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

Radio Nord Communications October 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, Radio Nord Communications intends to cut jobs in Abitibi-Témiscamingue by 25% to 50% by eliminating accounting, technical and TV sound positions, and by eliminating the position of script person for radio.

Radio Nord intends to decentralize its commercial production from Val-d'Or to Rouyn-Noranda and move its administration to Lachute.

I completely disagree with the fact that Radio Nord Communications Inc. is preparing to close, in the medium term, its Val-d'Or office. This means they will stop broadcasting from Val-d'Or. Commercials for businesses in Val-d'Or, Senneterre and Malartic will be produced in Rouyn-Noranda.

There will be a drop in the services offered at the Val-d'Or office in favour of Lachute. It is the beginning of the end for the Radio Nord Communications network in Val-d'Or.

I am calling on all businesses in Abitibi-Témiscamingue to take action to ensure that Radio Nord Communications keeps all its employees and maintains the radio and television services it was providing the people of Abitibi-Témiscamingue before the strike.

Cattle Producers September 29th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, cattle producers in Abitibi-Témiscamingue have their backs to the wall and are asking Quebec City and Ottawa to take immediate action, before they lose their farms, which are hard hit by the mad cow crisis. To date, they have lost $8 million.

They have not received any assistance since September 1, 2003. On September 26, I met with many producers and the presidents of their associations, Alain Richard and Rosaire Mongrain. This is a Canadian crisis, and we must maintain financial assistance for an indeterminate period, as England did.

Of the 793 farms in the vast region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 597 are directly affected by the crisis.

On September 23, 2003, the government received from Alain Richard, the association president, a list of demands by producers for a new financial assistance program for all sectors of beef production.

Today, I am making a non-refundable $200 donation to the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food as my contribution to the financial assistance package to counter the effects of the mad cow crisis. Here is my cheque for $200.

Agriculture September 22nd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, last August I wrote to my government to pass on the contents of a letter I had received from Alain Richard, President of the Fédération de l'UPA d'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and Rosaire Mongrain, President of the Syndicat des producteurs de bovins d'Abitibi-Témiscamingue. In it they voiced concerns for the future of farm operations in their area as a result of the repercussions of mad cow disease.

Everyone is appreciative of the funding made available by the governments of Canada and Quebec to help farmers out of this crisis.

Today, however, governments must continue their efforts and improve their support to farmers.

Changes must be made to the cost-shared program between the governments of Quebec and of Canada announced on July 16, 2003.

If the U.S. embargo continues, Canada will have to implement one of its own on American beef.

Kativik Regional Government September 18th, 2003

Madam Speaker, the National Assembly of Quebec passed legislation on the northern villages and Kativik regional government on June 23, 1978.

This legislation created the Kativik regional government, which has jurisdiction over many areas, namely municipal and regional affairs, public works, police services, transportation, communications, employment, training, daycare, land-use planning and parks.

The KRG council consists of elected representatives for each of the fourteen northern villages in Nunavik and one from the Naskapi community.

Johnny N. Adams has been the KRG chairman since 1998. This week, KRG is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Over the past 25 years, KRG has built relationships with the two levels of government founded on mutual respect. KRG has been remarkably successful at managing government programs and administering public funds. It has won the respect of the provincial and federal governments.

Happy 25th anniversary to the people of Nunavik.

*Question No. 239 September 17th, 2003

With respect to all government departments and agencies, including Crown corporations and quasi- and non-governmental agencies subsidized by the government and for fiscal years 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2001-2002, what financial assistance, contributions and subsidies were accorded to the federal ridings of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, Témiscamingue and Roberval and under what name, to what location and in what amount?

Return tabled

*Question No. 238 September 17th, 2003

With respect to the Communication Canada Sponsorship Program administered by Public Works and Government Services, what groups, individuals or organizations received funds under the program in fiscal years 2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 to date and, for each event sponsored, what are the names and amounts of the sponsorships, their location—including the name of the federal riding and the province or territory where the event took place—in addition to the date of confirmation of the sponsorship and the event?

Return tabled

International Trade September 15th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade. What actions will be taken so that the independent remanufacturers of Quebec can export the bulk of their products without paying duties?

Community Activity Support Fund September 15th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to support this excellent motion moved by the hon. member for Saint-Jean.

I listened carefully to today's speeches, particularly the one given by the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst, who was very eloquent, as well as the one by the hon. member of the Progressive Conservative Party.

This motion concerns the creation of a support fund for community activities. Quebec currently has one. This is about support for isolated or northern communities and urban centres.

It is obvious today that the Canadian Alliance still does not understand. It thinks that this motion is about creating a support fund for election periods. That is false. This support program would be available during a member's mandate to assist federally or provincially regulated non-profit organizations. This is key.

These days, there are youth or seniors groups that work very hard, and social clubs like Kiwanis, Lions or Kinsmen clubs, which hold fundraisers. It is not easy. This excellent motion from the hon. Bloc Quebecois member must be addressed. But the Canadian Alliance must carefully consider what is happening in Manitoba and Quebec. The example of the Quebec government's program, which is very successful, is often cited. It is not about election periods, it is a fund that needs to be established.

All that need be done is abolish the government's current $40 million sponsorship fund and give that money to the 301 members, whatever their political affiliation. This is not a partisan issue; it is about helping community groups and supporting voluntarism.

They are having a hard time in the regions. Scouts, children, schools all work very hard raising funds by selling chocolate bars. It is about time that tax money went back into the regions, instead of always going to foreign countries or to big companies.

This is important, as we know and as we can see in the province of Quebec right now. The volunteer action support program, at the local level, provides financial assistance to municipalities and non-profit corporations in their efforts to respond to needs in community, recreation, sports and community support activities.

It is important to win this vote today so that the motion can be examined by a standing committee. Solutions need to be found for seniors and many others. We know this covers sports and recreation activities and related management activities.

It is also important that the amounts involved be divided geographically and on a per capita basis, because there are members whose ridings cover ten square kilometres, while there are others whose ridings cover 200,000 or 300,000 square kilometres.

Today, the hon. member followed in the footsteps of the hon. member for Beauce, a Liberal, who tried to put that idea forward. But if today the Liberal members in this House, members of other political parties and even members of the Canadian Alliance really looked at what is going on in their communities, they would be in favour of a volunteer action support program.

The idea is always to find solutions. If members have access to a fund, we know this fund will not benefit them. At present, the recently elected MNA for Abitibi-Est, Pierre Corbeil, has a $60,000 or $62,000 fund. He uses it to give $500 to a group, to seniors or to children in a school.

What matters is that decisions be made very wisely. This is a program that should be made available to individual members in their riding offices, because if we wait for a decision to be made by public servants in Ottawa, it will take three months. Out of a $25 million fund, $15 million will go to public servants and there will only be $10 million left for support programs in remote areas and urban centres.

It is important that we support this motion, because its purpose is to help people, and young people.

The Environment June 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. Quebec has already begun its public hearings on the environmental assessment of the Lac Kénogami water level regularization project, which has been anxiously awaited by the people of the Saguenay since the terrible floods of 1996. Now the federal government must also hold public hearings on this.

What can be done to avoid any delay in getting this much needed work completed?

Daniel Bleau June 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, today we wish to pay tribute to a friend, Daniel Bleau, who died in a fishing accident on June 7, at the foot of the Saint-Maurice falls north of La Tuque.

Daniel was the general manager of the Val D'Or regional airport from 1985 to 1990, and had also managed several other airports in Quebec. Recently, he was the assistant regional manager for eastern Canada programs with Transport Canada at Dorval.

Mr. Bleau was always personally involved in the communities where he worked. This senior public servant always saw his projects through to completion in an exemplary way.

We, his friends and colleagues in Canada and in Quebec, want to tell his children, Jean-Sébastien, Geneviève and François-Xavier Alexandre, his parents, Thérèse and Jean-Paul Bleau, his brothers and sisters, and his entire family that we will never forget how hard Daniel worked to make the world a better place.

Thank you, Daniel.