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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was finance.

Last in Parliament September 2007, as Bloc MP for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 56% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Taxation April 5th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, when they served on the Subcommittee on Fiscal Imbalance, the Conservatives, as opposition, voted in favour of the recommendation to increase transfers for post-secondary education.

Now that they can go ahead with that proposal and make it happen, why do they not mention it at all in the throne speech?

Taxation April 5th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister would like to address the fiscal imbalance. Very well. We all agree that such a problem cannot be solved overnight. However, urgent needs in education require an immediate increase in transfer payments. All stakeholders are calling for a transfer increase to the 1994-95 level of $4.9 billion annually, after allowing for inflation.

Since the Speech from the Throne does not mention the matter, can the government promise that the next budget will include an increase in transfer payments for post-secondary education and social programs?

Address in Reply April 4th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my two Conservative colleagues for this reply to the Speech from the Throne.

The manufacturing sector throughout Canada—and especially in Quebec—currently faces intense competition. It is experiencing productivity problems, with respect to emerging countries in particular. Over the past two years there have been massive layoffs, especially of workers 55 and older. The Speech from the Throne does not indicate any concern about this within the new Conservative government.

My questions are for my colleague. Am I to understand that the Conservative government is not concerned with increasing competition and providing the tools to allow companies—in the manufacturing sector in particular—to cope with these emerging countries? Have the Conservatives changed their minds about employment insurance reform and helping older workers? These two items were not included in the Speech from the Throne.

Bank Act November 23rd, 2005

Madam Speaker, I will speak briefly to Bill C-57.

We had some reservations when this bill was first introduced, but after it went through committee and witnesses suggested avenues for improving it, especially after hearing actuaries and their concerns, we decided to support it.

We still have a few unanswered questions regarding the confidentiality of information on bank operations. However, on the whole, I think this bill is worth passing. It is an improvement on the current situation. It is an extension of Bill S-11, which was introduced last year. We will therefore support it.

As a next step, I think it would be worthwhile to look at the issue of confidentiality of the operations of banks and their boards of directors. But for now, we are supporting the bill. More improvements can be made to it later.

In a nutshell, I am announcing to the House that we will be supporting this bill.

Supply November 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Richmond—Arthabaska for giving us this opportunity this morning to discuss a highly important and highly delicate topic, namely the trade negotiations that are to begin in December.

The minister has just said that we were right to raise this issue. The answers he just gave in his speech make Canada's position during the Doha round all the more worrisome. Why? Because when we ask him why he is not taking a firm position on production methods and supply management, he tells us that is precisely what he is doing. He just said so again.

We are not talking about a list of sensitive products. We are talking about milk, eggs and poultry. These are not sensitive products. These are products that come from farmers through a supply management system, which ensures strict domestic production and stabler prices than in the United States or elsewhere. The prices are based on production costs.

The minister just said that is not the principle he will defend. He will not defend this principle whereby Quebec and Canadian farmers are strict with their production, do not flood international markets and do not create major surpluses like the United States and Europe do on several markets including the cereal market. He is presenting a weak position at the Doha summit, a position which consists in saying that there are sensitive products. These are not sensitive products.

The only ones who respected the international agreements since the last accords in 1994 are the farmers from Quebec and Canada. Even for milk, a $6.30 subsidy was abolished a few years ago to satisfy international needs. During that same time, the Americans and the Europeans doubled their subsidies.

The minister must ask the United States and Europe to reduce their subsidies, which are causing imbalance, and to stop creating these so-called systems that are indefensible. What he must clearly defend is a management approach, a strict production system and a strict approach to imports.

Taxation November 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, here is another example: the government is full of noble statements about education, but it does not hesitate to tax books. A tax on books is a tax on literacy, as they say.

Will the Minister of Finance agree that, if education were truly important to him, he would abolish the GST on books, as Quebec did with the QST?

Taxation November 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, in 2001, the government did something never before done in the history of Canada. Rather than repay what it owed school boards, in accordance with a ruling by the courts, it preferred to make a retroactive amendment to the Excise Tax Act.

If the Minister of Finance does not want education to suffer, why is he not repaying the school boards the full amount of their GST overpayments, instead of making retroactive changes to legislation in complete disregard for rulings by the courts and his own commitments?

Taxation November 16th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport should give up on his denials, because my opening remark came from something he himself wrote in Le Journal des affaires . He also wrote in that same article that “With their arrogant and opportunistic behaviour, those shameless characters in Ottawa risk reawakening the forces like those that have already brought down many a government”.

It is obvious that the minister has had a change of heart because he is now in the process of becoming the poster boy for Liberal arrogance.

When will the federal Liberals give up being the only ones denying the existence of the fiscal imbalance and decide to do something about it?

Taxation November 16th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, “Pockets bulging with what is estimated to be a $100 billion-plus surplus for the next five years, the federal government is taking a cavalier and paternalistic approach to the provinces. This Ottawa-knows-best attitude is beginning to rub the taxpayers the wrong way.”

Should the Minister of Finance not at last bow to the evidence, recognize the existence of the fiscal imbalance, and make a commitment to fix it, since he has the means, and then some?

Taxation November 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec finance minister is a Liberal and has the same 20% standing in the polls as his party.

It is a replay of the same tape we have heard every fiscal year since 1998. Since then, this government's ministers of finance have been out by 300% on average in their surplus forecasts. This year is no exception.

Is it not obvious that the government is intentionally manipulating the figures for its own purposes and, in this instance, is doing so to buy votes and to make people forget its troubles with corruption?