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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is conservatives.

NDP MP for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 33.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of the House November 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to rise today to ask the House leader what he has planned for the week of November 7.

However, I would first like to underscore a great success. Yesterday the House came together to give nearly unanimous support to the bill sponsored by the member for Scarborough Southwest, which pays tribute to our veterans. All the members who supported the bill should give themselves a round of applause. I hope the House will continue to co-operate in that way in the future.

I also have another question for the House leader. Since he still needs to designate two opposition days and the parliamentary session is winding down with the holidays just around the corner, could he tell us the exact dates of those opposition days?

Petitions November 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today signed by hundreds of my constituents, who are calling on the federal government to invest in the Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse. This lighthouse was designated a historic site in 1974.

Unfortunately, the government is now trying to sell the lighthouse to a third party, but there are no takers. The government must help preserve this lighthouse, which sits at the entrance to Forillon Park and is the tallest lighthouse in Canada.

I hope that the government is listening.

Petitions November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to present a petition that has been signed by hundreds of people in the Gaspé who want to save the Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse, which was designated as a historic site in 1974. It sits at the entrance of Forillon Park. Today, the government is trying to sell it off to a third party, but unfortunately, there are no takers. This lighthouse should be preserved, and the people in the Gaspé are very concerned. I hope that the government is listening.

Fisheries and Oceans November 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Fisheries and Oceans Canada told the Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé port authority that its wharf will finally be rebuilt, except that it will be 42 metres shorter. That wharf is already being used at full capacity.

Shortening the wharf by 42 metres means the loss of two fishing boats, at least six fishers and 40 plant workers.

Why is the government killing Sainte-Thérèse's economy?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in the budget there are things that should be looked at in a positive light and there are certainly things that need to be looked at in a negative light, at least by the opposition side.

We have seen a lot of reasons why this bill should not be adopted at second reading. Of course, we are going to hear from more Conservative members who will give us their point of view as well.

Let us talk about farmers and agriculture. There has been a disaster out west with regard to shipping grain by rail. I do not see much in the budget that is going to address that problem. It is nice that there are going to be measures for farmers, but the major issue for farmers this year has been the fact that their grain cannot make it to port.

The rail industry right now is a shambles. A lot of capacity is being displaced, especially by the petrochemical industry. What is the government going to do to come to the aid of farmers so that the product they are so laudably trying to produce can actually be sold on the open market?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we have as much information as possible from my hon. colleague. The bill contains mistakes and does not deserve the support of this House, especially since we are under closure.

My colleague made some comments regarding the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The Parliamentary Budget Officer is an expert in this area. He is neutral and will always give the best advice based on the best science. Therefore, if he says that this will create only 800 jobs at nearly $500,000 per job, we need to listen very carefully to him.

If this bill passes second reading and is sent to committee, this will likely come up many times. I plan to push very hard on this, because the government is raiding the employment insurance fund, which is completely unacceptable.

Does the member believe that raiding the EI fund is the way to go, or will the government finally be straight with Canadians and admit that it is raising taxes through the back door because it does not have the courage to do so through the front door?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

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

Clearly, I do not agree with the bill before us, if for no other reason than the gag order that will limit debate.

He said that the government is taking a step back from its public role and that the bill before us will help with that. Meanwhile, the government is once again dipping into the employment insurance fund to subsidize companies that do not need the support. The government is going to create 800 jobs at nearly $500,000 each. The Parliamentary Budget Officer was clear about that.

I want to hear the member's comments on that because, frankly, if the Conservatives are unable to create jobs for less than $500,000 a piece, not only is the government not taking a step back, but it is also alienating Canadian employees and employers.

It is high time they were shown some respect.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, once again we are debating a mammoth bill.

Frankly, I think that Canadians are starting to get sick of seeing this government try to pass such controversial bills that are harmful to society. The government is raiding the employment insurance fund to create a program that will cost $500 million to create 800 jobs.

Does the government think it has taken enough from the regions, or will it not be satisfied until the regions are completely crushed?

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) October 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from LaSalle—Émard raises an interesting point.

As my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou said, the government is wasting its time reinventing the wheel with its law and order agenda. We have seen this over and over. The mandatory minimums might be the only new thing about this bill.

The idea of service animals helping soldiers, police officers and security personnel is commendable. Raising this matter is commendable. However, the mandatory minimums are such a significant flaw in the bill that they could bring it crashing down.

Why go ahead with such a questionable bill when we could agree on a totally reasonable bill that raises a very important issue, especially after what we have seen in the past few days in Canada, both in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and here in Ottawa?

We have to talk about these issues. It is our duty to help our security personnel and give them all of the tools they need, not bills that will be struck down on appeal.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) October 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that very good question.

The government often brags about creating jobs. Unfortunately, those jobs are almost always part time.

When the government imposes mandatory minimum sentences, we know that this will almost certainly end in appeal. I wonder whether the government is trying to create jobs for lawyers. They have enough work and I do not think it is necessary to give them more.

Usually people do not have the means to pay for a lawyer to appeal their case to the Supreme Court. That is very expensive. Unfortunately, the government is intent on doing this and often ends up in court instead of allowing Parliament to do its job, study bills and propose amendments, as the NDP has done many times.

The government rejects the amendments and ends up in court every day, every week and every year. This has to stop. The government should show a little more respect for Canadians. It should introduce worthy bills that are sound and not tainted with minimum sentences.

We should allow judges to hand down sentences, as prescribed by law. We should allow bills to be drafted by members of the House so that they can all take part in the debate. The NDP will certainly take part in the debate. The others do not seem all that interested, even though it is their bill. That is too bad.

Once we are in committee, I hope that the government will understand that mandatory minimums are not appropriate, especially in this case. I look forward to hearing from experts on the matter.