- Get e-mail whenever he speaks in House debates
- Subscribe to feeds of recent activity (what you see to the right) or statements in the House
- His favourite word is workers.
Bloc MP for Jonquière—Alma (Québec)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 43.40% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Homelessness May 2nd, 2013
Mr. Speaker, when it comes to homelessness, the federal government's actions are cause for concern. In addition to cutting funding, Ottawa wants to impose its “affordable housing” approach, which will force Quebec to give up its expertise and its own programs that meet its needs.
On Tuesday, the National Assembly unanimously condemned Ottawa's attitude and asked that the homelessness strategy be realigned with the current model that respects Quebec's policies.
Instead of leaving organizations and stakeholders scratching their heads, can the minister confirm that she will accommodate Quebec's model and the work of stakeholders in the community?
Employment Insurance April 25th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, April 2, protestors heeded the call from Mouvement action chômage, ASTUCE, unions affiliated with the CSN and the FTQ, and the Quebec public service union for a funeral procession through the streets of Alma.
They came to my constituency office with flowers and a coffin to mark the death of the board of referees and umpires.
There is good reason for the unemployed in my region to be grieving. The social security tribunal, based in Ottawa, will be handling all claims now. Hearings in the regions, where complainants could attend in person, will disappear bit by bit.
The protestors' message was clear: if the government thinks it can quash opposition to its reform by doing away with the board of referees and umpires, it will soon realize that advocacy groups for the unemployed are alive and well and will do everything they can to defend the rights of the unemployed. They will always have my support.
Intergovernmental Relations March 26th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, with its budget, the federal government wants to impose its vision for worker training on Quebec. In so doing, it is prepared to gut proven programs.
Last year alone, Quebec's employment assistance services allowed the federal government to save $220 million in employment insurance benefits. The Government of Quebec has been clear: it is refusing to put up with Ottawa's interference and will not participate in the new program.
Is the minister aware of Quebec's refusal or is she going to continue to be adversarial by imposing her reform on Quebec?
The Economy March 18th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives claim to be champions of the economy and give their budgets the misnomer of “economic action plan”. This is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The budget allocations are clear: as of this year, the government intends to make $55 million in cuts to Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, which invests in companies in every region of the province, including Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. The Conservatives are not going to strengthen the regions' economy by making cuts to their economic development.
Will the government use Thursday's budget as an opportunity to change course and cancel the drastic cuts planned for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions?
Intergovernmental Relations March 7th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the government justifies its employment insurance reform, which harshly penalizes the economy in regions such as Saguenay—Lac-St-Jean, by claiming that it is trying to connect unemployed workers to available jobs. If that were true, it would not be tearing up its labour market agreement with Quebec, which helps unemployed workers find jobs.
Quebec's minister, Alexandre Cloutier, made it clear that Quebec will not give up this responsibility.
Will the government stop hiding behind the supposed secrecy of the budget and announce that this agreement will be fully maintained?
Petitions February 13th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table a petition signed by Canadians on Bill C-400, the Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing Act.
In Quebec, Loge m'entraide struggles every day to find housing for young people. That is why I am presenting this petition to the House today.
Employment Insurance February 11th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean were already having a lot of problems with the employment insurance program even before the reforms were implemented.
Instead of addressing the program's irritants, the current government is making an already very difficult situation even worse.
I would like to take the opportunity today to thank Sylvain Bergeron, of ASTUCE, and France Simard, of Mouvement action chômage, two regional organizations that have been standing up for the rights of the unemployed for years.
The services they provide to our communities, our workers, our families and the most vulnerable are vitally important, and their efforts are very much appreciated.
I would also like to encourage people to participate in the activities being organized to condemn the changes to employment insurance that hurt Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. There will also be days of action, with activities taking place in front of the Service Canada offices at Racine Street tomorrow, February 12, and in downtown Kénogami on Saturday morning, February 16.
Mobilize against employment insurance.
Business of Supply February 5th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, there will certainly be an economic impact. If people do not go back to work, those employers could fold. Some say that if they do not get their people back in the spring, they will not be able to operate.
According to one study, one in five agricultural workers will not return to work. Based on Canada's GDP, that adds up to a $27 million loss. For a region like ours, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, $27 million is a pretty penny. That will have a huge negative impact.
I would like the Conservatives to sit down with us and find a solution. We can work together. We can work for people. Let us stop playing politics and start working for Canadians.
Business of Supply February 5th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, this is a long-standing issue. The Liberals looted the employment insurance fund. Let us not forget that the Conservatives helped them. Now the Conservatives are destroying it, ruining it entirely. It is even worse. This crime was never punished. Taking money that belonged to workers and employers was a crime. Instead of using that money to train people and provide better service to them, that money was misappropriated and spent elsewhere.
Business of Supply February 5th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, it is important in my region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. I was just talking about farm workers. We know that crops are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. It takes these farmers to do that.
There are also people who work in logging, forestry workers. They are important. It would not be good to lose these skilled people and their expertise. The guy who finds a job might not return to work. The job might not pay as much, but he will not go back to the forest.
Unemployment provides an assurance that helps develop communities. If there were no seasonal workers to do these jobs, who would do them? Who would pick fruits and vegetables? Who would do the farm work? Who would clear the brush? Will we have to bring in foreign workers? I have nothing against foreigners and I am not racist, but we need our communities to thrive. The fact is that in my riding, 42% of people have unstable and seasonal employment.
These are important jobs, and we need to enhance their value. We need to help improve our expertise so that we are better, year after year. That is how we will become competitive and have good workers.