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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

Canadian Television Fund February 7th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, does the minister not realize that through her negligence she is condoning nothing short of illegality and that she is complicit in this hostage-taking directed against the television industry?

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to bring his minister into line and demand that she enforce the law?

Canadian Television Fund February 7th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the behaviour of the Minister of Canadian Heritage in the Canadian Television Fund file is absolutely outrageous. She is condoning illegal acts that are compromising television production. Her government says it supports the legislation and the order. Well then, it should start by bringing order to the Canadian Television Fund.

What is the minister waiting for to fully enforce the law? It is her responsibility.

Points of Order February 6th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage misled the House when she stated that I supported the idea that the film industry had adequate funding for its development, which is incorrect, if you refer to the additional report that the Bloc Québécois tabled in committee, and which is also incorrect, if you refer to the three motions the Bloc Québécois had adopted in committee in December.

I would therefore like the minister to apologize and withdraw her defamatory statement.

Canadian Heritage February 6th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebec responded to one of the recommendations in the Macerola report by announcing $10 million in renewable funding to support the Quebec film industry. That report also recommended that the federal government do its part.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us how much her government is ready to spend to support the Quebec film industry?

Canadian Heritage February 6th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage's inaction is of great concern to the television industry. She is refusing to discipline Shaw and Vidéotron who, by withholding their contributions to the Canadian Television Fund, are endangering the production of three television series. Her silence suggests that she is complicit in the offence. She must act to save these three series. What is she waiting for?

Broadcasting Act January 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to participate in this debate on Bill C-327 dealing with the reduction of violence in television broadcasts.

Television violence is a problem of such scope that it has been the subject of various, often controversial but always relevant and thought provoking, studies, reports and analyses. More importantly, this issue reminds the elected representatives that we are that, in our society, television has become an omnipresent media whose impact on the most receptive or vulnerable audiences, and I am thinking of our children, should never be underestimated.

At a time when an overwhelming majority of people in Canada and Quebec own at least one television set and spend an average of four hours a day watching this hypnotic box; when new media are being put on the market and the number of available stations keeps increasing; and when television is more and more and increasingly openly blamed for breeding a scourge of our society—and I am referring to all forms of violence—the Bloc Québécois, through the determination and perseverance of the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, whose eloquent plea we have heard and grasped the scope of, could not pass on a relevant debate and another meaningful piece of legislation on the theme of television images of a violent nature and their impact on our youth. That is the raison d'être of his bill to reduce violence in television broadcasts by granting the CRTC additional regulatory powers in this respect, without developing a censorship mentality.

The bill's summary states, and I quote, “This enactment amends the Broadcasting Act to grant the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission the power to make regulations respecting the broadcasting of violent scenes”.

And here is how the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie introduced his bill at first reading stage:

A recent study by Laval University showed that acts of violence shown on television have tripled since 1994. The purpose of this bill is to amend the Broadcasting Act to create a regulation governing television violence. The CRTC would be responsible for monitoring how large broadcasters apply the regulation that would be created by the bill I am introducing today.

The Bloc Québécois is in favour of the bill and salutes the initiative of the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie. The Bloc Québécois reminds the House that, beyond self-regulation, we must provide broadcasting with an adequate framework in order to avoid a drift toward sensationalism that does not necessarily reflect Quebec and Canadian values.

The Bloc Québécois believes that young children should not be confronted with violence at a very early age, because this would tend to trivialize it, with the predictable consequences.

As I was saying at the beginning of my speech, violence in our society is an issue that raises concerns among the general public and, indeed, the legislator that each of us represents here. In this regard, we have the responsibility to introduce legislation.

What are the impacts of television on our children? In 1998, a UNESCO study showed that children under the age of 12 were spending an average of three hours a day watching television, that is 50% more than at any other activity.

Children who watch very violent television or films are more likely to become aggressive. There is no doubt about it.

Many reports agree on this. There is an enormous amount of research into the effects of media violence.

Researchers have long wondered whether television violence has such effect on young people that it can actually make them more aggressive. After some 50 years of research into this question, some investigators such as Professor Howell Huesmann of the University of Michigan are convinced that there is evidence of a direct correlation. I quote him:

—exposure to media violence causes children to behave more aggressively and affects them as adults years later.

Professor Huesmann demonstrated that when children imitate the actions of their “media heroes”, they develop “cognitive scripts” that ultimately guide their own behaviour. For example, when their heroes are violent, children internalize scripts in which violence is presented as an appropriate or legitimate method of settling disputes, solving problems or dealing with frustrations.

According to other researchers, the psychological effects are not as important as the physiological effects in the internalization of aggressive behaviour seen on television. These researchers observed that exposure to violent imagery is linked to increased heart rate, faster respiration and higher blood pressure. They think that this simulated "fight-or-flight" response predisposes people to act aggressively in the real world.

Similarly, an American study looked at the effects over 20 years. It showed a modest correlation between shows watched by eight-year-old boys and an aggressiveness indicator 11 years later. Boys who watched a lot of violent shows when they were young had much more serious police records at 30 years of age than other boys. These effects could not be ascribed to other social factors. To quantify this “modest” effect, the researchers said that it was comparable to the effect of tobacco consumption on lung cancer. All the experts in large research associations agree on these proven facts.

I want to emphasize once again that the consumption of televisions shows has certain effects, both direct and indirect. No one will be able to say later that they did not know. I encourage the House, therefore, to show good sense and support Bill C-327.

Marie-Vincent Foundation Award December 12th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the Marie-Vincent Foundation award is handed out annually to an agency working to prevent child abuse. This year the award went to La Traversée, an agency in Saint-Lambert helping women and children who are victims of sexual abuse.

This award points up the merits of an innovative philosophy-based violence prevention program in 10 elementary schools in Longueuil. As Catherine Audrain, director of La Traversée, said so well, this project brings a bit of hope because it reduces violent behaviour in young people and integrates values such as respect, dialogue and tolerance.

This is a fine example of the work done by an agency committed to respect for women. Unfortunately, it is not by cutting programs for these agencies that the dogmatic Conservative government will help advance the cause of women.

The Québécois November 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, we hear and read here and there in the book of history and on the news all around us these days about quests for liberty and quests for respect ending in wars.

This is not at all the case in Quebec and Canada. I heard my colleague speak earlier, and I quote, about internal wars. Would he like to say what he means by that?

Sophie Thibault November 7th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I rise again to inform the House of another event that illustrates the pride of Quebeckers. The source of that pride is a woman, a woman whose name evokes compassion, humanity, professionalism, dedication and integrity. Those are the qualities that led her from community radio to the TVA network, where she has held the enviable position of chief news anchor since spring 2002. Sophie Thibault is the first woman in North America to occupy this position, and she is also one of the most admired news readers in Quebec.

She was the winner of the Métrostar award in the category of news anchor for three successive years in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Yesterday, she was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.

It is with great pride that my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I, in turn, warmly applaud her and say to her, “Madame Thibault, you deserve this honour. Bravo and thank you for representing so well the talent of Quebeckers”.

Roy Dupuis November 1st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the 19th Tokyo international film festival recently rolled out the red carpet for Maurice Richard. Art and style won over the jury, which awarded the best actor prize to Roy Dupuis for his portrayal of the Rocket.

Although he shuns the spotlight, Roy Dupuis is a mythic and popular Quebec actor with animal charisma, combining pure talent with subtlety in performances in such films as Nikita, Séraphin: Heart of Stone and Mémoires affectives, also known as Looking for Alexander.

I know the accomplished work, the professionalism and the humility of this committed artist who has put his all into every production he has been involved in. I am delighted to join with my Bloc Québécois colleagues in applauding him and thanking him for so brilliantly representing the creative genius of the Quebec film industry we are defending here, against the Conservative government, which has chosen to jeopardize its continued success.