Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was made.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Portneuf (Québec)

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

Statements in the House

Marc Racicot May 16th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the national capital Alcatel marathon was held this weekend.

I would like to mention the excellent performance by Marc Racicot.

Mr. Racicot is a faithful employee of the security services protection unit of the House of Commons.

He completed the marathon in a time of three hours, eight minutes and fifty-seven seconds. He thus qualified for the prestigious Boston marathon.

My colleagues join me in wishing him the best of luck in this next challenge.

Foreurs De Val-D'Or May 9th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention yesterday's victory by the Foreurs de Val-d'Or hockey team.

This is the Foreurs' eighth season in Quebec's major junior hockey league and they have won the playoffs for the second time in their history.

I am proud of what the team has achieved, particularly considering that it finished in last position last year. I am also proud because my son Samuel plays for the Foreurs.

I also want to mention the performance of all these young players, particularly Simon Gamache, who had at least one point in each of the 21 playoff games to end the series with a record 57 points. He was also awarded the Guy Lafleur trophy.

Maxime Daigneault's performance is also worth noting. At 16 he is the first rookie goaltender to lead his team to the President's cup.

Congratulations to the team, the coaches and all those who took part in this victory.

Community Television May 7th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, in February, the CRTC asked the parties for their comments and observations with respect to policies for community television channels.

Television in the 21st century offers viewers an endless number of channels, with programming of national and international interest.

However, community television has always been a voice for the local community. As the voice of the people, it has reflected the interests, culture and needs of a community that wants to be heard. Since 1998, cable companies have no longer been required to support community channels.

Today is the deadline for submitting comments to the CRTC. I add my voice to that of all the parties, including the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec, in order to emphasize the importance of introducing policies which will guarantee the survival and financial independence of community television channels throughout Canada.

Foot And Mouth Disease April 3rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to be able to speak to this issue this evening. Portneuf being in a rural area, agriculture is one of its priorities.

When I came here, I chose to be a member of the standing committee on agriculture, as well as of the rural caucus. These two bodies provide us with the opportunity to hold many discussions on agricultural problems.

We have heard various points from the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of National Defence on the problem being addressed this evening, foot and mouth disease.

I wish to assure everyone that the foot and mouth disease epidemic in the European Union and Argentina is one of this government's absolute priorities. Like the hon. member for Brandon—Souris and everyone here in this House, we want to stop this terrible disease from entering Canada.

I would like to remind the House of the steps we have taken to promote animal health in our country. Canada has, it must be said, carved out a world reputation on the basis of the quality of its food safety system. The respect we enjoy is in large part due to the attention we give to animal health issues.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is mandated to provide efficient and cost effective federal inspection services, as well as other services relating to animal health, food safety and plant protection.

The agency's expertise has gained it international recognition. The inspection standards it has established, based on science and on regulations, enjoy a worldwide reputation. These standards ensure that Canada imports safe and quality products and exports products that are of equal safety and quality.

As for animal health, the CFIA sets policies, performs inspections and monitors compliance with the law as well as industry performance as far as animal and plant health is concerned.

In recent years we have seen what a serious threat animal diseases represent for Canada's animal resources. There are a number of factors responsible for escalation of this threat. Among these is the increase in international trade and in population movements. Climate change also affects animal habitats and health. Recently, we have witnessed the emergence of new animal diseases and the return of old ones, such as foot and mouth disease.

Faced with all these challenges, the CFIA has kept Canada free of the communicable diseases considered the most serious in terms of public health and socio-economic consequences.

Canada is one of the leaders of the International Office of Epizootics, the OIE. This is an international organization whose standards on animal diseases are accepted worldwide. Signatory countries are required to report to the OIE all cases of disease within their borders, as prescribed by the international animal health code.

Diseases appearing in list A of this code are communicable diseases which may spread exceedingly rapidly and may have a profound effect on public health or on the economy. These diseases are of great significance to international trade in animals and animal products. Foot and mouth disease is a good example of a disease on list A.

We may be proud of the fact that Canada is one of the few countries that can claim to be free of diseases on the OIE's A list. This is a singular accomplishment. In addition, through its screening and eradication activities, Canada controls and limits the spread of other animal diseases in the country.

We have been quite successful to date, in part through the speed and hard work of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It is on the lookout for and identifies diseases and fights them. It manages the health of animals services, inspects imports, screens for pests and exotic diseases and ensures that animals are transported without cruelty.

The CFIA's health of animals activities play a vital role in protecting public and animal health in Canada. The outbreak of foot and mouth disease raging in the United Kingdom and in Europe will put our health of animals system to the test. Canada has been free of foot and mouth disease since 1952, and we intend to keep it that way.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is taking rigorous measures to keep the disease out of Canada. The agency has suspended all import permits from EU countries and Argentina for susceptible products. These products include not just live animals, meat and unpasteurized cheese but also embryos and animal semen.

Visitors must answer a series of questions and declare any plant, animal or other products on arriving in Canada. Inspectors are patrolling major airports with dogs specially trained to detect the odour of any concealed food, plant, animal and fish products.

The CFIA is enforcing special measures at airports where international flights could introduce the disease from Europe. It will also be launching an ad and media campaign to warn international travellers of the risks they run of inadvertently bringing the disease into Canada.

And here I wish to point out that despite all these measures it is very important that members of the public themselves take care when returning from a trip.

The CFIA recently sent Canadian veterinarians to the United Kingdom to help with the fight against the outbreak of foot and mouth disease and with efforts to eradicate it. This is a valuable opportunity for our veterinarians to acquire firsthand experience with a disease that does not yet exist in Canada. This experience will help us better prepare for the possible appearance of exotic animal diseases, particularly with respect to surveillance, diagnosis and management of sources of outbreaks.

I also wish to reassure the House that the returning veterinarians are subject to a full quarantine and disinfection before leaving the United Kingdom. They are highly aware of the importance of cleaning and disinfecting organic material such as soil, manure and hay.

We can congratulate ourselves on the fact that Canada has been spared a good number of the more serious afflictions that have hit the livestock industry of many of our trading partners. However our good fortune comes at the price of constant vigilance. The outbreak of foot and mouth disease now raging in Europe is forcing us to step up our vigilance. We are fortunate to now be able to count on a firstclass system of animal health. We must give it our unconditional support.

Agriculture April 2nd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the House and of Canadians to an important initiative by the federal government in the area of agriculture.

A Liberal task force on future opportunities in farming has been created. It will consult with and learn from farmers, processors and other stakeholders. The consultation will enable the Liberal task force to deliver a report on the long term opportunities and challenges facing the farm economy.

This sector is integral to our quality of life. Our farmers and processors provide Canadians and customers worldwide with high quality, safe food.

The striking of this task force is clear evidence of our Prime Minister's concerns for the future development of this sector.

Canadian Ski Championships March 28th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to congratulate the participants in this week's Canadian ski championships.

Yesterday, Jean-Philippe Roy won the giant slalom event of the Canadian Championships at Mont Orford.

Last weekend, at Mont Sainte-Anne, Mélanie Turgeon won her eighth downhill national title, while Anne-Marie Lefrançois came first in Super G. Winner of both the men's downhill and the men's Super G was British Columbia's Kevin Wert.

This successful season puts the Canadian team in a good position to excel in the 2002 Winter Olympics. We are sure that these young athletes will continue to be a source of pride to Canada.

Water Quality February 21st, 2001

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the problem facing the people of Shannon and contrary to the allegations of certain Bloc Quebecois members, we have been working together with the various parties since this matter was raised.

I would direct my question to the Minister of National Defence. In the light of recent press releases by the Quebec minister of the environment on the quality of the water in Shannon, could the minister tell us what role his department is playing in this matter and how he intends to reassure the people of Shannon?

Arts And Culture February 15th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, a number of events are currently taking place in the field of the arts and culture.

First, there is the race for the Bourse Rideau, which will be held between February 11 and 16 in Ottawa. This event gives francophone artists in Canada an opportunity to link up with the public and the cultural industry.

I invite Canadians to pay particular attention to the various activities, including the February 13 performance to be broadcast on Radio-Canada radio on February 17. We look forward to the performances of Annette Champagne, Jean-Guy “Chuck” Labelle, Michel Thériault and Barachois.

I would like to mention the federal government's involvement. It collaborated with the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française, the Bourse Rideau and Musicaction. This is a winning partnership, which testifies to the virtues of healthy co-operation.

In closing, I would like to congratulate Quebec on its initiative in holding the Semaine québécoise des arts et de la culture. We continue to encourage these activities, which promote artistic expression in Canada.

Portneuf February 5th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the residents of Portneuf for putting their confidence in me on November 27. I am all the happier because these people are Quebecers and they chose a Liberal candidate to protect their interests and those of Quebec in the House of Commons.

We have a common project, which is to further strengthen our economy and create even greater opportunities for Canadians from all regions of the country.

I am very pleased at the idea of co-operating with my colleagues in the House of Commons and my constituents of Portneuf to achieve that project.

Together, we will continue to build stronger, safer and more prosperous communities, and to give businesses, families, seniors and young people an opportunity to make their dreams come true.