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

Supply October 9th, 1997

In 1988. Madam Speaker, they say I switched parties. I know Lucien Bouchard. He switched parties six times.

Supply October 9th, 1997

In 1988.

Supply October 9th, 1997

Take, for example, the famous and pathetic episode about the Le Hir reports and the improprieties in the contract awarding process. Parizeau finally admitted, in December 1995, that he had known since June 1995 about these things, about the backroom schemes for the awarding of contracts.

Yvon Cyrenne, one of the Le Hir report authors, gave $900 to the PQ in 1994. Yvon Martineau, who became CEO of Hydro-Québec, contributed $1,000 to the PQ fund the year before his appointment.

People really want us to discuss the issue of political party contributions. We can do it. They want us to speak about Abitibi. If the Bloc members in this House go to the library, they will see my campaign expenses in the report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. I was a candidate in Abitibi.

Supply October 9th, 1997

I was hoping you would ask. All together, now.

Supply October 9th, 1997

Madam Speaker, to me a gift or a loan is the same thing and they know it.

We should not forget that the Quebec electoral legislation does not prevent financing activities where some people often pay in excess of a $1,000 to sit close to a minister or an MNA they wish to talk to. This is how Daniel Paillé, a former PQ minister, became rich. That way of doing things was also used in $2,000-a-plate dinners attended by the likes of Jacques Parizeau, Bernard Landry, Jean Campeau. These are back-door contributions, through attendance at fundraising dinners. The Bloc may very well idolize the Quebec legislation, it remains that it does not prevent minor and serious violations, like the ones committed by Marie Malavoy, a former PQ MNA who contributed to party coffers although she was prohibited from doing so by the legislation because she had not yet become a Canadian citizen.

If the Bloc wants to imply that business contributions could have an illegal impact on the allocation of government contracts, we could remind them that the Quebec legislation does not prevent the PQ from rewarding generously those who contribute to the party or serve its cause, and we could give several examples.

Supply October 9th, 1997

No it is not, it is $7,939. It seems he cannot count. There are $939 missing from the Bloc Quebecois figures. That is not peanuts. It is a few trips to the grocery store for people in my riding. There are $939 missing. Get your math straight.

They think I was born yesterday. But tell me. What is the use of having pearly whites if your nose is dirty? Think about it, my friend.

Need we remind members that the Bloc Quebecois received a cash advance of $1.5 million from the Mouvement des caisses populaires Desjardins to launch its 1993 election campaign? The member for Témiscamingue talked about big banks and contributions, but he forgot to mention the caisses populaires in Quebec, $1,5 million from small investors for the Bloc Quebecois's election campaign in Quebec. That is what corporations contributed, that is what the caisses populaires contributed. They have two different discourses.

Supply October 9th, 1997

He says $7,000.

Supply October 9th, 1997

It must be several thousands, but if I answer their questions, I will not be able to go on with my speech.

Supply October 9th, 1997

Madam Speaker, I knew I was keeping him up. He was asleep a while ago.

As regards these contributions of several thousands of dollars, I cannot give members' names because we are not permitted to do so.

We will talk about the 1994 election. It is all public, and is available in every library in Quebec and in Canada. In Charlesbourg, they received $1,070; in Drummond, $1,500; in Manicouagan, $485; in Laval-Ouest, $2,500; and so forth. I have the whole list. It is public information, my friends.

Supply October 9th, 1997

Madam Speaker, what is nice about my being here today is that I seem to keep certain members of the Bloc Quebecois awake. That is nice. Here is my answer.

The opposition motion put forward by the Bloc Quebecois asks the House to condemn the attitude of the government, which refuses to introduce in-depth reform of the legislation on the financing of federal political parties even though the existing legislation allows for a wide range of abuses. They want to talk about party financing? Let us do just that.

The first thing I did after reading the motion this morning was to visit the library of Parliament. I have a few books here. What matters is to understand the process of party financing in Canada and Quebec. We all know that, on September 27, 1994, the hon. member for Richelieu, a member of the Bloc Quebecois, presented a motion asking that the government bring in legislation limiting solely to individuals the right to donate to a federal political party and restricting such donations to a maximum of $5,000 a year.

I am not convinced that limiting donations solely to individuals will actually prevent corporations from making donations by giving bonuses or instructions to their employees. Company money may get to a political party through its employees.

If the party financing system is so effective in Quebec, why did the Bloc Quebecois change the amount that can be donated to make it higher? In Quebec the maximum amount an individual is allowed to donate to political parties within any given year is limited to $3,000. They are asking for a $5,000 limit. That is twice as much. We have nothing against it. What matters today is the truth.

If according to Bloc Quebecois policy only individuals are allowed to contribute to the financing of political parties, how can the Bloc Quebecois justify that, in 1994, candidates for the Bloc Quebecois accepted corporate donations amounting to several thousand dollars in spite of the fact that their internal regulations preclude it?