Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was regional.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Bloc MP for Richmond—Wolfe (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2000, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Quebec Culture February 10th, 1997

We can feel the tension in this government on the eve of an election.

Quebec Culture February 10th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, this government is suffering from the same malady as its Prime Minister. On television, it is one thing and, in the House, it is another.

In connection with the three institutions mentioned, I remember the government's commitment to provide stable funding, whereas they cut $414 million and 4,000 jobs from the CBC and $20 million from the National Film Board and they moved the board of directors of Telefilm Canada from Montreal to Toronto. That is what this government is all about.

Culture and the French language are the product of the efforts of generations of artists and craftspeople. They were funded, regardless of what the minister may think, by the taxpayers of Canada.

Quebec Culture February 10th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the Minister of Human Resources Development was speaking much more forcefully in Drummondville on the weekend than he is today in the House. In an arrogant and condescending speech, he displayed his ignorance and self importance for all to see by saying that the Quebec governments from past to present, and I quote "never spent a bloody cent on culture".

How can the Minister of Human Resources Development treat the various Quebec ministers of culture, including his own colleague, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, with such disdain and ignorance, when the Quebec government is one of the major investors in culture, contributing more than even Ontario and the Government of Canada?

Petitions February 7th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I wish to table a petition on behalf of residents of my riding of Richmond-Wolfe, Sherbrooke and Mégantic-Compton-Stanstead asking for a better highway system.

The petitioners call the House's attention to the fact that the national highway policy study identified job creation, economic development and, more importantly, saving lives, preventing injury and much lower congestion as benefits of the proposed national highway program.

I wish to table this petition on behalf of all petitioners.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation February 7th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, concerning the abolished positions, the Minister of Canadian Heritage is showing her total lack of consideration for the CBC and its employees. Last December 15, she claimed only 19 people had lost their jobs at CBC, whereas the total is calculated at 4,000.

If the minister really has the CBC's interests at heart, and if she has the unanimous backing of cabinet, will she cancel the $200 million in budget cuts slated for next year?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation February 7th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, we will take the minister's word for it. Since she will be giving it her full attention, I would remind her that the four CBC ex-presidents, Al Johnson, Pierre Juneau, Tony Manera and Laurent Picard, as well as the Commissioner of Official Languages, say that the CBC no longer has the means to fulfil its mandate. The Liberal government has cut its appropriation by $414 million since it was elected.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage explain to us the difference between the Reform Party, who wants to cut budgets by a third, and her own government, which has already cut the CBC budget by a third?

Culture February 6th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I am asking the Deputy Prime Minister to confirm that she is the government's official spokesperson.

I am asking her why, yesterday, she said she would wait for the WTO decision concerning Sports Illustrated before deciding whether to appeal. I would remind her of the very clear conclusions stated in the 1994 Tassé report regarding this magazine, and I would also remind her that 80 per cent of magazines bought at newsstands in Canada come from abroad.

In making her statement yesterday, the minister contradicted the comments she made last week when she said she would definitely appeal the decision. What made the minister back down?

Culture February 6th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, unless I am mistaken, the minister is upset.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister remained silent on the issue of culture. Yet, his cabinet is divided on this most important issue for Canadian and Quebec cultures.

Last week, the Minister for International Trade said that NAFTA's cultural exemption was a myth, while the heritage minister claimed it was an essential tool for Canada's cultural development.

My question is this: Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us who is the real spokesperson on this issue? Who is stating the government's position: Is it the Deputy Prime Minister when she says she is trying to get culture excluded from WTO agreements, or is it her colleague who has no intention of defending this cause at the international level?

Culture February 5th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would like to find out whether the government is on the same wavelength. I would remind you of the 1994 Tassé report, because all recent commissions agree on the need for cultural protection and funding of cultural development.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage says she will appeal the decision of the World Trade Organization in the matter of Sports Illustrated , while her colleague for international trade is saying that no decision has been made in the matter.

Could the Prime Minister tell us who in cabinet is responsible for culture and who in cabinet is defending the government's official position?

Culture February 5th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, ignoring Canada's historical positions on culture and ignoring his own party's promise in the red book assuring Canadians that the Liberals would defend culture, the Minister for International Trade last week called into question all of Canada's cultural protection measures over the years. In the meantime, however, the Minister of Canadian Heritage said that the cultural exemption was a vital part of international trade agreements.

My question is for the Prime Minister. With the remarks of his Minister for International Trade, it is a grave moment for Quebec's and Canada's cultural sovereignty, and the Prime Minister cannot remain silent. He must respond. Which of his two ministers represents his government's position? The one he made responsible for culture or the one ready to fritter culture away.