Brent was born in Melville, Saskatchewan in 1964. After graduating from Melville Comprehensive School in 1982, Brent obtained Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. In between degrees, he was a Ministerial Assistant to a Senior Saskatchewan Cabinet Minister.
Brent began his legal career in Calgary, articling with the law firm Milner and Steer (now Dentons LLP). Thereafter, he practiced law in Red Deer as a Litigator with Sisson Warren Sinclair. In 1994, Brent moved to Edmonton where he specialized in litigation.
Brent entered public life in 2001 when he became the Member of the Alberta Legislature for Edmonton-Calder. During his Legislative career, Brent chaired the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review on behalf of the Alberta Legislature and sat on two Alberta Government Labour Code Review Committees.
Brent was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2001.
Brent gained a reputation as an advocate for victims’ legal rights during the contentious 2003 debate concerning automobile insurance reform.
After the 2004 provincial election, Brent returned to private life and the practice of law. In March 2005, Brent became the Executive Director of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCAC), an industry association of industrial contractors, who believe in progressive labour relations with their employees.
Brent was elected to the 40th Parliament of Canada on October 14, 2008. He was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Edmonton-St. Albert in the 2011 election.
Shortly after assuming his Parliamentary duties following the 2008 election, Brent was appointed to the House of Commons Standing Committees on “Justice and Human Rights” and “Public Safety and National Security”. On these committees, he worked tirelessly to promote laws to provide safe streets and safe communities and to enhance the rights of victims of crime. Following his re-election in 2011 Brent was re-appointed to both the Justice and Public Safety Committees. In February 2013, Brent was appointed to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
On June 5th, 2013, Brent resigned from the Conservative caucus due to its lack of commitment to transparency and open government. He then sat as an Independent Member of Parliament.
In September 2014, Brent published his first book, “Irresponsible Government- The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy In Canada”. It chronicles the devolution of Parliamentary supremacy and transition to Executive Government, and provides prescriptions for re-calibrating power between the elected Parliament and the unelected Prime Minister’s Office.
In 2015, Irresponsible Government was shortlisted for the Kobo Canadian Emergent Author Prize in the non-fiction category.
Brent has become a tireless advocate for Parliamentary reform and has Op Ed pieces published in the National Post, Toronto Star, iPolitics and the Huffington Post.
In November 2014, Brent was awarded the honour of “Member of Parliament who best represents his constituents” by Maclean’s magazine. This award is voted on by all Members of Parliament and recognizes his ability to represent constituents more effectively when freed from party positions and discipline.
Following the 2015 Federal Election, Brent returned to private life. He has been writing a weekly political column for ipolitics.
In 2016, Brent returned to the business world as a political consultant, providing a full range of legal services, advocacy and consulting.
Brent lives in Edmonton with his spouse Katrina Black. In his spare time he enjoys sports, fitness, music, reading and writing.