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Scott Brison opts out of running for Nova Scotia Liberal leader

Then-President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison speaks to students at Saint Mary's University in Halifax on Feb. 28, 2018. Alexander Quon/Global News

Former federal Liberal cabinet member Scott Brison declined calls to run for leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberals and become the province’s 29th premier.

The man who served as MP for Kings-Hants for 22 years said in a Twitter video posted Friday, that family is his priority.

Read more: Scott Brison resigns from federal Liberal cabinet

“Right now is simply not the right time for me to step back into political life,” Brison said in the video.

Brison was formerly the president of Prime Minister Trudeau’s Treasury Board, but he resigned from the position in January 2019.

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A Mainstreet Research poll released Friday says that 31 per cent of Nova Scotians would be more likely to vote Liberal if Brison were elected.

The poll was conducted last month on 610 Nova Scotians.

Brison said in the video he is grateful for the support regardless of his decision to opt-out.

According to the poll, 49 per cent of Nova Scotians said health care and the response to COVID-19 was the most important issue to them. Eighteen per cent said the economy was the most important.

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil stepping down' Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil stepping down
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil stepping down – Aug 6, 2020

In the video released on Friday, Brison said with the right economic leadership, “sky is the limit for Nova Scotia.”

Other potential candidates listed in the research poll included Central Nova MP Sean Fraser,  former MLA Joanne Bernard, Education Minister Zach Churchill, Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin.

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A majority of Nova Scotians, according to the poll, are less likely to vote Liberal if Churchill or Diab were leader.

Read more: Nova Scotia Liberals to select new premier in February

Premier Stephen McNeil announced his resignation on Aug. 6, saying “it’s time to do something else.”

A new Liberal leader will be chosen Feb. 6, 2021, according to the province’s Liberal party.

Candidate’s for the leadership race must be registered by Oct. 9, 2020.

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