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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 27.20% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition here today signed by 640 people who, out of concern and respect for seniors, are showing their support for the FADOQ network and its demands of the federal government. They are calling on elected representatives to improve and simplify the guaranteed income supplement. The petition states:

We the undersigned call for automatic enrollment for all Canadians, a significant increase in benefits for singles, full and unconditional retroactivity, as well as a six-month benefit extension following the death of one of the beneficiaries in the couple.

United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya March 21st, 2011

Mr. Chair, it is probably more difficult for Arab League countries to become involved. According to the most recent reports, only one country, Qatar, had in fact sent any aircraft to take part in the mission, but I do not know whether others have joined in the past few hours.

It is more difficult for them to become involved militarily, although diplomatic support is also extremely important. As I was saying earlier, we must win the support of Arab countries as well as that of the governments in question if we want to convince Arab populations that this operation is not against the Arab world, but rather only against the Gadhafi regime.

United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya March 21st, 2011

Mr. Chair, as I said earlier, we understand that the goal of the mission is not to invade Libya, but rather to protect the people of Libya.

As for the government member's thanks to the Bloc Québécois, I would say to him that we accept all the thanks we deserve, and we believe that, usually, we deserve them.

United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya March 21st, 2011

Mr. Chair, I believe a resolution was tabled, with certain amendments proposed by the NDP. These issues are being examined at this time and we will likely decide in the next few hours or minutes the exact position we plan to take. Certainly, as things stand now, there are no plans to send ground troops. As for the rest, we will see whether everyone in the House agrees on how the operation is envisioned in the resolutions brought before us.

United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya March 21st, 2011

Mr. Chair, a very important element in the strategy of those who called this very successful conference in Paris—quite a coup for French diplomacy—was the participation of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and, most importantly, the Arab League. Over the weekend, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Mr. Moussa, criticized certain specific aspects of the operation. In the end, though, the Arab League changed its stance and continued its support. This Arab League support is essential.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference, which includes 57 countries with Muslim populations, also condemned the actions of the Gadhafi regime. That is also very important. It is crucial, of course, for the diplomatic services of the countries involved in this operation to make every effort to convince the Arab world that this operation is not a Western intervention against the Arabs. It is an operation undertaken by the whole world to save Arabs and Muslims, in particular the civilian population of Libya. We are not there to overthrow the regime but to ensure it causes no further injury.

United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya March 21st, 2011

Mr. Chair, the Bloc Québécois supports Canada’s armed participation in the multilateral intervention in Libya. We support the troops who have been called on to participate in it. It is a perfectly legitimate operation since it is being carried out as a multilateral effort and its purpose is to protect the civilian populations.

While the Bloc Québécois supports Canada’s military intervention within this international undertaking in Libya, it also calls for extreme caution on Canada’s part. This intervention must not lead to human losses among Libyan civilians. That would be a gross violation of Security Council resolution 1973, which specifically provided that protection of civilians had to be the primary objective of the intervention.

We reiterate our belief that the federal government must consult parliamentarians concerning any deployment of troops abroad. Moreover, we condemn the immoral use of force by the Gadhafi regime against innocent people, and we believe that President Gadhafi's abuses of power must end. There must be an immediate ceasefire by the Gadhafi regime in relation to civilians and it must be honoured, as was not the case when the regime announced a ceasefire.

We have supported the measures taken by Canada to implement the two Security Council resolutions on Libya, including the asset freeze. We also applaud the decision by the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court to investigate actions committed in Libya that look like crimes against humanity. As well, we believe that Canada must pursue its discussions with the National Transition Council that the opposition has established in Libya. And we express our compassion for all our citizens of Libyan origin who are living through a troubled time, in view of the situation in their country of origin, and we stand with them.

We support the sending of CF-18s to Libya because that intervention is consistent with a value that is fundamental to Quebeckers: that military intervention must be carried out in a multilateral framework. The Bloc Québécois believes that military interventions should be undertaken with the approval of the UN, the organization that has the specific duty to ensure that alternative solutions are found to war. We are opposed to any unilateral action, that is, any action decided on by a single country or a small number of countries.

The Bloc is also against the notion of preventive war, in other words, a war instigated against another country because we suspect it of intending to wage war. Of course, in the absence of an established and imminent threat, a country cannot go to war against another country merely because it harbours misgivings in respect of that country.

Two principles that guide our position on any conflict in which Canada is called upon to participate are our opposition to any and all unilateral action and our disapproval of preventive wars.

Multilateralism is, quite logically, in Quebec’s best interests. Moreover, it is in the best interests of nations that are not superpowers, such as Canada and any future sovereign Quebec, that there be a multilateral organization to manage conflicts.

The air raids in Libya are authorized under Security Council resolution 1973, which authorizes member states to take any and all necessary steps for the enforcement of a no fly zone to ensure that aircraft cannot be used for the purpose of airborne attacks on the civilian population.

The Gadhafi regime has on several occasions in recent days used its aircraft to attack civilian populations. The Bloc Québécois is therefore of the view that action must be taken to protect the civilian population against the attacks launched by its own government, which, as I said earlier, are tantamount to crimes against humanity.

Of course, Parliament must be consulted before any troops are deployed abroad. That much is made clear in sections 31 and 32 of the National Defence Act. We recognize the government’s prerogative to place the Canadian Forces on active service, which is what it did over the weekend, but we believe that any such decision must be approved post-haste by the House in order for it to be legal. We must bear in mind that the government’s authority comes from Parliament.

Furthermore, it is clear that soldiers risk their lives on these overseas missions. These soldiers are Quebeckers and Canadians. They have families and friends. They are risking their lives in another country because Canada has asked them to be there. Any such decision on Canada’s part cannot be made without the blessing of its citizens, and the representatives of those citizens are the members of Parliament.

We also know that the rebel leaders in Libya called on the UN to impose a no fly zone. Ultimately, Libyans and Libyans alone can, and must, decide what their future will be, but it is clear that the Gadhafi regime has no intention of allowing this to happen.

There was resolution 1970 on February 26, which provided for the seizure of Libyan military equipment, the imposition of an embargo on arms sales to Libya, sanctions against certain individuals whose assets would be frozen, the creation of a panel to review the situation in Libya, and co-operation with the International Criminal Court in its desire to bring to justice the members of the Gadhafi regime who are accused of crimes against humanity.

There was resolution 1973 on March 17, which called for an immediate ceasefire, the creation of a no fly zone over Libya, and other similar measures. The primary purpose of all these resolutions is to protect civilians.

The resolution aims to impose a ceasefire between the Gadhafi regime and the civilian population. Its aim is not the invasion, division or dismemberment of Libya. A clear message is being sent to the Arab world: this operation is not another Western intervention against the Arab world or against Muslims. It has clearly defined limits. This is not another Iraq.

For all these reasons and in light of the Paris summit last Saturday—which confirmed the multilateral nature of this intervention with the presence not only of many countries but also of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the Arab League and the President of the Council of Europe—we support the participation of the Canadian Forces in this operation.

Japan March 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers, like all Canadians, share in the pain of the Japanese people as our friends in that nation have faced challenges over the past 10 days.

Since I have personal and family ties to this country, where I had the privilege of living for six years, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois—but I think this also reflects the sentiment of the House—I would like to offer our sympathies to the people of Japan and also express our admiration for their dignity and discipline in the face of these catastrophes. Japan has once again displayed its distinctive characteristics: solidarity, discipline and integrity.

To the people of Japan, its diplomatic representatives and to our citizens of Japanese descent, instead of wishing you good luck or wishing you well, I would like to share a saying in Japanese that reflects the importance of work in this country's culture: Ganbatte kudasai, or do your best.

Tibet March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to say that I participated today in the commemoration of the 52nd anniversary of the uprising of the Tibetan people in Lhasa, organized by the association Students for a Free Tibet. Those events in Lhasa were followed by China's repressive measures, forcing the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibetans, to seek exile in India. According to the Tibetan government in exile, these events resulted in the deaths of 87,000 Tibetans who were victims of their religious convictions and their national pride.

For 52 years now, Tibet has tried unsuccessfully to regain some measure of autonomy. The cultural fabric of the “roof of the world” is weakening. Tibet's history books have been rewritten and the Tibetan language is no longer taught in secondary schools.

It is time to adopt a comprehensive approach that takes into account the interests of all parties involved, rather than taking one side or the other, so that Tibet may achieve real autonomy within China, as requested by the Dalai Lama.

Foreign Affairs March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc told the Minister of Foreign Affairs what options were available to him in order to freeze Ben Ali's assets without the need for special legislation. Specifically, the government could use section 354 and part XII.2 of the Criminal Code as well as article 54 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption to immediately freeze the assets of Ben Ali and his family.

Did the minister look at the Bloc's proposals and will he immediately freeze the assets that were stolen from the Tunisian people?

Foreign Affairs February 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, does the minister not find it worrisome that at the precise moment when Canada was chartering a plane to evacuate Canadian citizens stuck in Libya, his department was advising those same citizens not to go to the airport?

How does the Minister of Foreign Affairs explain such disorganization? Does he realize that his wavering and incompetence put hundreds of citizens in danger?