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  • His favourite word is colleague.

Liberal MP for Westmount—Ville-Marie (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 37.20% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Literacy June 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend Dr. Linda Shohet and The Centre for Literacy, located in my riding of Westmount—Ville-Marie.

Founded in 1989, the centre is Canada's pre-eminent literacy organization.

For 25 years, Ms. Shohet has been working to deepen our understanding of the role of literacy and essential skills in the labour market. Thanks to the organization's efforts, employers are able to offer training programs to the most vulnerable workers.

The Centre for Literacy is internationally recognized. Unfortunately, the government cut its funding, as it did for 22 other literacy organizations across Canada.

Evidence shows that The Centre for Literacy's programs and the analysis it performs point to where investments in workforce training need to be directed.

We thank Dr. Shohet for championing literacy and for her commitment to vulnerable workers, particularly our youth, aboriginal Canadians, and immigrants.

Public Works and Government Services June 13th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in other words, nothing has changed. This situation is still a fiasco. The Conservatives are announcing that the process was impartial to hide the fact that it is just as biased as it was before.

The specifications for the replacement of the CF-18 are such that there could be only one winner, the F-35. The matter was over before it even began.

When will the government do its job in a competent, transparent and impartial manner?

Public Works and Government Services June 13th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse by telling us that its F-35 panel of four has blessed the DND evaluation process. The problem is that it is still the same old DND evaluation process based on the same mission requirements that were written so that only the F-35 could be chosen. Therefore, nothing has really changed.

When will the government initiate a proper procurement on behalf of all Canadians?

Public Works and Government Services June 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we are still waiting for that public report. This has been a complete fiasco.

We all remember when the ex-minister of defence jumped into that F-35 mock-up like a kid. This was two weeks after he told us there would be a public, fair, open, and transparent competition. That was just a joke.

What about all those fantasy costs at the beginning? They have just exploded. Where are we today? We are no further ahead.

When is the government going to have a fair, open, and transparent competition to save Canadians money?

Public Works and Government Services June 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about the F-35 fiasco and the government's monumental incompetence. Why? Because it accepted the generals' decision in 2010 without questioning it, without taking into consideration costs, technical risks, industrial spinoffs and even the main mission of this aircraft, and without using a competitive bidding process. We are talking about tens of billions of dollars. Why is this government being so irresponsible with taxpayers' money?

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, since my hon. colleague on the government side specifically brought up Jim Flaherty and referred to him as the world's greatest finance minister, I would like to ask him what he makes of the fact that a few months ago Mr. Flaherty expressed some serious reservations about the income splitting plan that had been promised by the Conservatives in 2011. It was clear to him in his pronouncements that he was questioning it seriously because he considered it to be very unfair.

I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in a previous question I asked someone on the government side, I mentioned the fact that 14% of people stood to make some kind of gain from the income-splitting promise the government made way back in 2011 but that 86% of Canadians would not benefit in any way whatsoever. I have to say that I was floored by her comment, and I would like to hear what my hon. colleague has to say about it. That member on the government side actually asked what was the matter with defending the 14% of Canadians who would actually benefit from this and whether I had anything against that 14%.

Did I misunderstand that comment, or is that what I actually heard?

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to come back to the issue of income splitting and the inequality it creates.

I know that the government made a promise in 2011. It was looking way ahead and saying that if it was in a position to balance the budget by 2015, it would bring in this income splitting. It would be very embarrassing for the government to backtrack, having made that solemn promise in the last election.

However, the evidence shows that income splitting in the way it has been proposed here, as it was promised back in 2011, would only benefit 14% of Canadians. The other 86% would not benefit in any way whatsoever.

The government held the previous finance minister in very high esteem, and he himself recognized and said very clearly that he was definitely having second thoughts about income splitting. That was with very good reason, because he understood the consequences of it. Given that, does the government not recognize that moving ahead with income splitting the way it promised in 2011 is not the right thing to do for the majority of Canadians, and that it would, in fact, add to income inequality?

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to follow up with my hon. colleague on the previous question. He mentioned that some people will benefit from it and it is acknowledged that, in fact, about 14% of Canadians will benefit from it, including those he described. However, 86% of Canadians will not.

I would like to know what the member feels about the fact that this measure, which will cost $2.5 billion a year, is going to benefit 14% but not 86% of Canadians. If the government wants to continue reducing taxes, which is not a bad thing in itself, could it not have chosen something that would have benefited more fairly all Canadians?

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, with all due respect, could we discuss the motion that was put forward by the NDP today? It seems to me that what my hon. colleague is talking about has absolutely nothing to do with it.