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  • His favourite word is important.

NDP MP for Chambly—Borduas (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 42.70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Prostate Cancer October 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, November is just around the corner, and a new Movember campaign of facial hair and virility is set to begin. This year, I am pleased once again to be the captain of our NDP team.

Movember is an opportunity to have fun while raising awareness about and collecting money for men's health. Last year, more than $33 million was raised in Canada alone.

It is not just about money, though. We cannot forget the invaluable conversations that men are now having about their health, thanks in large part to Movember. For New Democrats, participating in Movember campaigns over the years has been a privilege. Thinking of Jack Layton's famous mo and his own battle against prostate cancer serves as incredible inspiration.

For Jack and for all our fathers and brothers, it is a great pleasure that we once again flaunt our moustaches to raise money and awareness. I invite all my colleagues to join with us and help change the face of men's health. Let us mo.

The Senate October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Liberal and Conservative senators are angry.

Not only did the Auditor General have the nerve to question their spending, but he also had the nerve to send in young people. Some senators have never seen a young twentysomething accountant.

Liberal Senator Joseph Day said he was concerned that the auditors were young.

One Conservative complained about a 22-year-old kid running around asking him questions about his spending, and he was critical of these young auditors sticking their noses in his business. Taxpayers pay for his business.

That is the Canadian Senate: useless, unelected officials who object as soon as they are asked to be accountable for their $92 million budget.

What is worse is that the Prime Minister and the Liberal leader claim that this archaic institution, which refuses to be accountable, is still relevant.

The NDP will continue to get our young people involved, to be proud of them and to let them defend the interests of taxpayers while the Conservatives just neglect them.

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve Act October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I will use my three minutes to quickly say that we will support Bill S-5 because it is a step in the right direction. However, as all my colleagues have pointed out this afternoon, the bill has some flaws that we hope can be fixed in committee.

My colleagues have already given some examples, but I want to illustrate these flaws with some examples from my own riding of the government's mismanagement when it comes to reserves, environmental protection and budget allocations for Parks Canada.

The easiest examples would be Fort Chambly and the Fryer dam. I am currently looking into this to see whether the government has any plans. These two properties belong to Parks Canada. Even though Fort Chambly is a historic site from the War of 1812, it did not receive anything at all, because the francophone aspect was completely ignored. Charles de Salaberry went from Chambly all the way to Châteauguay for the Battle of Châteauguay. During the War of 1812, he was the only francophone commander. Despite that, absolutely nothing was received to improve the infrastructure that belongs to Parks Canada. That is a perfect example.

The other example I mentioned is the Fryer dam. In fact, it is a dyke, as the historical society likes to remind me all the time. My predecessor, Phil Edmonston, an NDP MP, worked hard on this file in 1990. This has been dragging on for a long time under Liberal and Conservative governments. On the ground, officials at Parks Canada—which has an office for eastern Quebec in Chambly—and the municipalities are willing to work on improving this infrastructure, but the budgets have been cut.

In the minute I have remaining, I want to provide one last example. As my colleague mentioned just now, we are talking about biospheres. Mont Saint-Hilaire is the first UNESCO-designated biosphere site in Canada. It received its designation in the 1970s. Fortunately, with the participation of the Gault Nature Reserve of McGill University and thanks to the tremendous work done by members of the public, a greenbelt has been secured. That is good for the environment and for the economy because we are protecting our orchards, which are a major tourist draw in the region. If it were not for the public, the university and the volunteers who work at the nature centre, the cuts would be unbearable, as my colleague said.

This is another example of the government's mismanagement when it comes to protecting the environment, protecting tourism in our regions and, most of all, properly equipping the people at Parks Canada so that we can celebrate our heritage. The government says that all these things are its priorities, but unfortunately, the reality on the ground is quite different, especially in Quebec.

National Defence September 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Canadian soldiers are taking part in a war, and contrary to what we just heard, the government refuses to answer basic questions.

We still do not have any information on the exact number of soldiers taking part in this war and, again, unlike what we just heard, we have not received any real information on the exact duration of the mission in response to the opposition's questions.

Unlike the Liberals who are prepared to give the Conservatives carte blanche, as usual, we are trying to get more information. The Prime Minister and his parliamentary secretary refuse to be accountable to Canadians. Their presentation yesterday was pathetic.

When asked if he would condemn this, the member for Kitchener Centre used a horrible comparison. He compared women's weight to the farce we saw in this House yesterday.

Gender issues and terrible comparisons aside, it is obvious the Conservatives know how wrong they are on this. The purpose of asking questions in this House, again compared to what we have heard from that member, is to get answers, not to ask questions for nothing. Failing to provide those answers is disrespectful to this institution, to Canadians, and to our soldiers. Canadians deserve better.

Petitions September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed over the summer by several hundred of my constituents. The petition is about cuts at Canada Post and their impact on our seniors, people with reduced mobility and businesses. It is a follow-up to public consultations held in Chambly with my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

Employment June 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticized the high youth unemployment rate, describing it as an epidemic and a major challenge for our times. He is right. Young people are increasingly likely to take unstable, low-paying jobs. Over the past 12 months, Canada lost 47,800 full-time jobs for young people. My generation is getting further and further away from the prosperous society our parents dreamed we would have.

Can the government finally explain to us why it has failed to address youth underemployment and unemployment?

Questions on the Order Paper June 19th, 2014

With regard to the children’s fitness tax credit, do Canadian Heritage or Sport Canada have studies in their possession measuring the impact that this tax credit has on the level of sports participation among young Canadians and the impact that it has on parents’ decisions to register their children in physical activities that are eligible for the tax credit?

Victims Bill of Rights Act June 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is ironic to hear the minister say that time allocation motions have been used throughout Canadian history. When time allocation was used by the Liberals, his party and his prime minister said that it was an affront to Parliament.

I really wonder if he understands that we want to hear from Canadians in committee and that we also represent Canadians. My riding has 99,000 voters and a population of 130,000 people. I do not think that many of them attend committee meetings. That is why I am here, and that is true of all my colleagues and the minister's colleagues as well.

I would like to respond to what he said to my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île when he talked about how we could not raise 25 members to stand and prevent the leader of the official opposition from testifying. First of all, the opposition leader had the courage to testify, unlike most of the ministers in this place. Second, the Speaker ruled that the manoeuvre was not allowed.

In closing, I wonder what he really means when he talks about being on duty. Last Thursday, they had a bit of trouble getting back to the House to vote at 11 p.m. We wonder who is really on duty.

Is he not tired of seeing his government act this way?

Committees of the House June 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I will take the opportunity to congratulate those folks from the Northwest Territories.

Coming from the north, I appreciate the member's comments. That is exactly where we see how sports can be a bridge for folks. Considering Canada's geographic and social diversity, I think one of the elements that can bridge that is sports. That is something we can all agree on.

Hopefully this report is a first step in that right direction and in the work that we can continue to do on this file.

Committees of the House June 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. I mentioned this earlier. By all accounts, in some cases, there are some gaps when it comes to infrastructure, even though Canada is doing well overall. Nonetheless, some regions and municipalities lack sports infrastructure.

The situation is made worse by the fact that money for sports infrastructure has been cut from this year's budget. When we consider the excise tax and everything else, we see that this is causing problems for municipalities.

To address the hon. member's other point about young people and the importance of leading an active life, I would say that this goes beyond that. We cannot underestimate or deny how important sports can be in a young person's life. Look at the organization Sports Matter.

The sports matter program has the great idea of seeing some more inter-ministerial collaboration on what sports can do. For example, you may see the Minister of State for Sport work with the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Public Safety.

When we are looking at youth delinquency, for example, a great way to solve the problems involved would be getting kids involved in sports or seeing the Minister of State for Sport work with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Hockey Night in Canada has a Punjabi broadcast now. There is a reason for that. It is because sports is a great gateway for new Canadians to become more active and more involved in their communities. There are a lot of those effects that the sports community sees and, unfortunately, the government does not always see.

That being said, I do want to end on a positive note. While there are criticisms to raise and problems in the report, I have to say that I have been able to work very well with the Minister of State for Sport. At the end of the day, it is a very positive file to work on, because even though we do not always agree on the methods behind the madness, we do have the same ultimate goal. When it comes to sports, it is one file where it is really important to bring that point to the forefront, maybe more than any other.