Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was region.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Pontiac (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 24% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Conservative Party March 11th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, we will soon have further proof that there is only one truly national party in this House.

I would like, therefore, to wish my friends across the way the best of luck, on the eve of an important convention taking place in Montreal in a few days.

The hon. member for Provencher will certainly agree with me that he will need it, after his recent prediction that the Quebec wing of his party would be taking a beating at the convention, because of positions only slightly more moderate.

The Quebec wing of the official opposition is very likely to lose a few feathers when the ideology surrounding its leader reverts to extreme right positions on bilingualism, minority rights, abortion rights, climate change, public morals and service cuts to citizens.

The Budget March 7th, 2005

Thousands of dollars are already there.

The Budget March 7th, 2005

Listen, Madam, you will have an opportunity to vent later.

My question is this: I would like to know if my colleague opposite recognizes that it is better to work as we are doing, that is in cooperation with the Province of Quebec. For example, let us take the family program on which we just signed a fine agreement. There are points for the province, guaranteed funds, so that Quebec will be able to develop its own program. As for day care services, Quebec has done some extraordinary work. This is all very well; we recognize this. We will participate with the province. We will transfer funds to Quebec so that it can invest. Is this the road that he would take or does he think, as a sovereignist, that he would prefer to have his own country?

The Budget March 7th, 2005

No, listen, I know what I am talking about, because I do some in my riding.

The Budget March 7th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask a question of my colleague opposite. This is a fine speech full of hot air by a good old Quebec whiner, but unfortunately, it is without merit.

In Quebec, housing is the Quebec government's responsibility. The Société d'habitation du Québec works in cooperation with the federal government. They are partners. It is so nice to work in cooperation and to respect the jurisdictions of the provinces.

We, on this side, work in cooperation with our colleagues in Quebec City to ensure that we can cooperate and develop the needs of our beautiful province, which is Quebec, in my case.

The Environment February 11th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, this week, the Forest Products Association of Canada and Environment Canada launched the inauguralAir Quality Forum.

Could the Minister of the Environment elaborate on that?

Tourism Industry December 14th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada pledged to find a solution in the very short term for workers in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean tourism industry, which is so important to Quebec federal Liberal members. Where do we stand?

Marc-Olivier Bisson November 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, today, I am proud to tell the House about the great generosity of a very young man, Marc-Olivier Bisson, who is attending Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf school in Masson-Angers.

After seeing the terrible situation in Haiti, this young pupil decided to organize a fundraising event for the people of that country.

“We are not alone on this planet, and this is why we must help others,” said Marc-Olivier. His attitude was enough to convince two teachers to organize the fundraising event and to participate in it. Seven other pupils also got involved. The outcome of this initiative was a great achievement and a real success.

Congratulations to the teachers of Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf school, in Masson-Angers, for encouraging this humanitarian initiative. Above all, congratulations to the pupils who proved that it is not necessary to be a big person to achieve big things.

Act to establish the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec November 16th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to my colleague on the other side. If we import wood from Peru in the Gatineau valley, it is not because we do not want to use our local lumber. We use it and we develop it. Recently, $19 million was invested in the construction of a new sawmill in Maniwaki. We develop softwood lumber. We have Louisiana-Pacific, in Bois-Franc, which is a nice big plant in our region. We have new projects underway. Our contractors are very dynamic.

It is exciting for a region to see that people want to take charge of their own lives and they see that the different levels of government want to cooperate. Indeed, we are two Liberal members and we get on well. We have the same objectives: the development of our region and other regions.

If I understand well what my colleague is saying, we do not need Canada. I think that the real problem, or the reality today, is that people on the other side, on my right, want to separate from Canada. They do not want Canada, they do not see it. They want their own identity.

The reality is that Quebec is a partner in the development of this great Canada that includes the people in the riding of Pontiac. They are part of the belle province of Quebec. They believe in Quebec and in a strong and structured Canada and they want its development.

Act to establish the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec November 16th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite is asking me how I can be proud of what is happening in Quebec. I was born in Maniwaki. I was born there. I am an anglophone. I went to an English school. My mother is francophone. I am Aboriginal and proud of it. I am a Quebecker who lives in Canada, and I am proud of it.

Am I proud of the realities of my region, where unemployment is higher that average? The answer is no. I am certainly not proud of that. But did I give up? Did I decide to do nothing, to say it is hopeless and to cry over what could have been? Absolutely not. Before June 28, I decided to run in the last election in order to come here and represent the people of the riding of Pontiac, the people of my region. I wanted to come here and work with the Government of Quebec and the 43 municipalities of my riding, with the strengths and weaknesses of that region, to find ways to bring economic development home.

I mentioned the business in Déléage that imports wood from Peru. If we were sitting down at a table and discussing this, I am convinced that the majority of us would say that it does not make sense, that it cannot be done. The Polish entrepreneur, who lives in Maniwaki and whose name is Stosik, who is a native of that municipality, who, like me, believes in his region, opened a sawmill in Peru to process wood, import it to Canada, send it by ship and other means of transportation to Maniwaki-Déléage, make mouldings and doors out of it and then sell these products on the market.

I am asked if this is a source of pride. It is indeed. That entrepreneur got some help. From who? From Canada Economic Development Is our region of Pontiac perfect? No, it is not perfect. Is there room for improvement? Yes, there is room for improvement. How are we going to achieve these objectives? By working together. With who? With LDBs, CFCDs, RCMs, mayors, municipalities and the Quebec government. The idea is that everyone must share the same objective, which is to have a beautiful region that is economically sound and strong.

As for employment insurance, it is something temporary. It is something that we must try to eliminate over time. Will it be possible to completely eliminate employment insurance? I do not think so. Is there room for improvement? The answer is yes. I have 18 files with Canada Economic Development on which I am working in cooperation with stakeholders in my riding. In our region, we believe in development. We need the help of all levels of government. We must work together. We have differences of opinion. That is fine. It is healthy. This is entrepreneurship. The idea is to talk to each other to find regional solutions for our people, so that we can put them to work, because they are proud. There is pride in being a Quebecker, a resident of Maniwaki and a member of Parliament representing these people here in the House.