Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was social.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Bloc MP for Beauport (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Housing November 17th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance's attitude is a bit disconcerting. His economic statement contains nothing for the 1.7 million people in inadequate housing and the 150,000 homeless. He has not even confirmed his intention to invest the $1.6 billion announced this summer. FRAPRU, the popular front for urban redevelopment, has criticized this mini-budget and accuses the government of using social housing issues for partisan purposes.

What is the Minister of Finance's explanation for not taking advantage of the excellent opportunity offered by his economic statement to at last respond to these groups' demands by renewing the program for the homeless?

Housing October 31st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, CMHC has increased travel and parties across Canada and has been sitting on a surplus of over $4 billion that it could be using to build decent housing for the most vulnerable members of our society, especially aboriginal people.

How can the minister responsible for housing condemn the first nations to living in unsanitary and degrading housing as a result of CMHC's inaction?

Housing October 26th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, that is not all. In May 2004, the same thing happened in Victoria, British Columbia. The directors again stayed five days in a hotel to attend a dinner and a meeting that lasted five hours and 25 minutes.

Is this the sound CMHC management that the minister is so proud of: 10 days of travel for 11 hours of work?

Housing October 26th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour and Housing claims that the CMHC board of directors is doing an excellent job in travelling across the country and listening to those who have things to say. We learned that, in August 2004, the board of directors spent five days in Newfoundland for a dinner and a meeting that lasted five and a half hours.

Does the minister find it appropriate to spend five days in a hotel to do so little work?

Petitions October 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I too am presenting a portion of a petition initiated by the local section of the Quebec postal workers union. It is signed by 130,000 people in opposition to the closure of the Quebec City sorting facility and transfer of its operations to Montreal. Ontario has six sorting centres. There will be just one for all of Quebec. There is no plan for modernization. They are just doing this for the advantages offered by a move. They want to pack everything up and head for Montreal instead of relocating and modernizing the Quebec City sorting facility. This is an absurd idea and the petition says so.

Housing October 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, during these cozy CMHC meetings, golf games, cruises or helicopter rides, do the directors talk about the renewal of the SCPI program to help the 150,000 homeless people currently living on the street? That is what is really scandalous.

Housing October 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec and Canada, 1.7 million households are struggling for decent housing. There are 150,000 homeless people currently living on the street. Meanwhile, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation board of directors is travelling across the country and spending left and right.

Could the Minister of Labour and Housing tell us if, during these pretty boozy meetings, the CMHC directors are making any decisions with respect to how their $4 billion surplus ought to be used to help people living in substandard housing?

Homelessness October 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, this Friday, October 21, some 17 towns in Quebec will hold homelessness awareness night activities.

The main purpose of the event is to gain social recognition for the homeless and financial recognition for aid agencies.

In Quebec and Canada there are more than 150,000 homeless people who need help from the government if they are to have any chance of improving their lot. Yet, the government still has not renewed the SCPI program, which funds agencies working with the homeless. Unless prompt action is taken, the homeless will have no more service after March 31, 2006.

That is why I call on the Prime Minister to join me in taking part in the awareness raising activities on the night of the homeless. Perhaps that experience will inspire him, at last, to call a cabinet meeting in the wee hours of October 22 to take action against poverty and eradicate homelessness.

Service Canada October 17th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, true to form, the government has presented Parliament with a fait accompli and announced the creation of service Canada, which will consolidate the services provided by a dozen or so departments. The government has allocated $500 million to set up this project, yet no bill for its implementation has been introduced.

What is the government waiting for to be transparent and democratic and to present this House with a bill to create service Canada?

Canada Elections Act October 17th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I will not get personal and say whether or not I like this returning officer or that one. We are talking about a system, not one or two individual cases. I was quoting what the chief electoral officer himself wrote in his report, and those are the facts.

It is not in 90% of the cases that there are problems, but in 5% to 10% of the cases. However, 10% means 30 or so cases out of 308. It is an area where perfection is desirable. The chief electoral officer did not talk about widespread incompetence. However, there could be no incompetence at all. When such a problem surfaced, we could deal with it because we need to have a system that is 100% reliable.

The issue has nothing to do with whether or not I think that this person or that person is competent. Under the current system, some returning officers themselves are uncomfortable with these appointments. The system needs to be changed.

I am pleased to see that the Liberals are finally supporting this idea, after having gone through many elections with a system that gave them an unfair advantage. That has to be avoided.

I mentioned some cases. She can refer to Hansard . Mr. Guimond was very specific about aberrations, incompetence and democratic dysfunction in relation to this system.

Is it 100%? No, we did not say that. In my opinion, this system deserves better. The key person in any riding—i.e., the returning officer—must be beyond reproach and able to fulfill his duties competently and with professionalism, and that person should be appointed according to proper process. If that individual makes a mistake and does not do a good job, the Chief Electoral Officer must be able to act, correct, train and take the necessary disciplinary measures. This is basic, in my opinion. It is extremely important.

Young people can debate this all they want. However—and I hope the member for Gatineau will do so—we must distance ourselves from positions—no matter whether they are taken by young people or seniors—that are essentially anti-democratic. This must be condemned.

When a mistake is made, even within our own party, if we have principles and integrity, we speak out against it and we do not do that; we allow room for debate. However, this debate is unfortunately being distorted by what these young people are proposing. Ms. Boivin should distance herself from this if she is as democratic as she claims to be.