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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

Aboriginal Affairs June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, here is the real premise of the question.

The federal government's apology should be the start of a reconciliation process with the aboriginal peoples. However, if the Conservatives continue to hide information about what happened in residential schools, victims will never be able to move past that trauma.

Even after a court ruling in favour of the victims, they are still fighting for justice.

When will the Conservatives stop their obstruction and make every single document public? When?

International Trade June 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, a fact is a fact.

When the Conservatives arrived in 2006, we had a $26 billion trade surplus. Today we have a $62 billion trade deficit. That is a difference of $80 billion. They talk the talk, but they do not walk the walk.

Last October, they said that the agreement with Europe had been finalized, but five months later they cannot provide us with a single shred of paper.

Can the minister just be honest in the House and admit that they celebrated too late? Will they admit that there are a number of details to work out and tell us—

Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the things we hear in the House at this time of night can be quite amusing. I will not repeat them.

I listened closely to my colleague's speech. As I was listening to the Conservative member's question, I was reminded why Canada's international reputation has suffered so greatly. We were in a very enviable position for quite some time. Our reputation was strong and solid until the Conservatives came to power. We are slowly losing our global influence. We on this side have been saying that the free trade agreements we are negotiating need to be in line with Canadian values. I would like to quote Sheila Katz, who said this:

The Americas Policy Group has recommended that Canada refrain from concluding free trade agreements with countries that have poor democratic governance and human rights records.

Would my colleague like to comment on that?

Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak again on this issue this evening.

I was involved in multilateral negotiations at the international level for over 25 years. I know how complex this process can be and how issues can sometimes be extremely complicated. Many factors must be considered when we negotiate agreements.

I am rather intrigued by the question asked by the hon. member for Winnipeg North, who spoke about free trade in general terms. His party that applauded the recent agreement with the European Union without even having read it. I clearly remember his leader, the hon. member for Papineau, rising in the House to applaud the Prime Minister for signing an agreement with the European Union, which he had not even read. We should show some sensitivity when we are dealing with these issues.

As I have always done with international issues, I read several reports, particularly the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which deals with aboriginal people. As we know, a number of mining companies are active in Latin America. Relations with first nations, with the aboriginal peoples of these countries, are very important.

I am familiar with the hon. member's experience. I wonder if he could tell us about it.

Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, frankly, the questions and comments of the Liberal Party and our Conservative friend are ridiculous. The facts and figures show that they did not succeed in that regard either.

My colleague briefly described the three most important criteria when it comes to free trade agreements. First, the proposed partner's economy must be of value to Canada. Second, the terms of the agreement must be beneficial to our country. Third—and a number of members have talked about this—the proposed partner must respect human rights and meet high environmental and labour standards. This agreement does not meet these very important criteria.

Earlier, I read the most recent report of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination or the CERD, as it is called at the international level. This report, dated March 13, 2014, is quite critical of Honduras' track record, particularly when it comes to respecting human rights.

Members of the United Nations are required to honour the Charter of the United Nations, which requires us to promote and protect human rights. We need to consider those issues when we negotiate agreements.

Does my colleague agree with me?

Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am always astonished by the way the Conservatives talk about their record on free trade with other countries.

Honduras, for instance, ranks about 104th on the list of Canada’s export markets. In 2012, Canada exported $38 million in goods to Honduras and imported $218 million. We have to recognize that this is quite a substantial trade deficit.

When this government came to power in 2006, our trade surplus was $26 billion. Today, we have a deficit of $62 billion in terms of our trade with other countries.

Can my colleague explain what has gone wrong?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have only four minutes left to speak during this debate, and that is because of the time allocation motion that the Conservatives moved and voted for today.

That leaves very little time for people like me, who live in the far north and come from a remote area, to discuss the measures included in this proposed budget, as well as the ones that were not included. Clearly, I am very puzzled by the fact that I cannot talk about the things that directly impact the people of my riding, Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou.

I will use the four minutes I have left to debunk some of the Conservative myths surrounding jobs and the economy.

When the Conservatives came to power in 2006, and I just happened to choose this example, there was a $26-billion trade surplus in terms of international trade. Now, listen to this. The Conservatives turned that surplus into a $62-billion trade deficit.

The Conservatives are saying that they are very good negotiators. They are signing all these free trade agreements with countries around the globe. However, in actual fact, they are proving that they are not as good at negotiating as they would have us believe.

I would also like to address the matter of the budget deficit. It is important to think about that because, on the other side of the House, the Conservatives are bragging that they are good managers and that they know how to manage the economy. Nevertheless, the public debt has increased by over $100 billion over the past six years. We must remind the Canadians who are watching this evening of that. The Conservatives are responsible for the largest budget deficit in Canadian history.

It is important to keep that in mind because, on this side of the House at least, we are tired of hearing the Conservatives talk about this subject. I know that they do not like facts. However, the facts certainly contradict what they are saying.

Our youth is another example that I could give in the House tonight. The youth unemployment rate is double the national rate at almost 14%.

How can the Conservatives brag about doing such a great job of managing the economy and the country when they cannot even find jobs for our young people, the future of this country? The Conservatives cannot do it.

Let us talk about this economic recovery they are still bragging about today. An additional 300,00 Canadians have become unemployed since the recession and 400,000 jobs have been lost in the manufacturing industry since this Prime Minister took office. They call that an economic recovery?

I think that we need to speak out about the fact that the Conservatives are not capable of doing the work. This Conservative government is tired and corrupt. It is no longer capable of defending its record. It is important to point that out.

I will end by saying—

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 5th, 2014

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his passionate speech and commend him for the work he does for our veterans.

What I do not understand is the disdain that this government has for veterans. Just as much as I do not understand racism, I do not understand why the government is incapable, here in the House, of recognizing the contribution veterans have made, the sacrifices they have made for our country, often at the cost of their health or their lives.

I would like my colleague to elaborate on the comments he made about veterans in his speech. We know that members on the other side of the House rely heavily on rhetoric when it comes to veterans' issues. The NDP has proposed meaningful initiatives in that regard. I would like him to talk a little about that.

Committees of the House May 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my dear colleague for his presentation today, to which I listened carefully.

The response to the report indicates that the government supports recommendation 2f in principle. The second paragraph of this response states:

In keeping with [the government's] overall emphasis on budget discipline and good management practices, Canada has also promoted the adoption of results-based planning, to ensure the most efficient use of scarce resources.

I would like to hear my colleague's comments on the government's response.

Committees of the House May 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his speech. I also want to congratulate him for chairing the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development with such control.

The government's response to recommendation 2f states: “The Government of Canada supports this recommendation in principle.” I would like to hear more from the hon. member on the meaning of the second paragraph, which states:

In keeping with its overall emphasis on budget discipline and good management practices, Canada has also promoted the adoption of results-based planning, to ensure the most efficient use of scarce resources.