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  • His favourite word is colleague.

NDP MP for Chambly—Borduas (Québec)

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

Statements in the House

Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act January 28th, 2015

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-650, An Act to amend the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act (independent assessment).

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Halifax for seconding my bill. This is an issue that affects many, an issue about which we were able to pressure the minister during question period.

In fact, the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act was passed in the 1970s because the federal government cannot be taxed by a local authority. Nonetheless, in the interest of fairness to taxpayers, money must be given to a municipality where the federal government has property. The federal government must pay its fair share just like businesses and taxpayers.

Unfortunately, over the past few years, the government has turned a deaf ear to the municipalities, resulting in cases that have gone all the way to the Supreme Court and revealing the fact that some property values have been underestimated.

My bill seeks to ensure that the government and local municipalities can agree on independent assessors who will set the amount. Then, the minister would be required to accept that amount. This would ensure taxpayer fairness. That is what is essential here.

Again, I want to thank my colleague from Halifax, and I am very pleased to be able to improve this process for the good of the taxpayers of Chambly, Halifax and all the municipalities in Canada where a national historic site is located.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Public Works and Government Services January 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, municipalities have had enough. For decades, they have been up against a brick wall known as the federal government. The federal government assesses its own property, and the allegedly independent group of experts, who answer directly to the minister, is made up of officials from the minister's own department.

The federal government underestimates the value of Fort Chambly and the canal by $16 million. The people of Chambly are losing out on $270,000 a year.

Will the government finally acknowledge that the process has become cumbersome after 20 or 30 years? It makes no sense for the government to be judge and jury. We need to improve this process.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to payments in lieu of taxes regarding national historic sites as designated by Parks Canada: from 2009 to date, what amounts have been granted by the department of Public Works and Government Services to each taxing authority, broken down by (i) historic site, (ii) year?

Petitions January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by a number of my constituents. They support my colleague from London—Fanshawe, who is fighting for a strategy to address the aging population and protect seniors.

We know that the issues affecting people in need, such as affordable housing and credit card fees, significantly affect seniors. That is why we think it is important for the Government of Canada to take action. That is what these petitioners are calling for.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my colleague spoke about the infamous fitness tax credit. The fact is that Canadian youth is getting a failing grade when it comes to physical activity, and this tax credit has not been working.

The fact is, I asked an order paper question a couple of months ago to find out whether the government had actually done any studies on the effectiveness of this policy. The answer was no, there had not been any studies, so I do not understand why Conservatives stand up all the time and say how effective it is.

Some folks who did do studies, however, such as the Parliamentary Budget Officer, showed us that the families who are benefiting from this tax credit are the ones who make the most money, that top tier. Those are families where the youth are already participating in sports anyway.

If we really want to help our youth get more active, we need to put in place measures that will actually help all families participate. The fact of the matter is that nothing the government has put forward in the last few years has done anything to improve the rate of physical inactivity among youth, and this policy is just another example of that.

I wonder if the member would maybe like to take the opportunity to correct the record, since his government actually has not studied the effectiveness of this policy.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.

I listened to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and my colleague, and I would like to point out that we are talking about a worrisome number of subjects that have nothing to do with the budgetary process.

It is also extremely worrisome to hear the parliamentary secretary talking about DNA databases in a debate about a budget implementation bill, regardless of what we think about that issue. It is rather worrisome. Every time we have had to deal with this process since we were elected in 2011, the government has always done the same thing.

As a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, my colleague understands just how important it is for the various witnesses who appear to submit their briefs and talk about their needs.

Does my colleague agree that this type of catch-all bill is insulting to people who take the budgetary process seriously?

Jean Béliveau December 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Habs, Quebec and Canada have lost a great man. Last night, “Le Gros Bill”, as he was affectionately known, passed away. Jean Béliveau was a true champion as well as our captain, both on and off the ice.

Not only did he win the Stanley Cup 10 times with the Montreal Canadiens, but he also made a huge contribution to many charitable organizations over the years. His greatness, both literal and figurative, earned him a number of distinctions, including the Ordre national du Québec and the Order of Canada.

The only thing greater than his hockey career was his humility, despite all those honours. He twice refused appointments to the Senate, and he even refused the position of Governor General, for the simple reason that he wanted to stay close to his family and his community.

A gentleman on and off the ice, Jean Béliveau was truly the perfect example of an athlete whose impact goes beyond his sport and even beyond borders.

The torch raised by the current Montreal Canadiens players will be a little heavier now, although it will also be raised a little higher, in honour of this great man.

Thank you, Mr. Béliveau.

Conservative Government Ministers December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the further we get into the fall sitting, the further the Conservative ministers sink.

We have a Minister of Veterans Affairs who is failing veterans, who announced funding over six years, which turned out to be 50 years, and who left the country instead of being held to account.

We have a Minister of the Environment who reads the newspaper in the House and who is threatening legal action against the deputy mayor of Rankin Inlet instead of helping her constituents who are getting food from the dump.

We have a Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food who attacks farmers' collective marketing system and who axed the Canadian Wheat Board.

Yesterday, the Minister of State for Social Development said that question period was not the time to ask questions.

An NDP government will not fail veterans, residents of the north, farmers or the homeless. We are approaching 2015, and Canadians realize that it is finally time to get rid of this government.

Petitions November 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of presenting a petition signed by over 100 people from the Richelieu valley who are concerned about the government's lack of action on climate change.

Obviously, they support the climate change accountability bill, which I would like to remind hon. members was passed by the House after being introduced first by the late Jack Layton and then again by the hon. member for Beaches—East York. The petitioners are asking the government to support this bill.

Committees of the House November 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to address the member's comments about how the New Democrats voted on the Liberal scheme involving EI premiums. My constituents, and I am sure many of my colleagues' constituents, are happy when we vote against the Liberals messing around with EI, because historically that has not been very positive for workers. I understand that the Liberal finance critic might be a bit confused about his position on issues. We have heard him in question period.

The NDP proposal, which is a recommendation in this finance committee report, is to offer a tax credit to small and medium-size businesses that are hiring and training young people.

The member can try to deflect this and turn it into a question on how New Democrats voted on a Liberal scheme that clearly was not going to do what it was supposedly intended to do. Rather than deflect on that, can he perhaps tell us whether he would vote on this kind of idea, if it were to come before the House, or if this is the kind of thing his party would support, this NDP idea of a tax credit for young workers?