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NDP MP for Brome—Missisquoi (Québec)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 42.60% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Privilege March 4th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Welland for his speech, which was passionate as usual. He is always so convincing.
I have an anecdote for him. When you drive 130 kilometres per hour and are caught by police because they have radar, can you apologize to the police?
There is a culture of impunity, an attitude of “I can do anything I want”, “I can say anything I want”, and “all I have to do is apologize”.
I would like my colleague to explain this culture of impunity that exists among Conservative members. How does this manifest itself in other areas?
Petitions March 3rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I have here a petition from my constituents about employment insurance reform. They pay into this insurance all of their lives. It was originally created to support our workforce. Now, six out of every 10 workers are ineligible for benefits. The government is further restricting access to benefits. The recent changes will hurt families, disrupt regional economies and drive wages down. The signatories are calling for the employment insurance changes to be repealed.
The Environment February 24th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary has not answered the questions. He did not answer the first one, which was addressed to him or the minister, or the second, and definitely not the third. I will repeat the last one.
When I questioned the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, he said that nothing similar to Bill C-481 exists. He said that there is no clear requirement that any proposed legislation must undergo a strategic environmental assessment. There is therefore no cost, no red tape, no burden for Canadians and no additional taxes.
In light of that, can the members opposite tell me if they will support my bill, Bill C-481, which puts environmental sustainability at the heart of the House of Commons' decision-making process? After all, what good is money if we have no planet?
The Environment February 24th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, my first question is for the Minister of the Environment and his colleagues.
On page 323 of the latest budget, we find:
...new mining and related processing activity...can be associated with a variety of environmental impacts... and...could have an impact on the goals of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
I would like to know what impact these activities will have on the goals of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and what the government plans to do to ensure that the goals of the federal strategy are achieved.
My second question concerns the need to create sustainable development policies, which has become a political imperative. Even our colleagues opposite are starting to admit that we have to do something about this.
I would like to quote the Conservative member for Kitchener—Waterloo, who, on January 6, said the following on CBC radio:
We are seeing the effects, the impacts of climate change. With climate change comes extreme weather events. We saw that through the floods in southern Alberta, we're now seeing that with the ice storms in Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto...
Does the parliamentary secretary agree? Does he believe that climate change causes extreme weather that affects Canadians?
When I questioned the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, he said that nothing similar to Bill C-481 exists. He said that there is no clear requirement that any proposed legislation must undergo a strategic environmental assessment. As for regulatory impact analysis, it applies only to regulations, not bills.
In light of that, can the members opposite tell me if they will support my bill, Bill C-481, which puts environmental sustainability at the heart of the House of Commons' decision-making process?
Business of Supply February 24th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I would like to know why Marc Mayrand, the Chief Electoral Officer, went so far as to say that as a result of the reforms in this bill, he can no longer speak about democracy in this country.
An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act (duty to examine) February 14th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues who spoke to my bill, and I thank in advance all those who will vote for it.
Bill C-481 is certainly a modest bill, but it represents an important step in putting sustainable development at the heart of the debates in the House of Commons.
Years ago I realized there was an urgent need for action on the environment. A growing number of Canadians are realizing it as well. The need to develop sustainable development policies has become a political imperative. Even our colleagues opposite are beginning to admit that we must take action.
In that regard, allow me to quote the Conservative member for Kitchener—Waterloo, who, on January 6, said the following on CBC Radio:
We are seeing the effects, the impacts of climate change. With climate change comes extreme weather events. We saw that through the floods in southern Alberta, we’re now seeing that with the ice storms in Kitchener—Waterloo and Toronto.
Those are words of wisdom that point to the urgent need to take action.
In Quebec alone, the compensation paid by insurance companies as a result of storms and flooding has increased by 25% since 2001. Inaction is getting expensive, but despite the evidence, there are no measures in the most recent budget to address climate change.
However, the Conservatives unanimously voted to bring in federal sustainable development legislation that would ensure that all departments work together to make Canada a leader in this area.
My Bill C-481 would amend this law, which was passed unanimously by the Conservative members who are still sitting here today and who will soon vote on my bill. Bill C-481 seeks to ensure that all future acts and regulations comply with the principles of the Federal Sustainable Development Act. However, the Conservative members told me that there are already regulations in place that do the same thing as Bill C-481.
When I asked the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development about it, he replied that nothing similar to this bill already exists. There is no clear requirement that any proposed legislation must undergo a strategic environmental assessment. As for regulatory impact analysis, it applies only to regulations, not bills.
Many others ask me whether the Minister of Justice has the authority to verify whether a bill is consistent with the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The Department of Justice is already obliged to review all the bills and regulations that are submitted. Bill C-481 simply links this process with what has already been created by the Federal Sustainable Development Act.
As usual, the departments will provide the Minister of Justice the information he needs for making a decision. If he is missing information, he just has to pick up the phone and consult the great experts that our government has hired in the past, such as the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.
In closing, my bill seeks to remind us that Canadians want sustainable development to be included in the decision-making of their elected representatives. Including sustainable development at the heart of all federal policies is the best way to make Canada more green and more prosperous. This is urgent and I will say it again. We only have one Earth and we must protect it. Pollution knows no boundaries.
The Environment February 14th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, my bill is at a crucial step.
We want to force departments to comply with the Sustainable Development Act, an act that received the unanimous support of the Conservatives but is still not being enforced. I would not have to introduce such a bill if the government abided by its own laws.
Can a member of the cabinet tell us whether instructions were given for the vote on my bill?
The Budget February 13th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent and very passionate speech.
A few words from his speech stood out for me. He said that the budget is an obsession with an accounting exercise that is void of emotion. Balancing the budget is indeed an obsession for our friends opposite.
We in the NDP propose to make life as affordable as possible for consumers and Canadians.
Can my colleague explain how the NDP will make life more affordable in 2015?
The Budget February 13th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, to begin, I would like to thank the hon. member opposite for her speech.
I would like to ask her why there is no mention of climate change in the budget. Climate change and sustainable development are a priority for the NDP. In that regard, I hope that tomorrow everyone will tune in to the second hour of debate on Bill C-481 at second reading, which will put sustainable development in the spotlight in the House of Commons.
On that note, I would like to quote the Conservative member for Kitchener—Waterloo. On January 6, on CBC, he said: “We are seeing the effects, the impacts of climate change. With climate change comes extreme weather events. We saw that through the floods in southern Alberta, we’re now seeing that with the ice storms in Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto”.
Those are wise words. We need to take urgent action because, simply put, we have only one planet Earth. It is all well and good to balance the budget and have election strategies, as some are saying, but we need to protect our planet.
Petitions February 10th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting a petition on the cuts to Canada Post. For two years I have been hearing people around my riding talk about their growing concern over these cuts to services. The post offices are vitally important to the towns and villages, and home delivery is still an essential service to a number of people, particularly seniors and people with reduced mobility. This petition asks that the government work with the opposition on finding ways to make Canada Post profitable without eliminating jobs and services to the public.