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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is transport.

NDP MP for Brossard—La Prairie (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 41.00% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions December 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present a petition signed by hundreds of people from my riding, Brossard—La Prairie. The petitioners are calling on the government to reject Canada Post's plan for reduced service and to explore other options for updating the crown corporation's business plan.

I would like to thank all those who participated in the day of action and who continue to collect signatures for petitions.

Bill C-603 December 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today we will be voting on my bill, Bill C-603, which seeks to make side guards on heavy trucks mandatory.

We can and we must save lives. It is not time for politics. The coroners of Ontario and Quebec are very clear: side guards save lives.

To members who believe that the studies are inconclusive, I invite them to vote in favour of the bill at this stage, so that we can hear from experts at committee.

When I introduced my bill, I said that we must not wait for another death to occur before taking action. We have waited too long already.

Families should not have to lose loved ones while waiting for Parliament to take action. The time to act is now. We must support this bill.

Motor Vehicle Safety Act December 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased and yet somewhat disappointed to be speaking today.

I am pleased because this is a private member's bill. When it was my turn to decide which bill I would introduce, I asked myself what change we could actually make. Clearly, we are talking about a bill that can save lives.

I listened closely to all of the speeches. I would like to thank my colleagues on this side of the House, both the Liberals and the NDP. They gave speeches that really touched me, that got to the heart of the matter and that expressed much of what I was feeling.

I am disappointed today because I also listened to the Conservative government during the first hour of debate. From the outset, the government opposed the bill. I found it unfortunate and difficult to witness such an ideological attitude. However, this is not just about ideology. The members are being whipped by their government and cabinet, which are telling them to vote a certain way and spout the same lines. Everything I heard from the other side was the same.

If the members truly believe that they are lacking information, they should support the bill at second reading and we will study it in committee. We will look at the facts.

According to them, the studies are inconclusive. I plead with my colleagues opposite to actually read some of the reports.

There is one report that came from the chief coroner of Ontario. It is dated June 2012, so it is a new report that came out not too long ago. It looked at what happened between January 2006 and December 31, 2010. It looked at the fatalities. It looked at the accidents involving trucks and cyclists. The recommendation that came from the coroner is outlined in number 13. It is a recommendation to Transport Canada that states, “Side-guards should be made mandatory for heavy trucks in Canada.”

Therefore, if my colleagues do not want to listen to us in the opposition and are saying the studies are not conclusive, they should at least look at the reports that came from the coroner. If they believe that what we have here is not sufficient, let us study it at committee. Let us look at what we have in terms of reports and studies and let us make a decision.

I urge my colleagues to vote in favour of the bill at second reading. Then, if they are not satisfied with what we do at committee, that is fine.

In Europe, vehicle side guards have been mandatory for the past 25 years. They are mandatory in Japan and Great Britain. In Canada, there have been so many deaths that I cannot name all the victims. One death in particular had a real impact on me because I met the victim's mother. Jessica was killed by a vehicle. She wanted to save her brother and she fell under the vehicle.

Westmount, the City of Montreal and Ville Saint-Laurent reacted by equipping their vehicles with side guards. If anyone thinks that the municipalities are wasting their money, they can think again. The government is saying that the municipalities and the provinces can make other regulations themselves. That is true, but we also have a responsibility. We must show leadership.

All my colleagues were going to vote against the bill at second reading. We should ask ourselves next time when there is a death. It happened two weeks ago. There was a death in Montreal, and the first thing that was said was that maybe sideguards would have saved the person.

When Mathilde Blais was killed earlier this year, we said that maybe side guards would have saved her. What did the coroner report say? It said they could have saved her. Please think about it next time.

Rail Transportation December 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about responsibility.

The current Minister of Infrastructure was the transport minister when the Lac-Mégantic tragedy occurred. He was the one who allowed cuts to be made to rail safety and allowed MMA to break the rules and travel with just one conductor.

Will the minister rise in the House and take some responsibility?

Rail Transportation December 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the television program Enquête obtained some inside information about the Transportation Safety Board's investigation into the Lac-Mégantic tragedy. It revealed that 18 to 26 handbrakes would have been needed to stop the train. That means that the federal standards were woefully inadequate. When will the Conservatives learn from their mistakes and release new standards for brakes on trains?

Petitions December 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to present petitions signed by hundreds of people from my riding.

They are calling on the government and the House of Commons to commit to adopting international aid policies that support small farmers and women in particular, in order to acknowledge their vital role in the fight against hunger and poverty. They also want the government to ensure that policies and programs are developed in consultation with small farmers and that these policies protect the rights of small farmers in southern countries so that they can save, use and freely trade their seeds.

Champlain Bridge December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we have won again by forcing the Conservatives to back down: the new bridge will keep the name of Champlain Bridge.

Now that this fake debate is over, and while the government seems to be listening to reason, will the minister listen to all Quebeckers, who are unanimously asking that the toll be dropped?

March for Peace November 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday I took part in the march for peace in Brossard—La Prairie.

I wish to congratulate the Brossard Islamic centre, Mohamed Yacoub and all the organizers on a very successful event. Hundreds of people from all walks of life came together in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We were all shocked by the terrible events that took place in Saint-Jean and here in Parliament.

To quote the Leader of the Opposition:

...whether talking about protecting civilians in the Middle East, fighting racism and Islamophobia or ensuring rights are respected here at home, New Democrats can be counted on to stand up for human rights....

Moving forward, we will continue doing the hard of work of ensuring Canadians’ safety while guarding our shared values of freedom, tolerance and an inclusive democracy.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) November 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, who was quite humble about his legal knowledge. I very much appreciate his experience, and not just in terms of legal issues and negotiations. I am not here to list his resumé, but he is certainly an impressive colleague to have.

He spoke about why Supreme Court rulings are important and how they affect the way we must interpret laws and enforce them.

I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on one point. Regarding bills like this one, or private members' bills, how has the government applied Supreme Court rulings, in particular with respect to minimum penalties?

Rail Transportation November 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Transportation Safety Board finds that the Conservatives are not doing enough to monitor railway companies.

It seems like the Lac-Mégantic tragedy does not register with the Conservatives. The president of the TSB has called for stronger rail tanker cars and is concerned about the lack of deadline.

When will the government listen to the TSB and protect the public?