Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was international.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2004, with 28% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Quebec City Bridge May 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec City bridge is part of Canada's national heritage. Under a tripartite agreement, the Canadian government, the Quebec government and Canadian National have committed to a major reconstruction project.

In 1997, they signed an agreement to rebuild the bridge. Now that there has been a significant cost over-run, I would like to hear the Minister of Transport tell this House what initiative he has taken to ensure that the parties to the agreement honour this commitment, given the cost over-run, particularly since Quebec City is celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2008.

Marine Security May 12th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Canadian government on its marine security initiative. On May 7, the government announced a contribution of $115 million through the Marine Facility Security Contribution Program. These funds, which will be allocated over a three-year period, will assist Canadian ports and port facilities in their efforts to modernize and strengthen marine security programs and systems.

This partnership will greatly help Canadian ports to maintain their competitiveness in the coming years by helping them ensure that their port facilities comply with the new international requirements on marine security.

This new program will strengthen the security of communications for civil and naval fleets and will increase cooperation with the United States on marine security.

This is a sound investment on the part of the Government of Canada, which clearly illustrates a desire to promote the economic development of the marine industry and to improve the security of all Canadians.

Seasonal Workers May 11th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, seasonal workers in several regions of Quebec have every reason to be pleased today.

Indeed, my colleague, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced a series of measures aimed at meeting the specific needs of seasonal workers.

From now on, seasonal workers will be allowed to take part in a pilot project that will give them the possibility of receiving up to five more weeks of EI benefits, while encouraging them to find more work.

Our government is using a balanced approach that will not only consist in providing income support to workers, but that will also give them an opportunity to acquire skills which will allow them to remain employed, or to reintegrate into the labour force.

Canadians can congratulate the government on this initiative and may be assured that we are still contemplating other changes after the Liberal task force tables its final report.

Air Canada May 3rd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for official languages announced to us in this House last week that a restructured Air Canada would have to continue to comply with the Official Languages Act. That is, in itself, good news.

What I would like to know from the Minister of Transport, however, is whether WestJet and Jetsgo, two other Canadian companies that have started to provide services in Quebec, are subject to this same legislation. Does he intend to apply the same intensity as he did to Air Canada to ensuring their compliance with the Official Languages Act?

Genie Awards May 3rd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday evening, the Genie Awards celebrated Canadian films. I would like to congratulate our Canadian filmmakers, to whom we owe our nation's film industry.

This year's Genie Awards have recognized the fantastic year French-Canadian film had in 2003: Les Invasions barbares took six Genies, including best motion picture, best original screenplay, and achievement in direction. La grande séduction , with 11 nominations, and Séraphin: un homme et son péché , winner of the Golden Reel for best box office results, were celebrated as well.

I also want to mention the success of the film, The Saddest Music in the World , which received three Genie awards.

The achievements of Canadian cinema demonstrate the great talent, energy and vitality of our motion picture industry. This was an exceptional year for Canadian motion pictures, which are reaching growing audiences across Canada.

The Government of Canada is very proud to support our film industry. With pride, I invite all Canadians to celebrate these achievements. Let us join together to send them our most sincere congratulations.

Canada National Parks Act May 3rd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to share some thoughts with you on Bill C-28, the purpose of which is essentially, as other colleagues have pointed out, to transfer lands from two national parks to two adjacent Indian reserves.

Most Canadians are aware that Parks Canada is the agency to which the federal government has entrusted the mandate of protecting and showcasing examples representative of our unique natural and cultural heritage.

To that end, Parks Canada has created three major components. Two of these, National Parks of Canada and National Marine Conservation Areas of Canada, deal with representative examples of our natural heritage, land and marine respectively. The other, National Historic Sites and Historic Canals, is responsible for Canada's program of historical commemoration, which recognizes nationally significant places, persons and events.

That is not all. Parks Canada also directs or coordinates other programs aimed at preserving other aspects of Canada's heritage, including federal heritage buildings, heritage railway stations, heritage rivers, the gravesites of Canadian Prime Ministers, and archeology.

Activities associated with the management and operation of Parks Canada focus on maintaining the ecological integrity of our national parks, the commemorative integrity of our national historic sitesand the viable use of our national marine conservation areas.

This is consistent with the federal government's commitment to put the principles of sustainable development into action.

In its most recent action plan tabled in this House, Parks Canada also stated the major directions it would take over the next five years.

One of the fundamental elements is the commitment to get Canadians more involved in all facets of Parks Canada. This is a matter of shifting from a culture of consultation to a culture of involvement.

We also need to recognize the important economic contribution made by heritage areas. Almost one-quarter of Canadians visited a national park last year and 2.5 million visited a national historic site, contributing more than $1.2 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product.

Heritage places are often the main economic driver in many rural and isolated communities in particular. Every dollar the Government of Canada invests in Parks Canada generates economic spinoffs of $3.50. This certainly has a significant multiplier effect.

This is why Parks Canada, with the support of the Canadian tourism industry, is now putting the emphasis on the notion of sustainable tourism. This is perfectly compatible with the desire to provide visitors with the best possible experiences and with the agency's public education mandate. However, to achieve this goal, the agency must first be able to welcome these visitors.

The reality is that the heritage assets for which Parks Canada is responsible are deteriorating. The Auditor General pointed this out in her previous report. Close to two thirds of our national historic sites are in a state that ranges from poor to marginal. In light of these figures, the Auditor General reminded us that once a heritage asset is lost, it is lost forever.

The places that have marked Canada's history can take various forms. It can be a building, a battlefield, a shipwreck, a park, a sacred aboriginal site, a bridge, a house, a burial site, a railway station, a whole urban neighbourhood, ruins, a school, a channel, a court of justice, a theatre or even a market.

During the last generation, one fifth of these historic sites have disappeared. This is why the Government of Canada has launched a broad consultation process on how to best preserve and commemorate our country's historic sites. These consultations led to an exhaustive strategy for historic sites.

I should point out that the historic places initiative is mentioned as an excellent example of federal-provincial-territorial cooperation.

Parks Canada's business plan also reflects the agency's desire to put more emphasis on aboriginal people. Some of the places where the history of aboriginal people was written take us back up to 10,000 years.

Moreover, we must recognize that Parks Canada would be unable to establish and to manage the majority of new national parks and new national historic sites without their enthusiastic and committed help.

Parks Canada seeks to respond to this enthusiasm by working closely with aboriginals at the local, regional and national levels.

The CEO of the agency says that he is convinced that the wise counsel of elders and chiefs will make it possible to continue on the road of restoration and learning. The bill accomplishes just that.

By taking lands from national parks without affecting their ecological integrity to solve serious housing problems and to correct an ongoing irritant, the Government of Canada shows that it is firmly committed to improving the lot of aboriginals and that it wants to preserve the ecological health of the treasures that are our national parks.

I therefore invite my colleagues to join with me in passing Bill C-28.

Port Security April 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, on April 27 the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness injected $690 million into the new national security policy. Over $300 million of this will be used to protect the marine sector.

I would like the Minister of Transport to tell the House whether this $300 million will be used to pay for the new security measures that will be required in ports as of July 1, 2004.

Shipbuilding April 20th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, last week the Canadian government indicated its intention to acquire three new supply ships for its fleet, at the cost of $2.1 billion.

Given Canada's huge shipbuilding potential, I would like to hear the Minister of National Defence tell this House whether he intends to give precedence to Canadian companies for the construction of these three ships, or whether he plans to go to international tender.

Airline Industry March 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, over the past few months, many members of this House and I have been approached by lobby groups about merging pilot seniority lists from Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International.

Will the Minister of Labour explain to this House what stage the merger process has reached and what her role is in this merger?

St. Lawrence Seaway March 24th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, last week I met with marine industry stakeholders in Quebec City who were floored by comments made by the Bloc Quebecois regarding the expansion of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Since day one, the Bloc Quebecois has been misinforming Quebeckers on certain subjects, including the expansion of the St. Lawrence Seaway. I come back to this today to save Quebeckers from the tall tales of the opposition.

As the Minister of Transport confirmed yesterday in the House, the Canadian government has no intention of expanding the seaway. Instead, it intends to integrate this natural resource into a process that will revive the Canadian marine industry while respecting environmental rules.