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  • His favourite word is region.

Bloc MP for Jonquière—Alma (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 43.40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions January 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by over 12,000 residents of Jonquière—Alma who want the Passport Canada office in Place Saint-Michel in Jonquière to remain open. I present this petition in the House this morning.

Intergovernmental Relations December 6th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, it took only two weeks for the federal government to give $280 million to Newfoundland and Labrador fishers affected by the agreement with the EU, but the Minister of State for Agriculture is saying that Quebec cheese producers will have to wait up to two years to be compensated.

Worse yet, the minister has refused to recognize the negative impact of the employment insurance reform, which is harshly penalizing agricultural producers.

Will the minister acknowledge that this is a double standard when it comes to Quebec?

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women December 6th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, it is my great privilege to rise today to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Twenty-four years after the Polytechnique massacre, now more than ever, we must remember the 14 students who were targeted because they were women. Today is an opportunity for each and every one of us to denounce all forms of violence against women loudly and clearly.

December 6 gives us a chance to measure our progress, but more importantly, to look at how much still needs to be done. Let us take a moment to reflect and to remember the 14 victims. Let us also think of those women who have suffered and continue to suffer from all kinds of violence, and let us hope they find the support they need. We must be ever vigilant and always take action to put an end to violence against women.

International Trade November 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, cheese producers are still waiting for compensation, but exactly one month ago, the federal government gave $280 million in compensation to Newfoundland fishermen, who were also affected by the free trade agreement.

Why is it so easy to find millions of dollars for Newfoundland, but not so easy to find money for Quebec's cheese producers?

International Trade November 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's milk and cheese producers protested yesterday. They are demanding that the federal government deliver on its promise to compensate them for the huge losses they will incur as a result of the European free trade agreement.

Under this agreement, 17,770 additional tonnes of European cheese will be imported. As the president of the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec said, “The concession represents more than the total production in the Lac-Saint-Jean area, which is huge”.

When will Quebec's cheese producers be compensated?

Passport Canada November 8th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has slated the Jonquière passport office for elimination even though the office runs well, is familiar to people, and is ideally located in the centre of the region. People are taking action. They are asking Ottawa to keep the service near them. They have every reason to fear that the closure will have a negative impact.

Why does the government want to take the passport office away from the people of Jonquière? Will it instead commit to keeping these offices open?

Veterans' Week November 6th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, Remembrance Day is an opportunity for each of us to realize that we owe a debt to veterans and their families.

We have a duty to teach future generations about those who put what was best for their country ahead of what was best for them. We all have to appreciate that, without the sacrifice of our veterans in the two great wars, our democratic way of life would not be what it is today.

In the same breath, we must recognize the extraordinary courage of today's troops, some of whom have sacrificed their physical or mental health to defend our values. On this Remembrance Day, we have a collective duty to honour the soldiers and their families. We must ensure that their legacy lives on.

We have been commemorating this day to preserve the memory of our veterans and demonstrate solidarity with them and their families for nearly 100 years. Canada's commemorative symbol is the red poppy and France's is the blue cornflower or bleuet de France. Red and blue were the colours of the trenches in those days.

Remembrance Day has a special meaning to the people in my region. Together we remember the heartbreak of watching soldiers departing and the emotional homecomings. Every day, I run into men and women who have a direct or indirect connection with the military base in my region, CFB Bagotville, who have ties with the soldiers who go overseas but remain close to their hearts.

Every day I see the joy on the faces of children and their family members. Sometimes I reflect on the sacrifice of soldiers and their families, their courage and bravery. I thank our Canadian soldiers.

Quebec's Cheese Makers October 17th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's cheese makers had quite a shock today. They found out that they will be the big losers in the free trade agreement with the European Union.

Rather than defending supply management, as they had promised, the Conservatives have thrown Quebec's cheese makers under the bus. They ignored the Bloc motion that was adopted unanimously in 2005, calling for the full protection of supply management as the minimum starting point for any negotiations.

In short, the government abandoned the big industry players and small producers who have made tremendous efforts over the past two decades to make such outstanding fine cheeses.

It is time to bring the negotiations out from behind closed doors. It is time to submit the text of the agreement to the House of Commons for debate. It is time for the government to be transparent and stop playing with the fate of an entire industry behind the scenes.

Intergovernmental Relations June 13th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, this past January, the Minister of Industry told Quebeckers that his government was open to negotiating pragmatic agreements to optimize the management of public funds. This was nothing but lip service. His colleague, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, just refused to transfer infrastructure funding in full to Quebec. If the government transferred the money in full, it would help reduce bureaucracy and shorten the time it takes to complete projects.

What happened to the government's openness, and why will it not transfer Quebec's full share of the money?

175th Anniversary of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean June 11th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the first settlers arrived in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean on June 11, 1838. Today, the region is celebrating its 175th anniversary. On this occasion, I want to tell the people living in that part of the country that it is a privilege to be one of their own. I have always felt a strong sense of belonging to my region.

I am very proud to tell everyone I meet that ours is the only region with a flag that truly represents us. The silvery cross in the centre of our region's flag symbolizes the strength and determination of our workers, who developed prosperous industries in such sectors as pulp and paper and aluminum smelting.

I am proud of where I come from because I am aware of our ancestors' efforts to settle the area and make our natural resources available to all Quebeckers. Happy 175th anniversary to everyone.