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NDP MP for Shefford (Québec)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 51.10% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Canada Post March 27th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is quietly privatizing Canada Post. Canadians want to keep their post offices because this is a local service that is important to them and their businesses. Closing post offices for ideological reasons is hurting our regions' economy.
Can the minister tell us how many more Canada Post offices the Conservatives are going to close?
Silk Industry March 22nd, 2013
Mr. Speaker, today I want to talk about a highly innovative company located in the industrial hotbed of Granby. It is developing a textile fibre from milkweed, an indigenous plant.
This company is called Encore 3, and its name refers to the company values of “environment”, “co-operation”, “research” and “employment”. Its research has uncovered the extraordinary potential of milkweed. This ultra-light vegetable silk has proven to be a warmer insulator than goose feathers and polar fleece. Another one of its interesting characteristics is that it can absorb up to 40 times its weight in oil, which would be helpful in the case of oil spills in the ocean, for example.
Encore 3 just founded a growers' co-op to farm 1,000 hectares and develop a milkweed supply. The first harvest is expected in 2014.
Long live Quebec's silk industry.
Organization for Homeless Youth November 23rd, 2012
Mr. Speaker, last Saturday in my riding, the Auberge du coeur Sous mon toit celebrated its 40th anniversary with over 100 guests and about 15 beneficiaries. They were celebrating 40 years of volunteer work to help young men between the ages of 17 and 35.
The organization welcomes, feeds and provides full-time housing for about 20 young men who are homeless or in difficulty, in order to help them reintegrate into society. To date, over 2,000 young men have been able to regain control of their lives with the help of this organization. Today, they are making a positive contribution to our society. The organization's director was one of the first beneficiaries 40 years ago.
I was touched and moved by the modesty and dedication of the workers and volunteers. At the party, a single common goal was clear: to continue to help young men in difficulty.
Congratulations to Auberge du coeur Sous mon toit and all the best in the future.
Passport Applications October 15th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, why do only 25 out of 81 Service Canada centres in Quebec verify and pass along passport applications?
In Shefford, since I was elected, my staff has verified and forwarded no fewer than 2,767 passport applications. Considering that roughly 40 hours a week are devoted to this work and considering the cost of sending the applications, our MPs' budget no longer allows us to provide this service to our constituents.
Do not forget that my riding is close to the U.S. border. This service is essential to the people in my riding. I asked Service Canada about this a year ago and I got the same answer that I got last Thursday: the matter is still under review. What is the government waiting for to make a decision?
Homosexuality October 5th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, after trying to reopen the abortion debate, a Conservative member is doing it again. He will be in my riding this weekend to take part in an event held by Quebec's Campaign Life Coalition with the Ta vie ton choix group, which promotes therapy for those struggling with unwanted attractions to persons of the same sex.
In addition to opposing women's right to choose, does the member also believe that homosexuality is a disease that should be treated?
Employment Insurance June 20th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, the only plan they have is to lower all workers' wages. The Conservatives' botched reform of the employment insurance program is unacceptable. The Shefford tourism industry is worried about the consequences of the Conservatives' attacks on seasonal workers. These irresponsible measures will make it difficult to find qualified staff for the tourist season.
Why are the Conservatives attacking the businesses that drive the economic vitality of my region?
Lamarche Slaughterhouse June 7th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to extend my sincere congratulations to the Lamarche slaughterhouse in Racine for obtaining its operating licence from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Over 20 direct jobs and a number of indirect jobs have now been created in Racine and its neighbouring communities through the hard work and perseverance of François Lamarche, his wife, his son and their associate, and through the ongoing support of their family.
These visionaries believed in their skills and potential. They believed in the importance of creating a business in the region that would reduce the impact on the environment and contribute to reducing animal cruelty.
The cuts that the government made to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are having a direct negative impact on small and medium—
Housing May 4th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have another opportunity to speak to my Motion M-331 about rental housing.
I listened very closely to everything my colleagues said in the context of this debate. I would like to thank them. I would also like to thank everyone who plans to support this motion.
I would like to begin by responding to arguments that some members raised during the first hour of debate on my motion. Specifically, I would like to respond the the Conservatives' oft-repeated argument that we, the members of the New Democratic Party, voted against measures to help Canadians obtain housing and to fight homelessness. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The NDP is not opposed to policies that subsidize and increase the availability of social housing. That has been our stance for decades.
Take for example Bill C-38, the budget implementation bill that we are now debating and that several Quebec media outlets have described as “mammoth”. I want to make it clear that we cannot vote for this omnibus bill because it contains a hodgepodge of separate bills that have nothing to do with one another. This bill is like a garage sale or a flea market.
Conservative members can say whatever they want in the House, but if the government chose to split the omnibus bill, then the NDP, as a social-democratic party, would support any social measures designed to improve quality of life for people across the country. We would also be prepared to share our opinions and suggestions about measures that raise questions or concerns.
Any discussion about housing has to be placed in context. We have to talk not only about rental housing, as we are doing now, but also about a range of measures, such as subsidies for social housing, programs to deal with homelessness, partnerships with the non-profit sector to provide more good-quality housing, and measures to improve low-income individuals' access to capital.
It is clear that this Conservative government, rather than pursuing these comprehensive measures, has opted to do away with crucial homelessness programs and is refusing to implement amendments to the bill, proposed by the NDP, that would establish national housing standards. This, along with the government's ongoing abdication of its responsibilities—to the point that these responsibilities have now to a large extent fallen on the shoulders of the municipalities—has eroded the very notion of safe, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for all Canadians.
The situation is only getting worse. In the past, low income earners had the option of investing in a mobile home, but today, even that option is rarely a possibility. Unfortunately, with the federal government's ongoing cuts to the funding of housing, the trend in many municipalities across the country has been to replace mobile home parks with condominiums and other high cost housing. This is happening in Granby with the Tropicana campground, which has nothing to do with orange juice.
With Motion M-331, my colleagues and I from the New Democratic Party are trying to draw attention to an extremely important problem, which is growing throughout the country.
The United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes access to housing as a human right. The government can and must do more to ensure that all Canadians have access to safe, adequate, accessible and affordable housing. We encourage all members to support this motion.
Health Care System April 2nd, 2012
Mr. Speaker, our health care system is sick. Recently, I had first-hand experience with our inadequate health care system. I went to the Granby hospital with my spouse, who had a persistent cough following a bout of flu. In a waiting room meant for 50 people, there were just 10 or so patients waiting to see a doctor. We waited over five and a half hours to see a doctor, who eventually diagnosed pneumonia.
In its budget, the Conservative government is going ahead with plans to cut health transfers to the provinces and territories despite the fact that Quebeckers and Canadians are asking it to commit to providing stable funding for health care. Given the government's misguided approach, what will happen to the aging Canadian population?
Housing March 28th, 2012
Madam Speaker, the positive effects are simple. If people are happy and they see that the government is taking care of them, then they will applaud the government and think of it every four years.