House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Bloc MP for Brossard—La Prairie (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 18% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply September 28th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Laval—Les Îles for all the figures she provided.

I would like to go back to one of the figures she mentioned. I think the figure of $1.5 billion for the integration of women immigrants is a bit high. Did she say million or billion? In addition, over how many years was this money spread and how was it distributed geographically?

Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act September 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the bill tabled on May 17 by the member for Honoré-Mercier would force the government to respect Canada's Kyoto protocol obligations.

It creates an obligation on the department to establish annually a climate change plan that respects shared jurisdictions and proposes regulations to fulfill the Kyoto protocol goals.

It also creates an obligation on the Commissioner of the Environment to review the annual climate change plan and submit a report to Parliament.

We support the principle underlying this bill. In fact, the essence of this bill resembles the motion the Bloc introduced on May 11, which was adopted by a majority of members of the House of Commons. We will present our suggestions for improving the bill during committee.

Clause 5 of the bill states that the federal government must table a climate change plan not later than May 31 of every year until 2013. The annual plan must respect provincial jurisdiction and include the following five elements: measures to be taken to reduce greenhouse gases; performance standards and market-based mechanisms; a description of spending or fiscal measures or incentives; bilateral agreements; and a report on overall results of the previous year's plan.

Why does the bill not require these climate change action plans to be tabled beyond 2013? Would it not be more appropriate to say that Canada will participate in phase II of the Kyoto protocol, and that the annual report will therefore be an important tool for following through with the fight against climate change?

Clearly, the bill will have to specify that bilateral agreements should be financial agreements that enable provinces wishing to implement the Kyoto protocol to accomplish these goals.

The fight against climate change will be one of the most important global issues in the coming decades. The Kyoto protocol is the product of many years’ work and collaboration within the international community, and is the most effective and most complete tool for fighting climate change.

With its recent opposition motion on May 11, the Bloc Québécois sent an unequivocal message to the Conservative government that the government must make a commitment to respect the Kyoto protocol, an international accord to which Canada is legally bound and to which 90% of Quebeckers lend their support. It if does not do so, it will cause Canada to lose any credibility it has internationally. Its reputation is at stake. This member’s bill bears the same message as the motion put forward by the Bloc in the hope that the Conservatives might understand.

The basic principles underlying the Bloc’s position, from the time study of the climate change file began, are based on respect for international commitments, on equity and on respect for Quebec’s areas of jurisdiction.

The Bloc Québécois is asking Ottawa for a plan to implement the Kyoto protocol, enabling the reduction of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions by 6% over 1990 levels and providing a series of measures within its areas of jurisdiction.

The Bloc is seeking concrete measures in five major areas.

First, we are asking for stricter standards in the manufacture of vehicles with a view to improving the energy efficiency of passenger vehicles and trucks, following the example set by California.

Second, we are asking for discounts on purchases of ecological vehicles, such as hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles. Incentives are key.

Third, we also want financial support for the development of renewable energy and we do not want cuts to the incentives for the windmill project.

Fourth, we want the abolition of the advantageous tax system for the oil companies.

Fifth, we are asking for grants to be given to agencies that are contributing to the effort to achieve the objectives of the Kyoto protocol and are helping to educate the public.

Furthermore, the Bloc Québécois wants the plan to include a system of emission objectives for large emitters, along with an exchange of emission rights, since by 2010 these industries, particularly the oil companies, will be responsible for more than 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. An equitable approach, as proposed by the Bloc Québécois, necessarily implies that large emitters be called to contribute according to their emissions.

An equitable approach for the provinces means that those that have made efforts in the past should be recognized accordingly. For example, there is the choice that Quebec made concerning hydro-electricity or the choice certain industries made to reduce their contributions to greenhouse gases, even before the Kyoto protocol.

At this point, it would be good to repeat the content of the Bloc Québécois motion passed in a majority vote—169 to 125—during our opposition day on May 11, 2006. The motion read as follows:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) take the necessary measures to ensure that Canada meets its objective for greenhouse gas reduction established under the Kyoto Protocol, in an equitable manner while respecting the constitutional jurisdictions and responsibilities of Quebec and the provinces; and (b) publish, by October 15, 2006, an effective and equitable plan for complying with the Kyoto Protocol that includes a system of emission objectives for large emitters along with an exchange of emission rights accompanied by a bilateral agreement with Quebec-—

The Conservative position regarding the Kyoto protocol is worrisome. So far, they have made it clear that they do not intend to try to reach the target of a 6% reduction compared to 1990. They say that this target is unrealistic and unachievable. I feel this is irresponsible. The Conservative government has been a vocal opponent of Kyoto on the international scene.

To not respect the targets of the Kyoto protocol is to renounce it. The position taken by the Conservatives not only weakens Canada's credibility internationally, but it also runs the risk of raising doubt about the viability and pertinence of negotiating and signing multilateral agreements.

Responsible government means moving beyond a political agenda that is only a few months old. It means creating the necessary conditions to ensure the safety, health and prosperity of citizens for years to come.

World Carfree Day September 22nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join with all of the participants who, like me, respected world carfree day today. Many people in Quebec, Canada and around the world—1,500 municipalities in all—took part in this environmental act.

On foot, by bicycle and by bus, many of us arrived on the Hill this morning without our cars. Those who drive hybrid cars have already earned greenhouse gas credits this year. To everyone else who claims to support Kyoto, I challenge you to practice what you preach.

All members of this House should resolve today to reduce their yearly gas consumption by about a third in any way they can, such as carpooling, or using a bicycle or public transit. We must all choose our own method of reducing greenhouse gases. It is our choice.

Business of Supply June 15th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I would like to come back to the question of senior citizens. The matter of their low income has often been raised in the last election campaigns.

It was noted that about 60,000 people who were entitled to the guaranteed income supplement were misinformed about their rights. I would like to ask my colleague from Gatineau what he thinks of the retroactivity of the guaranteed income supplement to which senior citizens are entitled.

Environment Week June 7th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, Environment Week encourages everyone to do something practical to protect our planet. This awareness has now spread through our community and internationally and goes well beyond the green activist movement. Most of civil society is now convinced of the need for action to reduce greenhouse gases.

Our planet is heating up. That is why we must take action as soon as possible. We see the poles heating up, glaciers melting, sea level rising, heat waves, droughts, forest fires, an increase in violent meteorological phenomena and changes in biodiversity.

We invite the public to go to and sign the petition calling on the federal government to respect the Kyoto protocol.

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville May 31st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I wish to pay tribute today to the memory of Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville.

Next July 2 to 15, the University of Havana in Cuba, in collaboration with the Université du Québec à Montréal, will be organizing festivities in Havana to mark the 300th anniversary of the death of Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville.

He was the great hero of New France—adventurer, shipmaster, privateer and first governor of Louisiana—who died in Havana on July 9, 1706.

Few people know about the tragic end and mysterious death of this hero in Cuba. The city of Havana remembers. It has honoured the visit of this hero with a major monument and numerous commemorative plaques in its museums and its cathedral.

July 9, 2006, 300 years! I remember.

Business of Supply May 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

Indeed, in the last three years, I sat on a working committee of the International Joint Commission that studied climate changes and the fluctuation of water level in the Great Lakes, specially in Lake Ontario, which feeds the St. Lawrence River. According to the mathematical models produced during the study, the future is rather disturbing. Several questions were asked, for example on the increase in precipitation and the absence of ice on the Great Lakes which could accelerate water evaporation and in the end completely disrupt the traditional water volume entering the St. Lawrence.

We cannot be sure that the water flow in the St. Lawrence River will remain the same. We could very well see the lowering of the Great Lakes water level and a decrease in the water flow of the St. Lawrence, which would have dire consequences.

Besides the direct relation between water level in the Great Lakes and water flow in the river, climate changes are creating serious erosion problems further up the St. Lawrence. We noticed that winds, which are now much stronger than they used to be, are pounding the banks along the North Shore and can cause very serious damage to homes built close to the river's edge.

To summarize, I will say that the expected consequences of climate change on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River are enormous.

Business of Supply May 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

Concerning the development of wind energy, I still think that Quebec is a leader in this sector. Its program for the next years is very aggressive.

In fact, Quebec has developed its hydroelectricity on its own. It has invested billions of dollars in it. If we must wait for the federal government to act, Quebec will have to go forward with its wind energy program by funding it on its own.

Business of Supply May 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I will share my time with the hon. member for Laurentides—Labelle.

For the first time in this 39th Parliament I have the honour to speak on behalf of all my electors from the riding of Brossard—La Prairie. I sincerely thank them for placing their confidence in me to defend their interests in Ottawa.

I also want to congratulate the environment critic, the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, for putting forward this opposition day motion.

People from my generation and all the hon. members of this House should adapt their vocabulary to that of the young generation. The first word young people ask us to adopt is Kyoto, as in the Kyoto protocol.

During a visit to Salon Jeunes-PROJET last Sunday at the Antoine-Brossard comprehensive school, I met students between the age of 10 and 12 who had a stand on greenhouse gases. These young 12-year-olds were explaining the complex phenomena of climate change, the Kyoto protocol and the many products that contribute to greenhouse gases. These young people used simple terms chosen with passion and sincerity. They have already realized that we are playing with their future and that today's decisions could compromise their health and viability on this planet.

The second principle that must be respected, based on the themes selected by these young people, is that of sustainable development. By definition, that is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. Young people are entitled to hope to be able to meet their basic needs, such as clean water, clean air, clean land and energy, in the future.

The third theme selected by the young people concerned soft, renewable energies. Wind power immediately comes to mind. In addition to soft energies, issues such as energy efficiency, geothermics and green building in accordance with the LEED standard have to be discussed, as well as active and passive solar heating, research and development, and new technologies to solve the problems caused by greenhouse gases.

The fourth theme was environmentally-friendly transportation. An energy scheme to deal with the greenhouse gas issue requires the use of electric cars, hydrogen cars, biodiesel fuel and public transit, electric trains, and subway expansion, as well as the adoption of ethanol. Many producers in my riding, corn producers, came to see me. They have great expectations of this government with respect to the ethanol program.

The Bloc Québécois is recommending a series of initiatives that come under federal jurisdiction. These include stricter vehicle manufacturing standards to enhance energy efficiency, rebates on environmentally-friendly vehicles, and financial support for all renewable energies.

The Bloc's position on Kyoto is clear. It wants the international commitments already made to be met. It wants equity for Quebec in the federal plan. It wants Quebec's jurisdictions to be respected.

As for the international treaty, Canada’s reputation is on the line if this government refuses to meet the Kyoto objectives.

Environmental groups, both international and local, could launch a vast campaign to boycott our Canadian products. Canada’s credibility is at stake, and Quebec’s interests will inevitably be dragged into this maelstrom of boycotts. Quebec could also be drawn into this boycott. Failure to comply with a signed agreement will certainly influence Quebeckers in their choice, in their future, in their destiny, in their choice to become a sovereign country.

Most of Quebec’s energy production is based on hydroelectricity, which is clean, renewable energy that has done little to contribute to the Canada-wide increase in greenhouse gases. Between 1990 and 2003, Quebec’s emissions increased only 8.6%, in comparison with 34% in Alberta and 45% in Saskatchewan. In 2003, greenhouse gas emissions were 12.2 tonnes per capita in Quebec and 23.4 tonnes in Canada. In addition, this 23.4-tonne average increases to 26.8 tonnes per capita if Quebec is excluded from Canada, leaving what is called the ROC or rest of Canada. So it is 12.2 tonnes for Quebec and 26.8 tonnes for the ROC, or a factor of 2.2. That is what we are talking about when we talk about fairness.

Quebec’s choice of hydroelectric energy has certainly contributed to this enviable performance, but its success can also be attributed to the collective choices made by Quebec citizens, its industry, the National Assembly, and most importantly, the future vision and perceptive decisions made by the managers and planners of Hydro-Québec.

Quebec’s reduction plan is clear and specific. The transportation sector accounts for 38.5% of emissions, of which 85% comes from road transportation. Marine, rail and air account for a measly 15%. Quebec’s plan should focus first, therefore, on public transit.

In my riding, some projects are underway, in particular the SLR to relieve congestion on the Champlain bridge. This is a bold $1.2-billion project. We should remember, though, that $1 billion are wasted every year in wages and gasoline expenses as a result of congestion on the roads in my riding.

Quebec’s plan is simple. The shopping list is well-known and has been published in newspapers. It includes electric trains, subway and transportation line projects connecting the city of Montreal and its suburbs. The plan is clear in regard to the emissions of the trucking industry, and the Bloc is also in favour of intermodal transportation. The great St. Lawrence river will be used for marine transportation to carry many containers. In addition to intermodal transportation, the Bloc proposes more efficient motor vehicles and electric cars.

In contrast to the Conservatives, who claim these days that the American approach is not the way to go in the fight against climate change, I say that, luckily, some American states and big cities have disregarded the American government’s plan of attack and are working on reducing greenhouse gases. I could point, for instance, to the great city of Seattle, which has had some incredible success in this regard.

Rather than trying to revise its international obligations by calling Kyoto into question, the Conservative government should introduce its plan together with a fair agreement for Quebec, an agreement that recognizes Quebec’s past efforts.

In conclusion, I strongly support the motion of the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.