It seems like only yesterday that Scott Brison, then a Progressive Conservative MP, was refusing to shake the hand of Tony Clement, then an Ontario Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and leading proponent of uniting the federal Tories and the Canadian Alliance.
The slight occurred at the federal Tories’ Christmas party on Parliament Hill in December, 2001.
Clement, one of most genial people in Canadian politics, was so taken aback by Brison’s rudeness that he noted it in conversations with friends.
Brison, it seems, was peeved by the unite-the-right movement.
Fast forward almost five years, and Brison, now a Liberal MP and leadership hopeful, has ripped off one of Clement’s signature policy ideas for his campaign for the Grit crown.
It’s a tax deferment plan that would allow young people to have $25,000 of their annual income be tax free for their first decade in the work force.
Brison was touting it Wednesday at a luncheon speech in Toronto.
But the Liberal’s "innovation" was something Clement first devised in 2001-02, when he was a candidate for the Ontario Tory leadership. It was known then as Jumpstart 250 and one of its other architects, Roh Gupta, is now Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s economic adviser.
So even though he may not want to shake a Conservative’s hand, Brison is obviously still a Tory at heart.