an awareness perspective. I’ve participated in these A Taste For Life events in the past, and it’s a novel and fun way to raise awareness and money.