House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Bloc MP for Saint-Maurice—Champlain (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

CHSLD Vigie les Chutes February 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to all the people who work at a long-term care facility in the City of Shawinigan, and to express my thanks to them. The CHLSD Vigie les Chutes sets an example for others of its kind. The spirit of devotion permeates this residence.

I wish to acknowledge all the staff, who make every effort to make the residents' lives as pleasant as possible, along with the numerous volunteers, who bring joy to the residents through the leisure activities they organize. They understand that people's minds are still receptive to kindness, even if their bodies perhaps no longer respond. A smile gives energy and brings joy to the heart of a senior.

I also salute the administrative team of the CHSLD, which creates harmony through these various forms expressions of undying devotion, thereby helping to provide a pleasant living environment for the elderly residents.

Supply February 3rd, 2005

Madam Speaker, I have listened to another fine speech, as I listened to the minister's response earlier. Back home, farm producers are wondering who has any real credibility.

As I said earlier, I have attended committee meetings over the past four years. We have heard many a lot of people. The only person who was right was the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. This means that the UPA in our region, every producer across Canada, every person who came and expressed their concerns, saying, “Watch out, Mr. Minister, we are headed for a wall if do such and such” are all wrong. I have always seen the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food react the same way. He is the only one who is right and who knows about agriculture in Quebec and in Canada. I find that painful.

The discussion this morning was designed to inform the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, to expose it to the problems experienced by farm producers. These are real problems, not fictitious ones. Someone said earlier that some farmers stand to lose everything, if nothing is done. I know farmers in my riding who are now bankrupt, even though they worked all their lives.

Why would these people not be right? Why could they not be heard and have credibility, instead of always being faced with a minister who is the only one who can be right? I wonder if the hon. member would agree with me on that.

Supply February 3rd, 2005

Madam Speaker, I have listened attentively to the speech by my NDP colleague. He was absolutely right in his explanation of the agricultural situation. I have also heard the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food refer to that hon. member's passionate approach when it comes to agriculture.

I will ask him a question later on to see whether he agrees with me.

In the meantime, however, I would point out that the passion for agriculture is precisely what this government lacks. It lacks the realization that agriculture is the basis of our economy. It is meaningless to point out that so many billions of dollars have been given out.

I have been here for some years and every time there has been a crisis in agriculture, we have seen it coming, asked questions and waited. We have waited for it, and other things as well, and yet a major crisis comes along like this one and there are no measures except to spout a lot of nice numbers. Those numbers often do not translate into cheques in the farmers' pockets.

I would like to ask the colleague whether there is a way he could transmit his passion for agriculture to the minister, since that is what is missing: a passion for an industry of such great importance.

Petitions February 2nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table a petition signed by 1,400 workers in my riding. They are demanding a return to the former EI economic regions, since the new regions are offering EI at an unreal rate and, as a result, the workers in my region are losing benefits.

They are also demanding that the government keep its promise to increase the number of weeks of entitlement for seasonal workers.

Finance February 1st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague defend Quebeckers and the people from his riding passionately and energetically. He is absolutely right. I want to ask him about something.

Earlier he talked about a notice that was sent to seniors indicating that there would be no index adjustment made to the old age pension for the next three months, including January. I think that is absurd. On the pretext that inflation is not very high, there will be no index adjustment, but for someone who does not have a lot of money, $2 or $3 a month is a lot.

I want his opinion on something. We know that for at least 10 years the purchasing power of seniors has decreased by roughly 10% because the index adjustment is made according to the general cost of living. However, the cost of living for seniors is much higher than the general cost of living. I would like the hon. member, who defends issues so well, to tell me whether my theory is logical and what his thoughts are on this.

Finance February 1st, 2005

That is what I said. I said 55% of the milk.

Finance February 1st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively to the speech by an experienced member of Parliament. He summed up his achievements which must be numerous, because he has been sitting in this House for some time.

There are some things I agree with and others on which I do not completely agree. Among other things, he talked about agriculture and the mad cow problem. If we recall the events of over two years ago, one mad cow was found in Canada's west, in Alberta, 3,500 kilometres from Quebec.

Quebec is home to 55% of the dairy herds in Canada. These are valuable herds, because they produce 55% of the milk in Canada. The result of finding one mad cow in the west has been the loss of huge sums by Quebec farmers, as well as those in Ontario. Canada is not a country; it is a continent. If the same problem had occurred in Europe, we would not have seen all the countries of Europe lose their markets. In Canada, however, there has never been any understanding that the situation was different. And so the producers of Quebec must suffer the losses caused by this mad cow crisis. We are still trying to understand why the federal government does not provide more assistance to Quebec farmers.

I ask the hon. member if he thinks this flagrant injustice toward Quebec agriculture is right. In my opinion, although he boasts about his government's achievements, this is one that should not be the subject of boasts. And I do ask his help in getting his government to understand that it should restore justice as quickly as possible for Quebec farmers.

Finance February 1st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, what I have to say is along the same lines as my colleague's question about the will to restore some justice. In the same vein, with regard to aboriginals, I would like to know from the Liberal member who just spoke whether he is aware of the poor treatment given to aboriginals in the northern part of my riding, for example.

Their housing is not even housing. There are homes in which as many as 15 people live. The humidity level in these homes is very high this winter, while outside it is 30 or 35 degrees Celsius below zero. The conditions in which aboriginals live are deplorable.

The hon. member just mentioned that he notices sometimes that funds are not spent.

I ask him whether the government is prepared to do everything it can to really meet the crying needs of aboriginals. We do not need any commissions of inquiry in this regard. The state of aboriginals' housing in the northern part of my riding is pitiful. It must be similar in the riding of the member for Churchill, who just spoke.

That having been said, I would like to know whether, in this year's budget, the government will not only invest funds but also ensure these funds are expended to relieve the misery among aboriginals in the northern part of the Mauricie.

Finance February 1st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, this is the first budget debate since this government was re-elected last spring. I am surprised by the speech that we just heard on continuity, when it was a minority government that people elected last spring. If Canadians and Quebeckers as a whole sent this message, it is because they wanted things to change and not necessarily continue.

I would like to know from the hon. member who just spoke whether continuing means continuing to deprive older people of the money to which they are entitled. Does it also mean continuing to steal from workers?

In fact, only 45% of the workers who have paid employment insurance can receive benefits if they lose their job. Is that what continuity means? Does continuing mean continuing to accumulate funds at the expense of the poorest people in society in order to pay the debts of the wealthiest? Is that the message these people got from the last election? So far as I am concerned, they are headed in the wrong direction.

Main Estimates, 2004-05 December 9th, 2004

Madam Speaker, I very much enjoyed the remarks of the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques. I too was on the parliamentary committee where representatives of the Governor General answered our questions. I would like to ask my colleague if she was satisfied with the answer to the question, among others, about the spreading of expenditures among the various government agencies. We have tried to estimate an amount on the basis of the answers we got, but were never able to come up with an exact amount.

Later, we asked the President of the Treasury Board to review the information and provide us with a more accurate answer. I am wondering if my hon. colleague received this answer. If so, I would be curious to know what it was and what her assessment was.

I just have a brief comment for the hon. member who just spoke and expressed outrage at the 0.5% cut in the Governor General's budget, wondering if this could put the country in difficulty. I am a little surprised that a party that made all sorts of cuts in health, education and transfers to the provinces without asking itself too many questions would worry about that. This was painful to hear.

I look forward to my colleague's response.