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Last in Parliament October 2000, as Bloc MP for Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok (Québec)

Won his last election, in 1997, with 41.26% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Employment Insurance Act October 19th, 2000

I would really like to meet one member of their party.

As for the seasonal workers I would like the hon. member to gives us a clear and precise commitment on, if his party were to form government, the fisheries problem in eastern Canada.

In January he sea is iced over. We cannot fish, the same way that we cannot pick strawberries, and, in the lower St. Lawrence, we cannot harvest peat either. This then is what raw material harvesting is about.

Would the members of the Alliance Party agree with the definition of seasonal work which follows the course of nature? If biological rhythms require it to take place over a period of 10 weeks as, for example, in the case of lobster fishing, are they prepared to guarantee they will give lobster fishers employment insurance, unemployment insurance, since they need to eat 52 weeks a year? I would like a clear answer on that.

Second, I would invite the candidate and member present to explain why he said in his speech that aquaculture should not be developed. Some things could be done in this area.

I have come from the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. We travelled last spring to the west coast of Canada, and I came to realize that a number of Reform members of the committee more or less supported the development of aquaculture along the west coast.

I would like the members of the Alliance to tell me in no uncertain terms if they are in favour of the development of aquaculture and would take fiscal action to develop this industry, instead of simply making empty promises, because it takes more than prayers. I await their response.

Employment Insurance Act October 19th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have heard my colleague from the Canadian Alliance speak to Bill C-44 on employment insurance. I have two questions for him. He himself has said that we are likely headed for an election call this weekend. I trust that there will be an Alliance candidate in my riding of Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok. It appears that 2,800 new members of that party have been turned up in my riding.

I would therefore imagine that there will be a candidate and I would like that candidate to find out from someone involved in the leadership race where they found these people.

Employment Insurance Act October 19th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I would like some clarification. Are we not supposed to be talking about Bill C-44 on the employment insurance reform? Is this not the issue that we should be discussing? If so, could you tell me and our viewers about the relevance of the hon. member's presentation on demographics and health problems? I suppose that people are more likely to get sick if they cannot get employment insurance benefits, but I am trying to see how this is relevant to today's topic.

Could the Chair indicate whether we are indeed dealing with the Employment Insurance Act? If so, could the Chair call on the hon. member to share his views and those of his party on the appropriateness of the changes that are being considered and indicate if his party wants more changes or less changes?

Employment Insurance Act October 4th, 2000

Madam Speaker, I know that we have a staunch defender of the victims of unemployment in the hon. member who has just spoken, a staunch defender of seasonal workers. I know that the hon. member has studied the employment insurance legislation in depth. The proof is that he has travelled throughout Canada to give people the chance to express their opinions on this.

I would like to ask a question of my colleague as an expert and a neighbour of my riding in the Gaspé. Can he confirm to this House that the Liberals already possess, in the 1996 legislation, a clause that makes it possible to reduce to zero, or close to it, the 5% increase connected with abolition of the intensity rule?

I will give an example, that of the dividing factor. In the crab fisheries, in certain cases—decided upon by the federal government—the fishery is closed, sometimes after seven weeks because of biological factors. Sometimes people manage to accumulate the 420 hours in those seven weeks. However because of the dividing factor, they divide by 14 the benefits these people get, not by the actual number of weeks. Hon. members will agree with me that 7 divided by 14 is 50%.

By abolishing the 5% intensity rule today the minister is only offering seasonal workers 2.5%.

Does my colleague intend to support the amendments the Bloc Quebecois would like to present, for example those concerning the definition in the act of what constitutes a seasonal job?

Financial Consumer Agency Of Canada Act September 20th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I notice that every time I rise in the House, you make an effort to remember the full name of my riding. I hope everyone will remember. You do so in French and your French is constantly improving.

After this bit of humour, I want to remind Quebecers who are listening to us—it is suppertime and some people like to play with the remote control—to make sure, before they eat their dessert, that they know what we are debating here today.

The bill before us will allow the federal Minister of Finance to decide the future of federally chartered banks in Quebec. What does this mean? My colleague, the hon. member for Mercier, explained it very well. The National Bank which, for most Quebecers, is the bank for small and medium size businesses, could come under foreign control. This means that its head office could be moved. These things could happen.

Those who are listening to us, in particular people in the Gaspe Peninsula, always want their member of parliament to come back home as often as possible, so as to keep informed of their problems. If, some day, I were to retire from the House and always stay away, how could I be aware of the needs of the constituents whom I represent? I realize that it is not quite the same thing for banks, but it is important to be close to one's customers. I am sure my colleague can comment further.

How could I, as a legislator, as the representative of the constituents of Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok, give a blank check—the expression is appropriate since we are talking about an act amending the Bank Act—to the Minister of Finance, when his bill is full of expressions such as “the Minister may, if he deems it necessary”?

He can do as he pleases, for Quebec and for the Gaspe. He can decide to do the right thing, but in six months we might suddenly have a different minister. Everyone is talking about elections. What would happen if there were someone else in the portfolio?

I do not want to ascribe bad intentions to the present minister, although sorely tempted, but if we change ministers, then what? If people want to make amendments, according to how they see things, and knowing their way of operating and how the electoral system works today, I would dearly love to see what contributions will end up being made to the campaign expenses of future ministers of finance. I will keep a list of them.

The banking system has influence. If we as legislators make the decision immediately, and leave as little as possible to the discretion of a Minister of Finance, which is I believe what the banks and small and medium business want, then we will be have some very clear rules to go by. I do not think that this bill as it stands is clear.

I will leave my colleague from Mercier to comment on this statement, but in my opinion it is not, at this time, worth the paper it is printed on.

Income Tax Act Amendments, 1999 June 7th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. To help those who are watching us and the members opposite understand what is going on, I wonder if the Chair or the clerk could clarify under the standing orders whether when a vote is called it is necessary for a member to be in his or her own seat?

It is necessary to be standing and to say that we want to vote. I believe this is what happened earlier when five Bloc Quebecois members stood up asking for one. The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve told the Chair that he was present and he was indeed present. I would not want the call of summer to make us proceed too quickly.

Income Tax Act Amendments, 1999 June 7th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I agree that summer is knocking at the door and that the government is in a hurry to get things done, but I want to make sure I understand things properly.

When you asked if we were ready for the question, five Bloc Quebecois members rose to express their disagreement. I would like to know your decision on this point or hear it again.

Fisheries April 5th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, once again the remarks of the minister provide no assurance, but I would first have him understand that he must consider the human factor in the impact of his decisions.

My question is very simple question: will he commit to ensuring that Quebec fishing quotas remain with Quebec residents and protect the fish plant jobs in Quebec?

Fisheries April 5th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, there is concern that the fishers in Quebec are paying for the agreements the federal government is about to sign with the first nations of the maritimes, and the minister's responses in the House have provided no reassurance.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans reassure the fishers in the Gaspé by confirming for them unequivocally that the licenses to be bought back from Quebec fishers will be given to native fishers in Quebec and not in other provinces?

Fisheries April 4th, 2000

That is unfair. An attempt is being made to imbalance the quotas of the various provinces. This is what prompts the AQIP, the Association québécoise de l'industrie de la Pêche, to believe there are going to be interprovincial transfers. What is his answer to that?