Bryan Brulotte, who is entering the leadership race for the Conservative Party of Canada, is shown in Ottawa, on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Bryan Brulotte, who is entering the leadership race for the Conservative Party of Canada, is shown in Ottawa, on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Bryan Brulotte launches effort Monday to win Conservative leadership

A new Conservative leader will be chosen on June 27

When it comes to potential candidates for Conservative leadership, Bryan Brulotte isn’t exactly an outsider. He’s been involved in conservative politics for nearly three decades.

But around those mostly volunteer efforts, he served in the military, got an M.B.A., and built what would become a multi-million-dollar staffing company.

Now he intends to leverage that insider-outsider status to make a bid for the federal party’s leadership, starting in earnest on Monday.

Though an election date for the new Conservative leader has been set as June 27, the race itself has yet to officially begin.

But Brulotte says he is starting now because one of his greatest assets in the race is also a major challenge: he’s not a career politician and he has virtually no national profile.

“The only way we are going to win is to bring in new people,” he said in an interview at a downtown Ottawa coffee shop, fresh from filming a promotional video with his wife, two daughters and three dogs near their Chelsea, Que., home.

That video, a social media campaign and newspapers ads all hit the public domain on Monday, aimed at drumming up the supporters he’ll need to formally launch a bid. The new members he hopes to recruit to the party in turn, he believes, will become the new voters the Conservatives need to form government.

He wants to draw them in with what he calls his vision for Canada, reflected in a policy document called “A Country for All,” that sets out ideas in eight areas.

Some are designed to get people talking, such as finding a Caribbean nation to become a new province or territory.

More broadly, the document is aimed at getting them to think, and then talk, about the issues at stake in Canada, including the country’s place in the world and the changing global and domestic economy.

“As a society, there is a widespread misunderstanding that only socialists and Liberals care about people,” he writes in his policy document.

“I’m a capitalist and I care.”

READ MORE: Conservative party’s fundraising boss takes over temporary helm of party

For example, Brulotte is proposing moving Canada’s tax system towards a negative income tax, which sees the government top-up incomes for people who make less than a certain amount.

The idea is a twist on universal basic income, a program that gives everyone the same amount regardless of how much they make, and one that’s gained increasing popularity as a means to address income inequality.

Brulotte is also proposing a luxury tax, but not because he believes the wealthy should pay higher taxes.

His would be on second vehicles or luxury cars, as a bid to reduce carbon emissions as part of a climate strategy.

Brulotte calls carbon taxes an effective policy tool, but believes a federally-imposed one can’t work, in part because natural resources are provincial domain. But he also thinks so because every local economy has different needs, and different abilities to manage emissions.

“What works in downtown Toronto, doesn’t work in Regina, doesn’t work in Fort McMurray, doesn’t work in St. John’s,” he says.

“It’s myopic to believe that we should have one-size-fits-all when it comes to the carbon tax.”

A strong belief in a decentralized federal government goes back to his upbringing.

Brulotte, 55, grew up in Quebec, and was based in the province during most of his early military career.

“By being a Quebecer, a bilingual Quebecer who has served across the country and internationally, I think that personifies what many Canadians would like to see in the leader,” he says.

His military experience — among other things he served in Cyprus, and later as the aide-de-camp for the Governor General — and then his decades running his company MaxSys give him experience career politicians don’t have, he says.

“I have been through a lot of ups and downs, a couple of recessions, more successes than failures, but a few of those. I can bring that to the table.”

Brulotte’s first taste of politics came in 1993, as deputy chief of staff to a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister. He also ran — but lost — as a PC candidate in 2000. He then volunteered for Peter MacKay’s bid for leadership of that party in 2003. He also helped raise money for Maxime Bernier’s attempt to lead the federal Conservatives in 2017.

He’s wanted to run again, but was waiting for the right time on the home and business fronts.

His daughters are in their early teens, he finally hired a president to run the company in his stead, and has committed to seeking a seat in the next election, no matter what.

But when Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer quit in mid-December, he decided to make the run for the top.

“I’ve been serving all my life, I’ve been leading organizations and people all my life, and now it’s this conviction to serve the country in this role,” he says.

Among Scheer’s failings was an inability to express his anti-abortion position and views on same sex marriage clearly, including his refusal to march in a pride parade, Brulotte says.

Brulotte says he supports a woman’s right to choose, and on same-sex marriage looks forward to his first chance to march in a parade.

It could come soon — the Conservative leadership vote will take place in Toronto, the same weekend as that city’s pride festival.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Most Read