Brison Coy on Convention Plans

Media Appearances, Environment, Frontier Centre

Scott Brison isn't yet saying which of the other federal Liberal leadership candidates will receive his support in the convention less than two weeks away.

The Nova Scotia member of Parliament finished second-last among the eight leadership candidates in preliminary delegate selection earlier this fall, and is far from being considered a threat to win the race for the party's most coveted position.

Yet, with some observers suggesting the race might require multiple ballots to decide a winner at the Montreal convention Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, even Brison's 153 delegates could come into play.

During a visit to Winnipeg Monday, Brison admitted he is looking hard at the front-runners.

"I think that in fact there's a range of thinking," he said, when asked which candidate had the platform that most resembled his. "I like some of what almost all of them have."

Brison was in the city to speak to an audience assembled by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Winnipeg-based think tank.

Brison's speech outlined many of the points he has raised in his campaign: about government's role in encouraging new environmental technologies and about blending environmental innovation and fiscal responsibility.

Asked if that matched the message of Quebec MP Stéphane Dion, Brison said he and Dion look at the same issues from different perspectives.

"I've come to the environmental challenge from an economic perspective and Stéphane has come to economic questions through the environmental lens," Brison said. "And I think that some of his ideas and some of my ideas can be synergistic."

"On the environmental side, I think both Michael (Ignatieff, the Liberal leadership front-runner) and Stéphane have put forth some clear thinking on environmental questions," Brison added. "I just believe absolutely that the greatest opportunity for Canada in the 21st century is to be the global leader in environmental technologies. I think this is good for business and great for the environment."

Frontier Centre president Peter Holle called Brison "a new ideas type of person," and praised the former Public Works minister for defying the partisanship that often besets politics and pursuing instead what he believed were good policy ideas.