University of Toronto
2 min

Scott Brison talks about the spring sitting of the House

In the event that you were afraid we missed him during our end-of-sitting round-up, fear not. I caught up with Liberal MP Scott Brison today from his riding of Kings-Hants in Nova Scotia, in between meetings on what he assures me has been a very busy day.

Q: What were your high points for the sitting?
A: There weren’t a lot of highlights. I thought that Michael Ignatieff’s Liberal Party successfully making Parliament work, and forcing the Harper government to compromise and bend in the interests of Canada is a positive sign in terms of minority Parliaments, so that for me was a positive point.

Q: And low points?
A: It happened during this Parliament and it continues to happen, but I think these negative ads – to see a sitting Prime Minister lead a party that runs negative ads on an opposition leader instead of promoting his own agenda is a new low, and it keeps going lower. The other, to see Stephen Harper talk about having tapes on Michael Ignatieff on the floor of the House of Commons, he just continues to surprise me at how low he can go. Because he’s not only lowering the bar for what people expect in a Prime Minister, he’s really hurting politics, lowering what are already low expectations for politics and politicians, and I think that’s a real shame.

Q: In terms of your trade portfolio, you saw some excitement with that.
A: Yeah, it was my motion at Trade Committee that made President Uribe’s appearance a public appearance as opposed to in camera. At committee, we were able to ask the tough questions. I helped chair the meeting of President Uribe with my caucus, and you know the fact is that the Conservatives aren’t asking the tough questions on labour rights and the environment, and the NDP are irrelevant because they’re against every free trade agreement, so it’s only the Liberal Party that is using economic engagement to strengthen human rights and environmental engagement in Colombia, so I’m proud of that.

Q: Were you also on the trip to Brazil?
A: No, I was not there for it, in fact President Uribe was in Ottawa that week, so I though that was more important. I have also worked very hard on Canada-US issues. I spent a considerable amount of time in DC the past few months, meeting with Congressmen, Senators and Administration officials. I’ve been very active on that front, so we’re going to be very busy this summer on trade files.

Q: And that’s my next question – what are your summer plans?
A: I’m working. I’m going to be doing a lot of work across Canada, a lot of meetings and events across Canada. Meeting with stakeholders and doing some international travels to potentially both Colombia and China, and certainly to Washington again.

Q: When’s Halifax Pride?
A: I think it’s on Saturday the 25th.

Q: And you’re planning on being there?
A: I’m intending on it. I’m not sure what the Liberal party’s plans are yet, but I’ve done it the past few years and I intend on being there this year.