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Bloc MP for Jonquière—Alma (Québec)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 43.40% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Housing January 30th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, the fact that the federal government is withdrawing its funding for social and affordable housing is shameful.
Agencies in my region are concerned about the end of federal assistance for underprivileged families. The waiting list with the Office municipal d'habitation de Saguenay may well get longer.
Will the government renew investments in social housing, or will it continue to make those less fortunate pay for its ideological budget cuts?
Forestry Industry December 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Greenpeace is lobbying for a review of the FSC certification standards.
Nevertheless, Quebec has some of the best forestry practices in the world. The Government of Quebec has been talking to industry clients, particularly in Europe and the United States, to show how exemplary the industry's practices are.
Does the federal government plan on joining the Government of Quebec in supporting Quebec's forestry industry?
Forestry Industry December 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, this week, north shore mayors sounded the alarm about the terrible plight of Quebec's forestry industry. Today, more plant closures are being announced.
Rather than standing idly by and rejecting measures to develop new products and markets, why does the government not take action to support this important sector of Quebec's economy?
Violence Against Women December 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, for 25 years now, Quebec has been coping with a wound that will not heal, grief that will not end, and unease that will not go away: 14 female students were killed because they were women.
We must always speak out against all forms of violence against women and never let our guard down. We need to work constantly to promote gender equality. We also have a duty to reflect and take action to ensure that all men and women can live in safety and free from violence.
This House needs to do everything in its power to ensure that such events never happen again. Out of respect for the victims and our children, let us work together to ensure that there will never be another incident like the one that occurred at École Polytechnique.
Violence Against Women December 4th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, for 25 years Quebec has been nursing a wound that will not heal and has been in perpetual mourning.
Today, we grieve for the 14 victims of the École Polytechnique massacre as though the tragedy just happened. We feel the same sadness and shame that we felt 25 years ago for letting such a tragedy take place in Canada.
That is why, since that day, Quebeckers have been staunch advocates for gender equality. That is also why there is strong support among Quebeckers for gun control.
Let us work together to prevent a tragedy like the December 6, 1989, massacre from ever happening again. Let there never be another École Polytechnique.
Employment Insurance November 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, over the next three years, the government will help itself to $14.2 billion from the employment insurance fund. That is over $4.5 billion a year.
Rather than imposing a tax on jobs, why does the government not want to help unemployed workers with the money that belongs to them?
Employment Insurance November 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the beneficiaries to unemployed ratio is now less than 40%. It leaves not only unemployed workers but also their families and their regions out in the cold. That is an appalling record. Over six out of 10 unemployed workers are not entitled to benefits. That is unacceptable.
Why is the government deliberately leaving these workers out in the cold without jobs and why does it not help them by improving access to employment insurance?
Department of Public Works and Government Services Act November 26th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all my colleagues of every political affiliation in the House of Commons for participating in the debate, whether or not they support Bill C-574. This bill was introduced in the House in 2010 and was defeated at second reading.
The forestry sector has been devastated by massive job losses across Canada and Quebec, caused mainly by the recession, the global economy, the stronger Canadian dollar and the structural decline in the demand for paper documents. These no longer exist today because newspapers are going online.
Why did we introduce this bill? It is because in my area, many sawmills and plants have closed and many paper machines have been shut down. In Chambord, a plant has been closed for years. That is why we brought back this bill.
Today, there are many things on the market that promote innovation, new products and new technologies. I realize that the Conservative government has helped the forestry industry, but it could do more.
If the government has given many millions of dollars to this sector, why have so many plants in Canada closed? I do not see how Bill C-574 would violate Canada's obligations under national and international trade agreements such as NAFTA, the WTO Agreement and the Agreement on Internal Trade.
Canadian wood was never specifically identified in the bill, because we did not want the bill to be prejudicial to anyone. Today, we want to use it to construct buildings that are less than seven storeys high and to repair federal buildings.
For example, if the House of Commons chamber were renovated, I would like wood to be used instead of steel. That is the goal of our bill: we want to use wood.
On the weekend I went to watch a hockey tournament in a building made of steel, concrete that had beautiful wood ceilings. All three materials can be used together to build nice buildings. Back home, such buildings are built for tourism and industry. People who come to La Baie on cruise ships can see these beautiful concrete and wood buildings. The materials can be used together.
We never asked that the government be required to choose wood during the bidding process. We simply want it to choose the least expensive option from among wood, steel and concrete. If steel is the least expensive, the decision will not be a hard one.
Back home, a lot of buildings have been built using all of the materials. This has created jobs for a number of employees of plants that were shut down. This contributes to sustainable development. The government should take into account costs and greenhouse gas emissions when Public Works and Government Services Canada solicits bids.
The Conservative government said that it would oppose the bill, but I would like to quote from a 2011 interview with my colleague from Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, who is also a minister. He said that he wanted to promote the use of wood in the construction of public buildings. I will quote the whole paragraph:
In the coming months, it will be important to introduce bills to encourage the use of wood in public buildings, while also ensuring that current federal and provincial codes can fully meet requirements. That way, our engineers and architects can take wood into account when doing their calculations and the professionals already in operation will have the means, tools, software and techniques to safely carry out these projects using wood.
The Conservatives are opposing the bill, but in 2011 the minister said that the government needed to encourage the use of wood.
We need to encourage the use of wood throughout Canada and Quebec. The plants that have closed could reopen, there could be renovations and the industry could get up and running again. Instead of investing millions that only translate into closures, the government should require that people use wood for their repairs. Anything is possible. The bill's wording may not be very broad, but that was our intention. The same bill was introduced in 2010. MPs rejected the bill at second reading, but in any case, I am pleased to have discussed this topic with my work colleagues.
International Trade November 7th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture will meet with dairy and cheese producers next week in Quebec City.
Will the minister take this opportunity to announce that he will compensate cheese producers, as he promised to do when the free trade agreement was signed with the European Union?
Agriculture and Agri-Food October 31st, 2014
Mr. Speaker, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is complaining about the supply management system, describing it as an obstacle to concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
The United States is not shy about saying that it just needs Japan to make concessions to try to put pressure on Canada.
Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food promise not to give in to U.S. pressure, and protect the 7,200 family farms under supply management in Quebec?