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  • His favourite word is rights.

NDP MP for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 44.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply April 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley for his presentation. I am always immensely pleased to listen to his eloquent oratory in the House. I thank him for that.

The motion deals with a fundamental aspect of our democracy. It has to do with a constitutional right, the right to vote. It is important to consider the motion. As we have said, we support the motion. I do not know whether my colleague is as mystified by this as I am. The motion is rather limited in terms of what it seeks to do, especially with regard to the Canada Elections Act.

Can my colleague comment on the fact that other statutes are just as important, for example the Official Languages Act, which has a quasi-constitutional status, and the Supreme Court Act? The list goes on. I wonder whether my colleague can also say a few words about the fact that the motion has such a limited scope.

Business of Supply April 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent speech, as usual. I have listened all morning to the discussions and questions in the House. We have a very straightforward motion. There is a tendency on the other side of the House, and in the corner with no one in it right now, to try to divert the conversation on the issues before us.

The issue before us is of great concern, of course. For a few years now, we have seen what I would call a very serious tendency by the Conservatives with respect to the kind of scandals we see day after day in Ottawa.

Could my colleague comment on that? We are not dealing with an isolated issue here with these trips for the Prime Minister's friends, but a very serious tendency on the other side.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 24th, 2014

With regard to Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, specifically the Val d’Or regional office: (a) what are the existing standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to funding requests; (b) what changes have been made to the standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to funding requests in the past 10 years; (c) in which months of which years were the changes to the standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to funding requests implemented; (d) what are the existing standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to meeting requests from MPs’ offices; (e) what changes have been made to the standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to meeting requests from MPs’ offices in the past 10 years; (f) in which months of which years were the changes to the standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to meeting requests from MPs’ offices implemented; (g) what is the complete list of meetings between MPs and employees and directors of the regional office in the past 10 years, broken down by year and political affiliation of MPs; (h) what is the complete list of meetings between representatives of MPs and employees and directors of the regional office in the past 10 years, broken down by year and political affiliation of MPs’ representatives; (i) what is the complete list of meetings between former MPs and employees and directors of the regional office on a subject other than a former MP’s business, in the past 10 years, broken down by year; (j) what are the existing standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to requests for information by phone from MPs’ offices; (k) what changes have been made to the standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to requests for information by phone from MPs’ offices in the past 10 years; (l) in which month of which years were the changes to the standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to requests for information by phone from MPs’ offices implemented; (m) what is the complete list of phone communications between MPs and employees and directors of the regional office in the past 10 years, broken down by year and political affiliation of MPs; (n) what is the complete list of phone communications between representatives of MPs and employees and directors of the regional office in the past 10 years, broken down by year and political affiliation of MPs’ representatives; (o) what is the complete list of phone communications between former MPs and employees and directors of the regional office on a subject other than a former MP’s business, in the past 10 years, broken down by year; (p) what are the existing standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to requests for information by email from MPs’ offices; (q) what changes have been made to the standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to requests for information by email from MPs’ offices in the past 10 years; (r) in which month of which years were the changes to the standards and procedures to be followed by employees and directors of the regional office to respond to requests for information by email from MPs’ offices implemented; (s) what is the complete list of email communications between MPs and employees and directors of the regional office in the past 10 years, broken down by year and political affiliation of MPs; (t) what is the complete list of email communications between representatives of MPs and employees and directors of the regional office in the past 10 years, broken down by year and political affiliation of MPs’ representatives; and (u) what is the complete list of email communications between former MPs and employees and directors of the regional office on a subject other than a former MP’s business, in the past 10 years, broken down by year?

Aboriginal Affairs March 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives keep telling us that they are doing something, but it is clear that what they are doing is not working.

Over 800 women have been murdered or gone missing since 1990, but the government is refusing to shed light on the situation. We waited too long to shed light on what happened in Indian residential schools.

Can the government avoid making the same mistake and launch a public inquiry into the murders and disappearances of aboriginal women?

Aboriginal Affairs March 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today on Parliament Hill, there was a vigil to honour the memory of Loretta Saunders. Her name is added to those of Kelly Nicole Goforth, Heather Ballantyne, Cassandra Joan Desjarlais, Miranda McKinney, Jodi Roberts, Tricia Boisvert and Rocelyn Gabriel. These women were murdered or have gone missing in the past six months.

Does the government understand that a public inquiry is the only way to honour the memory of the some 800 missing and murdered aboriginal women?

Aboriginal Affairs February 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Loretta Saunders, a young aboriginal woman from Labrador, was conducting university level research on missing and murdered aboriginal women. Her own murder, I am sure everyone would agree, is a tragic irony. We must honour her memory, just as we must honour the memories of all of these missing and murdered women.

We waited too long before getting to the bottom of the residential schools problem. Will the government avoid making the same mistake and will it launch a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women?

Affordable Housing February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, nothing is more important to people's health and well-being than having a place to call home, where they can feel safe. Unfortunately, far too many people in our country know what it is like to live without such a basic need. This is a common situation in my large riding of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou.

In Nunavik alone, more than 900 families are in need of adequate housing, despite the fact that the Government of Canada has a constitutional obligation under the treaties to provide housing. The Eeyou Istchee region is short roughly 2,000 housing units. In Val-D'Or, there is a serious shortage of affordable housing, which is driving up the cost of rent. It is getting harder and harder for families to put a roof over their heads. The same is true throughout northern Quebec.

The federal government has a role to play in providing affordable housing. It is high time that the Conservatives honoured their commitments and worked in partnership with the governments in my region to resolve this problem.

Petitions February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, like my hon. colleague from Hull—Aylmer, I wish to present a petition concerning protecting Gatineau Park.

This park is one of the most frequently visited parks in Canada. It is home to about 90 plant and 50 animal species at risk, so it is important that the government protect its borders. I therefore present this petition, which is signed by many people.

Aboriginal Affairs February 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in the last budget, there was no new money allocated to solve the housing crisis that affects the health and well-being of Canada's aboriginal peoples. In Nunavik alone, 900 families are looking for adequate housing. In the past, the minister said that he hoped to allocate funds, but nothing has materialized to date.

When will the government take real action to resolve the housing crisis in Nunavik and elsewhere in Canada?

Situation in the Central African Republic February 12th, 2014

Mr. Chair, let me reiterate that we continue to call on the Conservative government to sign the arms trade treaty. In my view, small arms fuel conflicts like this one. Even the United Nations Security Council has raised this issue. I think that signing this treaty would bode well for Canada.