House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Bloc MP for Saint-Lambert (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Copyright Act May 14th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, when will the government introduce its long-awaited bill on reforming the Copyright Act, an outdated piece of legislation if ever there was one, which should be modified as soon as possible for it to meet the needs of Quebec and Canadian authors and be in line with the two WIPO treaties Canada ratified in 1996?

Film Industry May 14th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, recent studies published in the past few days clearly show that Canada, like China, Malaysia and India, is being lax when it comes to the issue of films pirated in movie theatres. The Canadian industry and the Government of Canada have suffered estimated losses of several million dollars.

What is the government waiting for to legislate, to rein in this piracy industry and to bring the traffickers to court in order to bring an end to this illegal market of pirated products?

René Mailhot May 1st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, a man of integrity has passed away. From geopolitical strategy issues to international conflicts, from his masterful understanding of forgotten wars to concern for the plight of the victims in Darfur, Iraq, Rwanda, Congo, Chechnya, Palestine, Israel or anywhere else in the world on the brink of chaos every day, nothing eluded his mind or his conscience.

René Mailhot, his roots in Gascony, grand master of international political news, has left us. With his ability to distill complex issues into simple terms and to educate people thoroughly, he awoke the conscience of millions.

All of Quebec shares in the deep sorrow of his family and colleagues.

The Bloc Québécois salutes his memory. May he rest in peace.

April 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I would like to discuss my reservations about the Canadian Charter, but that is another debate entirely. It makes no sense to deprive minorities outside of Quebec, aboriginals, women's groups, the most vulnerable, the poorest, the economically excluded, and society's downtrodden. What else can I say? It makes no sense.

I hope nobody minds if I laugh as Canada's red and white lights shine around the world, telling everyone that it is the greatest country on earth.

April 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question. Let me put this in a broader context in order to shed some light on this government's ideological goals, which are those of a minority in Quebec and Canada.

Through its mouthpiece, the Conservative Party, this government will go down in recent political history as a proponent of the law of the jungle and of might makes right against the weak, the vulnerable and the isolated. When I say isolated, I mean, for example, francophones outside Quebec, who had access to this program that will probably disappear for good if the government does not act reasonably and wisely.

The law of the jungle is contrary to Quebec's values and to human values. It is clear that the people who support these methods, both here and elsewhere, care only about themselves. As my colleague said, these people do not pay attention to the weak and the vulnerable because they are unable to see the big picture; they cannot see past the ends of their noses.

It is our duty to remind all of our colleagues in the House of Commons, as well as all Canadians and Quebeckers, that this kind of ideology flourishes only on the edge of the abyss, on the edge of chaos, and that is what we have to avoid.

April 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her question. I do not want to repeat what they said, because I find their comments uncalled for. I want to refrain from using words that could harm or be unparliamentary.

We have here an expression that reveals an ideology. To be unable to deal with the diversity of values that are the foundation of Canada and Quebec, to be limited only to the expression, the validation and promotion of one's own values, which, in my opinion, can be referred to as sectarian, then there is a problem. This has no relation to our diversity as human beings in this society and as people with unequal means and abilities. It is up to us as parliamentarians, as my colleague just said, never to stop denouncing this deviance reflects an ideological minority in Canada and Quebec.

April 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to reiterate comments I have already made in the past during a similar debate about a report tabled by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on the same topic.

I also rise to say that the Bloc Québécois supports the adoption of the 16th report of the Standing Committee on Status of Women, which recommends that the government reinstate the court challenges program. Why do we support it? Because we feel that this government has room to manoeuvre, given that it has the luxury of a surplus of billions of dollars, and that it should have cut operating expenditures rather than programs affecting the most disadvantaged citizens.

We all know that the Conservatives have made what are generally called ideological cuts, and it is not impugning their motives to say so. They target the disadvantaged and minority groups. In England, Mrs. Thatcher taught us a great deal and left a rather interesting legacy in this regard.

The Conservatives target programs that provide checks and balances to the government, programs that facilitate the expression and practice of democracy in a country that calls itself free, sophisticated and developed. It refuses to consider possible savings at the Department of National Defence, for example. I wonder why. I do not know. The question must be asked.

Why is it that there were no cuts to the Department of National Defence when it is one of the departments with the largest budgets, about $14.7 billion in 2005-06?

During the election campaign in January 2006, we saw the Conservative Party slowly progressing like masked turtles. I did not come up with this image; it was provided by someone else. But I thought it was appropriate because we could not see the true face of the government. We did not yet know it as we do today.

The masks have been set aside. We have a tendency of pointing that out. It happens every day when we debate and defend positions and values in this House.

With all these cuts, the Conservative government—as I have already said here—is stirring up a lot of discontent in Quebec. If the members of the Conservative caucus are incapable of seeing this, I can only say that they are out of touch with reality in Quebec. The values of the Conservative Party are not the values of Quebeckers.

Quebec is about solidarity in all areas of life. That is the very essence of the soul of the Quebec nation: solidarity, mutual aid and compassion. I defy anyone here in this House to convince me that the measures taken by this government, whether using its machete, sabre or chain saw to slash programs such as the court challenges program, are in any way in line with the values I just mentioned.

The Conservative government, as I have already said, is directly attacking the disadvantaged and minority groups. I will give other examples, in addition to the elimination of the court challenges program, which, incidentally, gave a voice to linguistic and gender minorities, which would include women and homosexuals.

Furthermore, we know that the court challenges program funded groups that challenged the positions taken by current members of this Conservative government. Was cutting this program—the question must be asked—an unhealthy sign that all groups opposed to this government's ideology are in danger of being gradually silenced?

Perhaps our potential insensitivity to this ideology would soon cause these groups to disappear or become weaker. Fortunately, we are here. To respond to some of the foolishness across the floor, I would say the Bloc Québécois is here to denounce this dangerous ideology.

I spoke earlier about other programs that are at risk or are going to disappear, including the Canada volunteerism initiative, and the program that advocates for women and women's rights, a fight that is far from over. Those involved in the women's movement in Quebec, who have been fighting for years and for generations, know what I am talking about.

We may be far removed from the values that this government stands for, but it is not taking a strong stand. It is unable to say without circumvention and hypocrisy that women and minority groups have to make do with what they have. Women, minority groups and those who are unable to read—the illiterate—have to make do with what they have.

If the Conservatives would use clear speech, if they would be transparent and have the courage to be upfront and take a strong stand, I think the entire population of Canada—not just in Quebec, because in Quebec we have made up our minds, there is a clear consensus—would wake up and chase the Conservatives out of government.

Now I would like to address those who are watching us on television today. Wake up. There is still time. You have seen what they are capable of as a minority government; imagine what they would have done if they had formed a majority government.

Canadian Heritage April 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, we still do not know the criteria for the Conservative sponsorship program, which the minister is getting ready to launch.

How can the minister hold consultations that would be even remotely useful if the program's criteria are not known?

Is this not proof that the minister's approach is dangerously close to that of the Liberals, meaning it uses public money primarily for the benefit of Conservative members?

Canadian Heritage April 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, no doubt taking a page from the Liberals' book, consulted only the Conservative members, supposedly to make a list of fairs and festivals in their ridings, but when this was discovered, she changed tactics and decided to consult with opposition members as well.

What explanation can the minister offer, other than that she was preparing to take a page from the Liberals' book and create her own sponsorship program made to measure for Conservative members?

2007 Europe Theatre Prize April 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, like Harold Pinter, Michel Piccoli, Giorgio Strehler and other renowned creative talents before him, the man whose name is synonymous with Quebec theatre, Robert Lepage, has received the 2007 Europe Theatre Prize. This prestigious prize, awarded yesterday in Greece, recognizes work in theatre.

This artist was born in Quebec City and has become world renowned through his films and shows, of which there are far too many to mention. With his incredible talent he has worked and toured here and throughout the world: Europe, Great Britain, United States and Japan. In 1993, he founded a multidisciplinary production company called Ex Machina. He is the recipient of a number of awards here and abroad.

The Bloc Québécois is thrilled with his most recent awards and can say about Robert Lepage what France said about Molière, “Nothing is wanting to his glory; but he is wanting to ours”.