Jean-Serge Brisson

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Jean-Serge Brisson
Leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada
In office
1999 – May 18, 2008
Preceded byRobert Morse (interim)
Succeeded byDennis Young
Personal details
Born (1954-06-28) June 28, 1954 (age 69)
Embrun, Prescott and Russell
Political partyLibertarian
RelationsMarc-Antoine Gagnier (nephew)

Jean-Serge Brisson (born June 28, 1954) is a Canadian political activist, tax reform advocate, politician, and author. He is a former leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada and gained national notoriety in the 1990s for his opposition to businesses being forced to collect the provincial sales tax (PST) without being remunerated.

Early life[edit]

Brisson was born in Embrun, Ontario, a small village to the east of Ottawa and raised on a dairy farm.[1] He describes his early experiences with jobs and bosses to have put him off from ever being able to work for a boss, wanting to instead start his own business and be his own boss. He first apprenticed as a radiator technician and, in 1974, opened his own company in Embrun, Independent Radiator Co.

Political life[edit]

Libertarian candidate[edit]

Brisson has been a candidate for the Libertarian Party of Canada and the Libertarian Party of Ontario in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell and Ottawa South. He has never been elected provincially or federally.

In 2004, despite being the leader of the Libertarian Party, Brisson did not run in the federal election due to his recent election to municipal council in Russell, Ontario.[2]

Leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada[edit]

Brisson was elected as the leader of the party in 1999 and served until May 18, 2008. Brisson credits himself with organizing the party to be able to re-register itself as an official party with Elections Canada and for running more candidates.[3]

City Councillor[edit]

Following three unsuccessful attempts (including a narrow miss in 2000), Brisson was elected to the municipal council of Russell Township in November 2003 with 1,639 votes. As Councillor he opposed municipal legislation requiring all employees of local government to be proficient in both French and English. He was defeated in his bid for re-election on November 13, 2006 in the 2006 municipal election.

In the 2010 municipal election on October 25, 2010, he unsuccessfully sought election to city council again. With 1,045 votes, he placed ninth out of the nine candidates seeking the four council sets.

Opposition to PST collection[edit]

In the early 1990s, Brisson refused to continue collecting the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) putting forward the idea to the then New Democratic Party of Bob Rae, that collection of any money by small business for any government is slavery. Also the Progressive Conservatives of Brian Mulroney introduced the Goods and Sales Tax (GST) in Canada to replace the manufacturing sales tax. Brisson argues that customers should be sending in their taxes to the Ontario government themselves, the Ontario government mandated that all businesses charge the sales tax when a customer was purchasing a good or service since 1961, then send that money to the government. Brisson said he never agreed to be hired as a tax collector for the provincial government, but if he was going to be doing their work, he expected to be paid the same as other provincial tax collectors, which at the time Brisson's shop rate was approximately $30 per hour.[3] However, the government would not pay businesses for the added responsibilities to the business, which Brisson argued was a form of slavery. Brisson documented his experience in his book titled Tea Party of One: All Governments Invited.[3] In 1994, Brisson claims to have ceased filing income takes returns.[4]

Electoral record (provincial and federal)[edit]

Electoral record of councillors of Russell, 2010[edit]

Rang Councillors Candidate Vote %
1. Érik Bazinet 2634 15
2. Pierre Leroux 2547 14
3. Craig Cullen 2322 13
4. Jamie Laurin 2305 13
5. Jim Cooper 2242 13
6. Donald Saint-Pierre 1749 10
7. Raymond Saint-Pierre 1278 7
8. Jacques Aubé 1107 6
9. Jean-Serge Brisson 1045 6

Personal life[edit]

Brisson is a francophone and advocate for francophone rights.[7][8] In 2012, his radiator repair shop came under fire for having a sign with its services listed only in French.[9]

Brisson's nephew, Marc-Antoine Gagnier, was the author, radio host and politic's candidate in three times[10]


  1. ^ "Libertarian Party Candidates - Jean-Serge Brisson | Official Site of the Libertarian Party of Canada". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  2. ^ Harada, Susan (2004). "The "Others": A Quest for Credibility". In Dornan, Chris; Pammett, Jon H. (eds.). The Canadian General Election of 2004. Dundurn Press. p. 192. ISBN 1-55002-516-3 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c Jean-Serge Brisson, Tea Party of One: All Governments Invited (Renfrew: General Store Publishing House).
  4. ^ MacNaull, Steve (2014-09-10). "Refusing to be a tax collector". Daily Courier. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  6. ^ "In Orléans, everyone's movin' on up". CBC News. 2020-02-04. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  7. ^ Orfali, Philippe (2018-11-29). "Le mouvement anti-francophone est bien vivant en Ontario". Le Journal de Montréal (in French). Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  8. ^ White, Erik (2018-11-28). "Ontario Francophone services debate sees return of 'anti-French, anti-minority' groups". CBC News. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  9. ^ Selick, Karen (2012-06-20). "The language police come to Ontario". National Post. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  10. ^[user-generated source]