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

Agriculture October 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the committee cannot go; however, I will ask the hon. member to check whether the Canadian Cattlemen's Association could have requested that the committee not travel to the United States.

Agriculture October 9th, 2003

Quebec will receive nearly $88 million from the federal government over the next five years for the four components of the framework. Quebec and Canada will commit to paying $304 million over three years to ease the transition. Moreover, with the Agricultural Policy Framework and its risk management program, farmers will be able to receive money immediately.

Agriculture October 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. This is good news for farmers in his riding and the entire province of Quebec. Today the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is in Trois-Rivières to sign the APF implementation agreement with Quebec. I think we need to thank and congratulate Quebec. This is very good news.

Agriculture October 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, these rules are being negotiated with the United States. The border is not open yet, but we are working very hard; the minister knows full well that the problem will be resolved when the border is fully open. In the meantime, we are taking various measures to help the farmers, such as the policy framework that they can take advantage of to sign agreements and get a little money.

Agriculture October 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, opening up the border is based on science and we are in the process of proving that it can and must be opened. Negotiations with the United States continue daily.

Income Tax Act October 7th, 2003

Madam Speaker, the minister is in regular contact with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on this issue. All those concerned, on either side of the border, are well aware of the urgent need to restore the movement of live animals. The secretary has given the Minister of Agriculture of Canada the assurance that the regulatory process would be expedited.

At the same time, the minister is working with other countries to persuade them to lift their ban on live animals. We appreciate the frustration of Canadian producers with the slowness of the process, but they must rest assured that our novel approach is providing hope to our industry.

Income Tax Act October 7th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I am particularly pleased to take this opportunity to inform the hon. member for Peterborough of the recent results of the initiatives that have been taken to regain access to the market for live ruminants.

As you know, on May 29, 2003, the Department of Agriculture of the United States, which is commonly called USDA, imposed a total embargo on ruminants and products from these animals coming from Canada. This measure resulted from the finding by Canada of a single animal infected with BSE—which is also commonly called mad cow disease. The suspension by the United States of all imports of Canadian ruminants, as an initial precautionary measure, was foreseeable. Indeed, Canada would have reacted in a similar manner, and it has already done so, if one of its trade partners had detected BSE in its animals.

Since then, we have worked actively and vigorously with our American counterparts and those of other countries to have the borders reopened. Efforts have been made at all levels, including meetings between ministers and their counterparts in different countries, and meetings with the provinces, the United States and the industry.

Members will know that later, on August 8, the United States announced a partial easing of the border security measures banning the Canadian importations. This easing concerned various products, such as boneless meat from beef 30 months old or younger at slaughter. Other products included boneless meat from veal, sheep or goats, beef liver, certain pet foods, the elk meat taken by hunters for personal consumption in wild populations, as well as muskox and caribou.

As we have already said many times, we should not underestimate the importance of this initial step because it is the first time the United States is allowing a product from a country where BSE has been detected to come in the country. May I remind the House that thanks to all those measures, our products have started to cross the border in less than 100 days. This outcome is clearly a tribute to the initiative that the minister and the parliamentary secretary have shown and to the competence and the continued efforts of their respective veterinary services and other officials, on behalf of the Canadian beef industry.

As to the announcement that was made in August, the U.S. secretary has also said that a rule-making process was to be immediately implemented for the importation into the United States of live cattle and their products. A new rule dealing with an animal disease as serious as BSE cannot be taken lightly. The new draft regulation is being prepared and will be published in the U.S. federal register. All stakeholders should be able to comment on the proposed measures. USDA will then analyze all the concerns raised by the stakeholders and give an official answer before publishing the final conditions that will govern the importation of our live cattle by the United States.

Supply September 23rd, 2003

Madam Speaker, I just wanted to mention that the comments made by opposition members this afternoon indicated their opposition to what the government has been able to do.

I will be voting against this motion because we have already heard from the opposition members, who did not quite agree as to whether the Prime Minister should go or not. These speeches attested to the government's actions, past and present, with regard to the mad cow crisis.

I am voting against this motion.

Supply September 23rd, 2003


Supply September 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I can only say that it will be a real pleasure for me to go meet the UPA representatives. In any case, I have done this in the regions that invited me.

I want to take this opportunity to say something else. Some contact has been made regarding various other problems in agriculture. The hon. member for Joliette talked earlier about the tobacco problem; we met with people about this issue.

I want to say once again that, under the new agricultural strategic framework, we will invest $5.2 billion in agriculture over the next few years, once the provinces have signed the agreement so that these funds can be made available to help farmers immediately. This money is there. It just needs to be made available to farmers, and our provincial counterparts can help us to achieve this goal.