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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is colleague.

NDP MP for Louis-Hébert (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 38.70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou.

I do not know if my colleague paid attention to whether he mentioned the budget, but I can tell him that he did not. Was he out of order? Not at all. That is what is so ridiculous about these mammoth bills. He kept his comments relevant to the bill, but he did not even talk about the budget.

How is that possible? Everything he talked about deserved to be in a separate bill. Moreover, there are dozens more examples like that.

One thing that worried me in my colleague's speech was the regulatory process that seems to be emerging. The government appears to be creating a framework, but no one knows how it will work. All we know is that it will be through a regulatory process. One day we will find out; we do not know when. Maybe we will find out when there is some kind of abuse.

Could my colleague speak to that?

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act October 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

One thing always surprises me. Yes, it is good to diversify markets. However, a question came to mind while I was listening to my colleague speak.

Before he even knew what agreement he was dealing with, he said he supported it. He did not really look at the content of the agreement. Furthermore, he is completely surprised that the NDP is supporting a free trade agreement. As we in the NDP are always reminding this House, we have a very structured approach for determining whether or not an agreement is good for Canada.

Given that we have such a structured approach and that one aspect of it involves ensuring that the partner's economy has significant or strategic value to Canada's economy, would he agree that thinking in these terms could help us to improve our trade?

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act October 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent speech. He identified many important aspects of free trade agreements, particularly one with Korea, a society that has decided to focus on high tech.

Unfortunately, there is a downside. I am not sure we are in the same league as Korea when it comes to that. I would like my colleague to comment further on that.

Are we in a position to act fast so that we too can trade value-adds rather than just raw resources for high tech? What are his thoughts on that?

Quebec Bridge October 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the minister what the Prime Minister had to say to the Quebec City chamber of commerce in the middle of the election campaign in December 2005. At the time, the Prime Minister asked the people of Quebec to vote for him in order to take the paintbrush from the Liberal transport minister's hands. Nine years later, still no paintbrush.

The Quebec Bridge, one of the jewels of our capital, is still rusting away. When will the minister take responsibility and have the bridge repainted?

Quebec Bridge October 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member for Lévis—Bellechasse and Minister of Public Safety continues to hope that CN will repaint the Quebec Bridge. However, the Superior Court just ruled in favour of CN, which will not have to finish painting the bridge. This legal battle cost taxpayers $1 million, and the bridge is still not painted.

Will the minister stop hiding behind the courts and have this bridge repainted once and for all?

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her very relevant question. It connects to the idea behind my speech, which is that humanitarian aid is not an end in itself, but the beginning of something else.

What happens when groups like Daesh, for example, take control of a territory? They organize services. What we do is relieve hunger. There is something we can learn from that, not only to help relieve hunger, but also to help these people have a better life one day.

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Clearly, once again, this question is strictly based on the rationale for a military intervention. Throughout my speech, I have said that we must go beyond armed intervention.

One of the questions I had no time to address in my speech is the following: how is this tiny group—because that is what it is—so wealthy, and why has no real effort been made to starve it financially?

Just last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said how important it was to eliminate the group's source of funding. What I am saying once again is that, if we want to root out this evil, we need to look at the big picture, not just at a small specific part of the problem that would call for a targeted intervention, which is already expected to fail.

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. He will obviously understand that hard work is part of life. I think we will both agree on that and he will truly see it. However, when we say that this will not solve the problem, it means that we need to find other solutions and be more innovative. If we already know that our strategy is doomed to failure, that does not mean sitting on our hands, doing nothing and giving up. On the contrary, it is a call for action, for being innovative and finding other solutions that are much more effective.

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to provide some context for my comments by saying that neither the UN nor NATO approved this military contribution.

Iraq has the fifth-largest proven oil reserve in the world, which may explain a lot things about this conflict. Moreover, oil production has almost doubled since Saddam Hussein left power. Lastly, as for the barbaric group we are talking about today, I will not use the word “state”. I will do as the French and use the Arabic acronym Daesh.

The Prime Minister has a very limited point of view and sees the problems only from an economic standpoint. The government is only seeking revenge for actions that are, obviously, extremely reprehensible. Let us be clear: we do not like the murders and the way this organization treats dead bodies any more than the members opposite. It is unacceptable.

However, I was truly surprised by one thing in the Prime Minister's speech. He admitted that the motion he moved will not solve anything. In other words, we are doing something for the sake of doing something because we feel obliged. However, in the same breath, he admitted that this will not solve anything. We therefore need to ask ourselves whether we should be doing something that will not solve anything.

This kind of magical thinking is unacceptable. We cannot hope to solve things this time by repeating past mistakes. I doubt that this will work because the situation has not been deteriorating for two years, but rather for decades. We are going to take the same approach and hope that things will go a little better this time, but that does not reflect the reality on the ground.

Some members went so far as to say that providing support for humanitarian aid was the same as doing nothing and that it was not very honourable. How many people depend on that humanitarian aid? Do those members think that it is easy to provide humanitarian aid in a conflict situation? The most important thing is to have a long-term vision for this assistance. We are not just talking about meeting the needs of today, tomorrow or next week. The humanitarian aid provided must be seen as the first step toward a sustainable solution in this geopolitical space.

This problem has existed for years. All sorts of solutions, particularly military ones, have been tried, and now they are being tried again. If this was the first time this had happened, we could plead ignorance. However, that is not the case, and the situation gets worse every time. The only thing that has changed is the opponent's acronym.

On this side of the House, we are not advocating sitting back and watching the train go by. However, we need to take the right train, not one that will lead us into another similar debate five or 10 years from now, when other people will do the same things we did and will certainly fail to resolve the problem. At no other time in the history of humanity have we had so much knowledge. Unfortunately, we are not using it. We need to understand what is happening, not just react to it.

We know that military action alone cannot resolve the problem. Nevertheless that is the approach the House is adopting. We know that long-term social, economic and political change is needed. If we simply repeat the past, we are bound to fail.

For example, this very day, the Americans are bombing ISIS fighters in the town of Kobani, which is located on the border of Syria and Turkey. This has been only partially successful. They are bombing during the day, but that is not working because the troops are light and mobile. This intervention has already practically failed. That is what is happening at the Turkish border. Approximately 140,000 people have already left Kobani for Turkey.

Who is helping them? Are we giving them enough assistance? Are we allowing the Kurds to properly defend themselves? No. We are ignoring the geopolitical problems of the region because it is located near the border of Turkey and Syria. The Turks do not want to intervene because the situation involves the Kurds and the al-Assad government would consider any intervention an act of war.

Perhaps diplomacy is needed to resolve the situation. That would help everyone on the planet. However, the government does not seem to want to take that approach. It is truly unbelievable.

We have to look at the problem as a whole. We cannot look at humanitarian aid as a one-off. We have to look at the bigger picture and draw on all of our knowledge.

That is why I am saying to the Prime Minister that it is time for him to consider sociology, social sciences and political sciences, indeed all our world knowledge, both in Canada and elsewhere in the West, and think about effective ways of intervening so that we never have to go through this experience again and deal with groups of madmen going around beheading people.

What is more, it is important to support the local people. They are the ones who will manage to solve the problem and if we do not support them in finding a solution, I can assure the House that we will never resolve this crisis.

The thing is, we are falling into a trap. All the horrors are being broadcast to the world when usually they are hidden. They are being made public precisely because ISIS wants us to do what we are in the process of doing right now, which is to conduct the bombings. This will help them recruit people. It is obvious. It is not rocket science.

The Daesh, or Islamic state terror group, is not very strong. It is definitely wealthy, structured and well equipped. However, it draws its strength from the weakness around it. The systematic destruction of all the social structures in this region allowed it to grow. It is important to recognize that. However, in the current situation, nothing is being strengthened. Every political and social organization in this region continues to be undermined.

Imagine that. An Iraqi army of 200,000 soldiers trained for seven years by the Americans at a cost of $26 billion fled from a small group of 20,000 people who are not even soldiers. A few are, but most are militants. This Iraqi army bolted. Their training was a failure. It is a serious failure.

That is why it is so important to intervene with a UN mandate. We must also find our place within this coalition.

A number of countries including Norway, Sweden, Spain and Austria are focused on humanitarian aid. I think Canada should get involved as well. We would not be alone. We could talk about forming a coalition to provide aid. We have to think about the future. We have to do more than just trying to solve today's problems.

Shipbuilding October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the day before yesterday, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion calling on the federal government to give work to the Davie shipyard.

As we know, this Quebec shipyard, which is located in the Minister of Public Safety's riding, was abandoned by the Conservatives. It has not received any contracts or any of the $33 billion in federal funding.

As far back as 2011, we said that no one needed to be the loser. If this government claims to listen to Quebeckers, it cannot disregard a unanimous resolution—I repeat, unanimous—of the Quebec National Assembly, as it so often does.

Therefore, I ask the government, specifically the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse and Minister of Public Safety, to consider the motion by the Quebec National Assembly and tell us what they plan to do, because the Davie shipyard is ready now to work on contracts that will help Canada.