Liberal MP Scott Brison announces resignation from the Commons
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2019 3:26PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 6, 2019 4:18PM EST
OTTAWA – Longtime Liberal MP and former cabinet minister Scott Brison has announced that he will be resigning his seat, effective Feb. 10.
On Wednesday, Brison delivered what is considered his farewell address in the House of Commons, nearly 22 years after he first was elected.
During his remarks he reflected on the importance and impact that Parliament can have in the lives of people, and on his experience to serve in government and opposition.
"Yes, I have enjoyed my time on the front benches, but let me tell you all there is no such thing as a bad seat in the House of Commons," Brison said. "Don't ever take for granted the honour of being entrusted by Canadians to forge the future of this country, in this place, to improve the lives of people and to make a difference."
Last month, Brison announced he was resigning from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet because he would not be seeking re-election this fall. Brison's departure from the Treasury Board President post triggered a cabinet shuffle to fill his vacancy.
It was unclear at that time whether Brison intended to remain the MP for the riding of Kings-Hants, N.S., up to the end of this term, or whether he'd be resigning early. There will not be a byelection to fill his seat, meaning it’ll stay open until the October federal election.
At the time, Brison cited wanting to spend more time with family and being ready for "new challenges."
Brison was Canada’s first openly gay federal cabinet minister. He and his husband, Maxime St. Pierre, are fathers to twin girls Rose and Claire, who are four years old.
Brison's speech on Wednesday was followed by tributes from his colleagues.
First elected in June 1997 as a Progressive Conservative, Brison crossed the floor to the Liberals shortly after the PCs merged with the Canadian Alliance in 2003.
Prior to his floor-crossing, Brison sought the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives in 2003. Brison served as minister of public works and government services under Liberal prime minister Paul Martin, and for some time was the party's finance critic.
Before entering public office, Brison worked as an entrepreneur and investment banker. At Dalhousie University he earned the nickname "fridge magnate," after starting an appliance-renting business as a student.
This fall, Brison faced questions over his ties to Nova Scotia-based Irving Shipbuilding, in relation to suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's ongoing trial for allegedly leaking cabinet secrets related to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding.
Norman's lawyers have accused Brison in court filings of acting inappropriately by leading an effort to end a multi-million dollar contract with Davie for an interim naval support ship, and as The Canadian Press has reported, are planning to make him a key witness in the coming summer trial. Brison has denied any wrongdoing and has said that this case had "absolutely no bearing" on his decision to leave federal politics.