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  • His favourite word is colleague.

NDP MP for Beauport—Limoilou (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 46.10% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Health February 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, where is the evidence that there is no problem? From the access to information requests I was able to obtain from Transport Canada, which I might add were very late in arriving, the only thing that was proven was that Transport Canada and the Minister of Transport were always behind the times. The government's reactions were closely related to the newspaper headlines. That is absolutely ridiculous.

What is more, I am not at all surprised to hear the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport reaffirm his complete confidence in the Port of Québec. We must not forget that the board of directors of the Port of Québec is mostly made up of representatives of port users, who are therefore judging themselves. How can the parliamentary secretary give me such feeble guarantees?

Health February 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am rising again in the House to speak about a situation that is poisoning the lives of many people in my riding of Beauport—Limoilou.

Again, it has to do with the dust contamination caused by the Port of Québec. The follow-up done by the Quebec Department of the Environment shows that the new standard in Quebec for the amount of nickel dust in the air, which has been in place since the beginning of 2014, has been exceeded regularly, several times a month since the beginning of the year. The real problem is that given the configuration of the land and the direction of the prevailing winds, which mainly come from the southwest, on most days of the month, the winds do not spread the dust over Limoilou and a good part of Quebec City's lower town.

However, the rest of the time, the winds coming from the east—those that often bring bad weather—easily spread that dust. I am not just talking about nickel dust. There are also other compounds in the air that fall as dust on the residents of Limoilou and Quebec City's lower town.

The problem is that the number of times dust levels exceed the standard every month is high enough that the problem can still be considered acute. Recently, citizens who are keeping a close watch on activities at the port and on the presence of dust in the air observed an alarming peak in dust levels. This happened on a night a few weeks ago. It appeared to be directly related to ore transshipment activities on a ship moored on the Baie de Beauport side, which is ideally located for unloading activities to spread dust all over Limoilou and Quebec City's lower town.

Contrary to what the government always says, nobody is really doing anything about this problem. A while ago, I was informed of the rules that govern, among other things, the release of various polluting substances by Quebec Stevedoring's activities. I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment for the answer he gave me at the time about the National Pollutant Release Inventory.

Despite claims by the port and Quebec Stevedoring, we still do not have solid evidence about whether the situation has improved or not. We also have no information about whether Quebec Stevedoring is required to consider pollutants released by its activities to determine if it has to report them to the National Pollutant Release Inventory. The people of Quebec City's lower town and my Limoilou constituents are being kept in the dark.

Why is the government refusing to shed light on this matter and take action so that people know where they stand? That is a reasonable request.

Pipeline Safety Act February 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

I agree with him that there is some improvement in the polluter pays principle, but we are only halfway there. Nonetheless, one of the troubling aspects of this bill is that low-capacity pipelines, the ones that move less than 250,000 barrels of oil a day, are not covered by the liability. That is troubling because that type of pipeline, often in small sections, is the most common in or near urban centres.

Why was this type of lower-volume pipeline not included in the same way as higher-volume pipelines?

Pipeline Safety Act February 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech on this issue.

However, I must admit that one part of his speech bothered me, and that was when he talked about the fact that Canadian taxpayers would not be left holding the bag in the event of an accidental spill caused by a break in a pipeline. That is what the member claimed. However, the reality is that this liability is limited to $1 billion if it is proven that there was no fault or negligence with respect to the spill. In the case of a major spill in an urban area where the damage surpasses $1 billion, taxpayers will be on the hook for costs over and above that liability limit.

Why does the member claim that, in all cases, Canadians will not have to pay a cent if ever there is a spill?

Housing February 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the people of Beauport—Limoilou tell me they find it tough to deal with the rising cost of various living expenses, including housing. In the Quebec City region, low-cost housing is getting harder to find. The situation is quite serious because we know that one in three people in Quebec City spends more than 30% of their income on housing.

According to the 2011 national household survey, the gap between the increase in the price of housing and the increase in salaries gets bigger every year. The federal government's contribution to building affordable housing, which is quite small for a G7 country, has been in steady decline for 20 years. It went from 1.3% of the budget in 1993, to 1% today.

It is time to reinvest heavily in order to provide housing to every Canadian in a difficult financial situation. When will this government understand that housing is a right?

National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day Act February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Montcalm for her very sensitive speech. She commented on the importance of this awareness day, to ensure that people understand what it means to have your life turned completely upside down after sustaining a spinal cord injury in an accident.

My colleague spoke about how there are consequences other than those directly associated with the spinal cord injury. What other physical or psychological effects could be caused by a spinal cord injury or that type of accident?

Victims Bill of Rights Act February 20th, 2015

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

I cannot help but respond to the speech given by the Associate Minister of National Defence. He is claiming that the Conservatives suggested those ideas when Paul Martin's government was in office. However, we then had eight years of inaction before we finally started this debate, which, unfortunately, has been subject to time allocation. That is truly shameful.

My colleague was quite right in pointing out the fact that our constructive proposals are all too easily rejected. I would like him to comment on that.

Victims Bill of Rights Act February 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Gatineau for her speech.

It is quite rare—there is no denying it—that we see a bill like BIll C-32 that allows the official opposition to finally support the government so we can work together to the same end.

Unfortunately, we must again condemn the time allocation imposed on this bill and the fact that despite our efforts and the very reasonable amendments proposed at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, they were all refused.

Because she was able to hear from so many witnesses, I wonder if my colleague, the justice critic, could tell me if she heard anything or got any impressions from witnesses or other stakeholders in the area of justice and victims rights regarding the fact that the government was completely closed to any suggestions for improving this worthwhile and commendable bill.

Health February 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, overnight, while Quebec Stevedoring was moving nickel concentrate in the port, the air quality in Limoilou deteriorated even more. Quebec's environment minister sounded the alarm, warning that children and seniors could be affected.

This problem has been ongoing for two years and the government refuses to take action. The Prime Minister popped by Quebec City but did not make any announcements about addressing this problem.

When will the Conservative government take the health of people in Quebec City seriously?

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine for his speech.

There has not been enough emphasis on the fundamental importance of the legislative branch. That independence is both desirable and desired. In Canada, the executive branch has a lot of power. Members of the executive branch of government are all MPs, and that leads to accountability problems. Therefore, it makes sense that the Speaker, as someone who is independent from the executive branch, should have full authority to protect freedom of circulation and expression for all members of the House.

I would like the member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine to elaborate on the importance of the independent legislative branch to which we all belong.