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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Bloc MP for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 54% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Regional Economic Development February 27th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the rural community needs the support of everyone in order to redefine its role and direct its economic and social development.

A few years ago, the Government of Quebec realized the situation, and this led to the creation and signature of the Pacte rural, which requires the government to systematically analyze the impact of its decisions and policies on the rural community.

As well, Quebec departments are required to factor in some flexibility to their programs, the eligibility criteria in particular, to adapt them to the rural reality.

There is no federal component to this new social contract, however. It is high time that this federal government woke up to this new reality and followed the Government of Quebec's lead by signing this pact with the rural community.

Supply February 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for taking a stand and saying that he will vote for today's motion. During his speech, he said that there would be no weapons in space. Let me quote for him an excerpt from The United States Post Cold War Military Space Policy: “The Bush administration has broader,more grandiose plans for a tiered, multilayered architecture, potentially including weaponsdeployed in and from outer space”.

This means that the new shield will be equipped with weapons capable of intercepting the incoming missiles but, if we read between the lines, it can also mean that attacks could be launched against sites on earth, airplanes or ships.

In general, one does not use a baseball to destroy a ship, aircraft or missile; one uses missiles. Therefore, we can easily conclude that missiles will likely be based in space, ready to intercept missiles that may eventually be launched against the U.S. I would like to hear the member's comments on that.

Supply February 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the member for Laurentides, who just finished my speech for me.

That was precisely one of my concerns. Why do we have to blindly follow the Americans? This is not a question of liking the American people or not. Before we make a decision, let us be open about this issue and consult our people about what they think about this missile defence shield. This decision is critical for the future of our children and grandchildren. As the member for Ottawa West—Nepean said earlier, we are talking about the future of the universe. Therefore, let us have consultations and ensure that a free vote is held in this House so that each and everyone of us can vote freely on this program.

Supply February 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I hope I can be as eloquent as my colleague, the member for Ottawa West—Nepean, and I thank you for your great judgment.

First, I wish to inform you that I will be splitting my time with a young father, the member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie. I am convinced that this young father will be powerful in expressing his special concerns about this missile defence shield.

Normally in this House, we hear comments like, “It is a pleasure to rise to speak to” or “I am happy to address this issue today”. This afternoon, I dare say that, as a member of Parliament, I rise because it is my duty to speak to the Bloc Quebecois motion.

Like the member for Ottawa West—Nepean and many other colleagues, I have reservations about that missile defence shield, especially regarding its impact.

As I begin my speech, I must explain my reasons for rising in the House. I feel it is my duty because of my age, and because of my wisdom, I hope; because, like you, I am a grandfather, except that I have only one grandchild whereas you have four already and you will have a fifth next week. I congratulate you on that.

That missile defence shield intrigues and worries me. What impact will it have on our grandchildren? On what kind of a planet will our children live?

Since September 11, 2001, the situation and mindset of people around the world have changed considerably. People have developed terrorism phobia. What is a phobia? It is an irrational fear caused by a person, a situation or an event. Is such an irrational fear or terrorism phobia at the origin of the missile defence program? Unfortunately, I think the answer is yes.

I have several points to make. For example, there is this phobia about terrorism. What are the implications? Among other things, flights of British Airways or Air France were cancelled. Why? Because someone presumed, suggested or believed that there was a terrorist on board the plane, and so, everything was cancelled.

Terrorism is being blamed for all sorts of unfortunate situations on this planet. Here is a case in point. There was an accident in Russia not too long ago. The roof of a busy aquatic centre collapsed, killing or wounding several people.

The first thing the Russian government did was to blame it on terrorism, but when the dust settled, it was determined that the accident was due to a terrible construction flaw. This is what terrorism phobia is doing.

Moreover, we are now using terrorism to try to put our minds at ease. I will give an example to illustrate my point. Countries conduct military aggressions on one another. There are also military aggressions within countries. And are these aggressions justified? By blaming terrorism. The number one excuse is “We are fighting terrorism”.

Even here, in Canada, we are feeling the impact of terrorism phobia. Think of the bills that were passed or out forward, such as the border control bill, the identity card bill which has yet to be passed, and the bill respecting military control over certain zones. Is the source of all these bills and all the past and future discussions about them not terrorism phobia? That is not a question for me to answer.

What fears and concerns should we have, my colleague who is a young father and myself, as a grandfather? Will the missile defence shield bring us back to the cold war era, when Russia had missiles pointed at the United States and the U.S. had missiles pointed at Russia, and the question was which would be the first to launch a missile.

The cold war was the time when all nations in the world underwent the most significant militarization. We have become armaments experts. We can almost hit a dime from very far away. Weapons are increasingly sophisticated and powerful. Just think about depleted uranium. The cold war gave birth to all kinds of weapons of mass destruction. Every nation in the world, from the United States to Canada, France and Great Britain, tried to get their hands on the most sophisticated offensive or defensive weapon.

Because of this shield, will we try to specialize and buy even more sophisticated weapons? Will the shield lead to the weaponization of space? Unfortunately, I think so, because the Americans have made it very clear. They said that weapons will be based in space. Weapons will be put in place to destroy other weapons in space. It is crystal clear. We are heading toward the weaponization of space.

Are we preparing for future star wars, Star Trek and the likes? We all remember Jules Verne and his 80,000 Leagues Under the Sea . People thought he was crazy, but nowadays we take these things for granted.

Another concern that comes to mind is costs. How much is this going to cost to our taxpayers? Mr. Bush said it is no big deal; it will cost between $60 billion and $100 billion. However, according to one of his citizens, Dr. Kenneth Arrow, the Nobel Economics laureate of 1972 and a professor at Stanford University, the costs could reach between $800 billion and $1,200 billion by 2015. To use a figure the people in Quebec will understand, it will cost the United States $1.2 trillion.

I know that the federal government has no qualms about wasting public funds. But can the taxpayers afford spending millions of dollars on this?

Before I conclude, I would just like to remind the House that, for the people to be sovereign, the elected representatives—like you and me—must do what the people decide. Therefore, before voting, we should find out how the people want us to deal with the missile defence shield?

Supply February 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Ottawa West—Nepean. I would like to congratulate her because she spoke with her heart and soul. It takes a lot of courage, and I commend her for that.

However, she said at the beginning that she was concerned with the future of this planet; that meant a lot to her. I would like her to elaborate on her concerns about the future of this planet and peace on this planet.

Rivière-des-Mille-Îles February 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, in my last householder I asked my constituents in Rivière-des-Mille-Îles for their opinion and comments on 10 hot topics. I was guided by the principle that, for the people to be sovereign, the elected representative must do what the people decide.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the high participation rate and I am encouraged and proud of the involvement of the people I represent. The statistics from this opinion poll are quite telling, and confirm the positions already taken by the Bloc Quebecois in this House on most issues.

I can assure the people of my riding that I will continue to represent them and strongly and faithfully defend them. I sincerely thank all those who support me in my political option.

Allow me to wish a happy birthday to my mother, who was born on Friday, February 13, 1913. Happy birthday Philomène.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply February 5th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to briefly raise with my hon. colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot the issue of ethics, but mostly of Bill C-69, which later became Bill C-28.

This is a matter of concern to me, because the throne speech mentions fairness, transparency, greater involvement for members of Parliament, and so on. Since the hon. member used to be the finance critic for our party, I would like him to confirm the following.

If memory serves me well, shipping companies were mentioned in an omnibus bill which was introduced, I believe, during the Easter break or something like that. And that is what they call transparency and fairness.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency November 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of National Revenue tried to be reassuring by telling us that nobody gets a free ride from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. We would love to take her word for it. But we have to wonder when an investigation that normally takes 90 days is done in record time, a mere 10 days, especially when the Prime Minister's son-in-law is involved.

What we would like the minister to tell us is who lifted the order for Seizure No. 3123-03-0110 and why was this done in record time?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency November 5th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, what assurance can the minister responsible for customs and revenue give us that, even though this case involves the Prime Minister's son-in-law, a full and impartial investigation will be done to determine what really happened with this wine?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency November 5th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency recently hit a new high in efficiency.

Two cases of wine valued at $20,000 were seized, and it took only 10 days for the owner to be able to get his wine back. Usually this process takes 90 days and seized alcohol is almost never returned.

Are we to understand that the speed with which Canada Customs and Revenue Agency released the seized wine is due to the fact that the wine was for the Prime Minister's son-in-law?