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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 November 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the nutrition north Canada program is not achieving its objective. Many people in the north spend half their paycheque on groceries. This is untenable. Despite a $60 million contribution, the program does not seem to be lowering the cost for the consumer. Who is pocketing the profits?

The people of the north have been telling the minister that the new program is flawed ever since it was implemented. Why is the minister doing nothing to ensure that the people of the north have access to healthy food at affordable prices? Why is he abandoning them yet again?

Aboriginal Affairs November 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the so-called action plan is not working.

Aboriginal women and girls are still being abused and going missing. Rinelle Harper's ordeal has been added to the long list of horror stories. Nearly 1,200 aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or been murdered.

Aboriginal communities are calling for a national inquiry so that the government will finally take a serious look at violence against women. No more excuses.

Why are the Conservatives refusing to conduct such an inquiry?

Aboriginal Affairs November 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, at present, 61% of aboriginal youth in their twenties have not completed high school, compared to only 13% for the rest of the population. Meanwhile, the minister sits back and blames everyone else for the failure of his ill-advised education bill.

Will the minister acknowledge his failure, respond to the request by the Assembly of First Nations and reopen discussions to give first nations real control over their education?

Canada Post November 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, on October 6, the Val-d'Or city council adopted a resolution calling on Canada Post to maintain home delivery services. A few days later, the Chibougamau city council adopted a similar resolution.

A number of cities in Quebec and Canada have adopted similar resolutions. My constituents are concerned about this situation, and they have not hesitated to express their concerns. Several hundred voters in Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou have signed the petition started by the NDP in response to the announcement of the cuts at Canada Post.

It is shameful that under the Conservatives, Canada is becoming the first G7 country to have no home delivery. The Conservatives brag about their record, but they are not even capable of delivering the mail. Canadians deserve better than the Conservatives' pathetic attitude.

When the New Democrats form the government in 2015, we will start delivering what is best for Canadians.

Aboriginal Affairs October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's apology in 2008 was to be the start of a reconciliation process. For that to happen, the survivors need to have access to the programs and credits owed to them so that they can continue to learn and pursue their healing process.

I will repeat the question: will the minister work with the courts and the other signatories to the agreement and get the deadline extended, and can he confirm that in writing today?

Aboriginal Affairs October 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Cindy Blackstock's lengthy battle is coming to an end this week, as she is giving her closing arguments before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Child welfare agencies on reserves receive 22% less money from the federal government than agencies off reserve. Ms. Blackstock has been fighting for some time to correct this injustice.

Does the government plan to listen to her arguments and adjust its funding accordingly?

Aboriginal Affairs October 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about children like the four-year-old girl with a heart condition who needed a raised hospital bed so that fluid did not accumulate in her lungs.

If she had lived anywhere other than on a reserve, she would have had that bed in a few days, but she is aboriginal. As a result, she waited nearly seven months.

How does the minister plan to ensure that children living on reserves receive the health care that they are entitled to and they need?

Rouge National Urban Park Act October 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Halifax for her speech. This member has an excellent understanding of her file, and I thank her for that.

This bill proposes to create the first urban park. If there is something we should be the best in the world at, it is creating parks. I would even say that this is in our DNA as Canadians. This bill presents an incredible opportunity.

Aside from the challenges that my colleague mentioned in her speech, what other challenges could we expect to encounter with this bill?

Aboriginal Affairs September 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today Amnesty International is marking the 10th anniversary of its “Stolen Sisters” report. It is a sorry anniversary that reminds us of yet another decade of inaction by the government, another decade of frustration for the families of the 1,200 missing or murdered women.

Will the government finally launch a national public inquiry into the fate of these women?

Aboriginal Affairs September 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the minister's so-called action plan cannot be trusted. We are talking about 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women, and the problem continues. This evening, my colleagues opposite will have the opportunity to take meaningful action in memory of these women who were victims of violence.

They can vote against a report that symbolizes 30 years of indifference and 30 years of inaction, and they can finally acknowledge the need for a national public inquiry. Will they take action?