House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was environment.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Conservative MP for Louis-Hébert (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2008, with 28% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Privilege June 20th, 2008

You see how they react when we talk about democracy, when we talk about respect for others. They have zero respect, just as they have zero achievements. They have no respect. All they do is make personal attacks on other people.

I just wanted to say that denying me the right to speak—I was not allowed to say one word, which violated my rights as a parliamentarian—showed a total lack of respect for my constituents, the people I represent here in Ottawa. That is completely unacceptable.

Privilege June 20th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak, because I was unable to do so yesterday.

At the meeting of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, I had indicated to the clerk and the chair that I intended to speak on the debate, on the motion and on the various amendments that had been proposed. I was on the list of members who wanted to speak, but I was never given the opportunity to say even “Mr. Chair”. My rights as a parliamentarian were ignored. I did not have the chance to utter a single word.

I do not yet have much experience as a member of Parliament, as I have been here for only two and a half years. But I do know one thing: a chair cannot limit members' speaking time as long as the committee has not agreed on a time limitation.

The second thing I have to say concerns repetition. Given that there was no vote on a time limitation and that I did not have time to utter a single word, how can anyone say I was repeating something that had already been said?

I recently visited some African countries where individuals' right to speak had been taken away.

Bloc Québécois June 16th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, in 1990, I remember, the series Les filles de Caleb debuted, and Guy Carbonneau was the captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

At the time, the founder of the Bloc said that his coalition would be temporary, and that it would help improve the winning conditions. Eighteen years later, the times have changed: the PQ is no longer even talking about a referendum, and the Bloc is still trying to justify its presence here in Ottawa.

After playing armchair quarterback for 18 years, what is the Bloc's plan? Asking 4,000 questions without ever getting anything done? Finding 450 different ways to ask about the sponsorship scandal without being able to put an end to it? Making more than 700 empty promises to Quebeckers?

The day the Liberal leader finally takes a stand, Quebeckers will be better able to see the relevance of the Bloc here in Ottawa. The moment of truth is fast approaching.

National Defence Act June 12th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in the debate today.

The bill before us proposes significant changes to the way cabinet exercises one of its most important responsibilities, which is deploying troops as part of foreign military missions.

I am opposed to Bill C-513. The fact remains that the process we currently use to deploy our troops internationally works well.

As the parliamentary secretary said earlier, the current process helps ensure parliamentary transparency and oversight. There is nothing worse than taking something that is working well and making meaningless changes.

Aside from the fact that the bill does not recognize the extensive parliamentary oversight that currently exists as part of the government's commitment to hold a debate in the House on deployments of the Canadian Forces, this bill is rife with serious technical problems.

The bill requires that the House be summoned after prorogation, or even when Parliament has been dissolved. If we take the example of Parliament being dissolved, the main technical problems with the bill become very evident. The bill does not clearly state whether to summon the Parliament that was dissolved or the newly elected Parliament.

Another problem is the issue of active service, which my colleague also raised. I cannot overstate how wrong it is to assume that the Canadian Forces have to be placed on active service in order to be deployed abroad. That incorrect hypothesis has been made in Bill C-513.

As my colleague pointed out, and now is a good time to repeat it, placing members of the Canadian Forces on active service enables the Canadian Forces to keep troops on service as needed and enables military tribunals to impose various sentences for a number of military offences. That is why we do not really understand why the opposition member has introduced a bill that ties an active service designation to Canada's participation in a foreign mission.

It is important to point out that the Canadian Forces' regular forces are on active service as per Order in Council 1989-583, April 6, 1989. In fact, all members of the reserves serving outside Canada are on active service.

Before continuing the debate, I want to remind the members of the House about the essential work that our troops are doing on overseas missions, on which they have been responsibly and appropriately deployed by the government, using the existing process.

The Canadian Forces are currently deployed to 16 foreign missions on four continents: Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Over 2,900 soldiers, sailors and Canadian air force members are currently deployed to international operations. In addition to those already deployed, some 5,000 troops are preparing to participate in overseas missions or are on their way back here.

Our country has taken on an enormous commitment to support peace and security around the world and to promote Canadian values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

If Bill C-513 were passed, it would diminish Canada's ability to be a world leader. Why? Because the bill would require us to determine each facet of the mission quickly and precisely. To know such things, one would have to have a crystal ball.

Our troops participate in all kinds of missions around the world, humanitarian aid missions, peacekeeping missions, combat missions, interdiction operations and state building missions.

When it comes right down to it, foreign missions in which the Canadian Forces participate sometimes defy such simple classification.

Current threats and concerns pertaining to security are often multi-faceted and modern military missions dealing with them can be very complex. Often, they entail more than one type of operational activity at the same time. And most of the time, not only do they involve military personnel but they also require partnerships with military forces, governments and various organizations.

That is the case in Afghanistan, where Canada is taking part in a UN sanctioned mission under the direction of NATO and in collaboration with the democratically elected government of that country. The purpose of our mission is to help the Afghan people rebuild their country and establish a stable, democratic and self-sufficient society.

Consequently, the mission encompasses several types of operations. The country must be rebuilt. To attain this objective, our armed forces, in cooperation with allied forces in Afghanistan, help to provide the security needed to create an environment for reconstruction and progress.

The mission in Afghanistan also has a humanitarian component. It is helping to bring back five million refugees. It is making remarkable improvements in the physical health and the human rights of the Afghan people. It is helping them to build an infrastructure and an economy that were completely destroyed by the Taliban, leaving most Afghan citizens suffering from unimaginable poverty, hardship and suffering.

Canadian Forces personnel on the ground are working with our military allies to drive back those creating instability and violence and also with the departments and organizations of the Canadian government engaged in a whole-of-government approach.

This close cooperation between military and civilian institutions within Canada's mission and the entire NATO operation constitutes a new kind of mission. How would Bill C-513 classify that kind of mission? The answer is that this bill cannot classify this mission, because has been conceived in such a way as to meet the specific needs in Afghanistan and because it is constantly changing, for the same reason.

Bill C-513's attempt to define the offensive facets of military missions whose rules of engagement are not limited to the use of force for defence purposes, whether for the Canadian mission, the population or people placed under its protection, is gross oversimplification.

Some overseas missions in which Canadian Forces personnel are participating are of the same kind that became familiar to Canadians of the previous generation.

Some of them are what we could call classic peacekeeping operations, most of which have been going on for quite a long time. For instance, in the Sinai Peninsula, an Canadian air traffic control unit is contributing to the multinational mission to oversee the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, which was concluded decades ago.

And this is not the only example of the Canadian Forces contributing to the implementation of a major peace initiative. Elsewhere, in the Middle East, the Canadian Forces are participating in the UN's Operation GLADIUS, to oversee the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Syria, which was reached at the end of the Yom Kippur war.

In closing, the bill before us today does nothing to improve existing legislation. It takes a course of action that is working and tries to replace it in a futile, harmful way. It creates confusion and misunderstanding of the current system.

For all these reasons, I urge the House of Commons to vote against this bill.

The conomy June 9th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, in this time of economic uncertainty, the Liberal leader is considering a tax on production. I remember that, on October 10, 2007, in a speech to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, he declared, “—there will be no carbon tax—”. That is further proof that the Liberal leader has changed his mind and his policy.

That is the height of hypocrisy. On the one hand, the Liberals say that gasoline is too expensive and then, on the other, they want to add a tax that would increase the price by 60%. What do the Liberals want? These days, it is hard to follow them or understand their reasoning.

I can assure Canadians that the Conservative government will continue to build a vigorous economy for Canadians who work hard, pay their taxes and respect the law.

Business of Supply June 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the comments of my Bloc Québécois colleague regarding parliamentary privilege.

I believe that parliamentarians have the right to say what is on their minds. However, should parliamentarians not sometimes exercise restraint in their remarks?

In the Cadman affair, for example, the opposition gloated for weeks over a tape which, in the end, had been tampered with. They tried to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Once again, a Bloc member recently made some comments to the media about in and out schemes and went too far. There are some things we are not allowed to say, especially about other members.

Does my Bloc Québécois colleague believe that sometimes it is important, before going any further, to verify whether or not his comments are appropriate? It is not a privilege to be able to sully with impunity the reputation of another parliamentarian or of any individual in society. It is unacceptable to say that because we are parliamentarians we have the right to say whatever we want. Should we not exercise some restraint, sir?

Urban Transit June 3rd, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the government is looking for realistic, long-term solutions for cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect the health of Canadians. As a UNESCO world heritage site, the historic district of Old Quebec welcomes over 4 million visitors every year, 90% of whom get there by car.

Can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tell the House about the government's new commitments to sustainable urban transit in Canadian cities?

The Environment June 2nd, 2008

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Minister of the Environment was in Montreal to launch the Montreal Climate Exchange to help Canada move forward on the road to a low carbon economy.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell the House how we are providing tangible results to Canadians who want us to take action to deal with climate change?

Royal Military College Saint-Jean May 29th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I take great pleasure and pride in announcing, on behalf of the Conservative team in Quebec, that the Royal Military College Saint-Jean officially reopened on May 24.

In just 25 months in power, this government has kept its promise. This is further proof that the people in Montérégie can count on our government to deliver real results.

Once again, we see the powerlessness of the Bloc Québécois. For 12 years, the member who has achieved exactly nothing has been making empty promises about this. In 18 years in Ottawa, the Bloc Québécois in Saint-Jean has always come up empty. Bloc members measure their success by the number of questions they ask, but the record of achievements of the member for Saint-Jean will always be a big zero.

The Liberals could not accomplish anything, and the Bloc never will. Under the Conservatives, Quebec is growing stronger.

Interparliamentary Delegations May 28th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie respecting its participation at the meeting of the executive committee of the network of women parliamentarians of the APF, held in Brussels on February 19 and 20, 2008.