Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was federal.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2004, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Matagami May 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the city of Matagami has compiled an opportunities wish list. It reflects the community's demands as expressed during a consultation process held on February 21, 2004, and was prepared with the help of members of the action committee of the city of Matagami with a view to counteracting the negative effects of the Bell Allard Mine closure by the Toronto-based Noranda group.

The city of Matagami, founded in 1963, owes its existence to the mining industry. Forestry now holds an important place in the local economy, and the tourist industry is developing a very strong presence as well.

Matagami has about 2,000 citizens and is located strategically in northern Quebec, strategically in terms of both location and access. This is why Matagami is the gateway to James Bay.

The Government of Canada ought to follow the example of Mayor Robert Labelle and his fellow citizens, who have injected the sum of $50,000 from the city's surplus to help implement the community's plans.

Question No. 85 May 13th, 2004

With respect to the Communication Canada Sponsorship Program administered by the Department of Public Works and Government Services, can the government provide: ( a ) the name of each project that received funding in the ridings of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, Roberval and Témiscamingue; ( b ) the net amount received by each organization; ( c ) the commission received by the agency of record; ( d ) the commission received by the advertising agency; ( e ) the name of the agency of record that received funds; and ( f ) the name of the advertising agency that received funds?

Return tabled.

*Question No. 84 May 12th, 2004

What are the total costs to the government in relation to the Canadian firearms program for the following ridings: ( a ) Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik; ( b ) Roberval; and ( c ) Témiscamingue?

Makivik Corporation May 6th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has announced a five-year moratorium on import duties for oil drilling platforms, in order to help the east coast region.

I rise today to encourage the government, and in particular the Secretary of State for Financial Institutions, to immediately extend this program to the eastern Arctic, in order to help that region develop its economy and thus improve the future for people in the communities of Nunavik and Nunavut.

The Makivik Corporation was a key partner in the historic importation of the MV Umiavut , the first and only Inuit-owned class 1 ship. The partners have asked for the duty they paid on this ship to be reimbursed.

Purchasing and importing the MV Umiavut represents a major step toward greater economic and political self-sufficiency for the north.

By immediately announcing a retroactive moratorium on taxation for vessels operating in northern waters, including the Makivik Corporation's MV Umiavut , the government will show that it wants its economic development policy to be fair and equitable in the north.

Budget Implementation Act, 2004 May 4th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a comment and ask a question. When the Bloc Quebecois member talks about employment insurance and such, he often forgets to give the real budgetary results to the taxpayers and voters of Canada. In order to know the results, we must have the numbers in front of us.

The newspapers keep saying that the Government of Canada has snatched $45 billion. That is completely wrong. When we look at the real numbers the minister tabled in the House last week, we read this:

With respect to employment insurance and expenditures on benefits, in 1980-81, there was a deficit of $682 million.

For a number of years, there were deficits in the EI fund. There were surpluses, as well. That is why I tabled a question in the House, published in today's Order Paper. I am asking what was done with the surpluses and who paid to offset the deficits.

One thing we know about this issue is that, in 1986, the Auditor General of Canada, Mr. Desautels, said that this was the way to do the accounting. The hon. member knows very well that there is no liquidity in this fund at this time. At present, there is about $43 billion in contributions, surpluses or excesses.

I would like to ask him if he read the minister's response tabled recently in this House to question Q-83, concerning the years of deficit. Even in Quebec, there have been deficits. Who has paid for these deficits? That is what I would like him to tell me: who paid to offset these deficits?

Firearms Act May 3rd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, many hunters in the vast riding of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik are calling on the Government of Canada to make changes to the Firearms Act to allow Canadian hunters to hold lifetime certificates for the possession and acquisition of valid firearms in order to legally possess or acquire a firearm and buy ammunition.

The Government of Canada should sit down with the Government of Quebec in order to come up with a lifetime certificate that would be issued to Quebec hunters for a one-time fee, and maintain a Canadian licence for restricted firearms, in other words, handguns or prohibited firearms.

Quebec hunters obey hunting regulations and store their firearms safely as required by law.

Softwood Lumber April 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Canada won a major victory in its dispute with the U.S. on softwood lumber. A special panel formed under the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, found the U.S International Trade Commission threat of injury determination to be unfounded and inconsistent with U.S. law.

The Quebec Forest Industry Council favours a long-term solution through a negotiated settlement as the road to lasting peace.

Any negotiated agreement needs to include the reimbursement of duties paid by Canadian companies since May 2002, with interest.

Failing a negotiated, long-term agreement and full reimbursement of countervailing and anti-dumping duties, I call on the Canadian government to take legal action against the United States.

*Question No. 83 April 28th, 2004

With respect to the government’s budget results concerning revenues from employment insurance contributions and expenditures on employment benefits: ( a ) what are the actual surpluses and deficits for each fiscal year since 1980; and ( b ) for these same years, what are the results for the Province of Quebec?

Return tabled.

Economic Development April 20th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Canada Economic Development is taking part in a fish culture station project in an unused section of the Robert-Bourassa power plant operated by the Radisson Economic Development Corporation.

The aim of this three-year pilot project is to experiment with the controlled breeding of Rupert-strain brook trout using waste heat from the hydroelectric dam.

The Radisson Economic Development Corporation is to be applauded for its efforts to stimulate local entrepreneurship.

This fish farming project is eloquent testimony of the region’s creativity and daringness when it comes to proposing promising new avenues of development.

It is also a good way to generate greater economic spinoff from the operation of hydroelectric power plants in James Bay.

Mining Industry April 1st, 2004

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the local population and the miners, the mayor of Matagami, Robert Labelle, and the municipal council have made representations to the Noranda group with regard to the Bell Allard mine shutdown and the loss of over 200 jobs set for October 2004.

Matagami has requested the following: that Noranda commit, at the very least, to maintaining the same tax effort during the shutdown as it has in 2004; that Noranda commit to maintaining tax peace during the duration of the current and next three-year assessment; that Noranda commit, as of now, to undertaking aggressive exploration in the Matagami sector and that Noranda contribute $200,000 per year to a development fund during the shutdown.

The aim of these requests is to reduce the impact from the closure of the Bell Allard mine and the delay in the Persévérance project in Matagami.