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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was well.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Outremont (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 24% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Child Pornography November 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I really do not understand from where the member is coming. Last week during the debate, for example, they said that, of course, police forces should have access to child pornography in the course of an investigation. They said as well that, of course, police forces should have access for training purposes and, of course, scientists should have access for valid reasons as well.

I would like to say to the House that the defence of “of course” does not exist within the criminal law. This is why we have to put in a defence that will be charter compliant, while protecting our children.

Justice November 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, he has been to a sentencing circle himself. That is why I raised the point.

The second point, if the member would know exactly what is taking place at Justice Canada and in the justice system, he would know that at this very moment there is a national conference on victims taking place Ottawa. It is the very first one of its kind, sponsored by Justice Canada. I was there this morning to meet with those people, who will provide the justice department and our country with valuable comments that we will be using in our future legislation.

Justice November 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the member refers to indeed a tragic event. He raises in his question many questions.

The first item that I would like to talk to is the sentencing circle. That has taken place in some provinces in western Canada and I would just like to say that so far what I have seen within the justice system it has proven to work properly, based on their culture.

Second, we know there is discretion existing in the criminal justice system. For example, they have raised the point of conditional sentencing, which is under review by the justice committee.

Justice October 30th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the question of the age of consent, the hon. member knows very well that around the table of the federal-provincial meeting there was no consensus.

The government has created a new offence of exploitation that will offer much better protection because the protection will be for all young Canadians between the ages of 14 and 18. If the opposition members wants to offer good protection to young Canadians, they should be supporting the government in the passing of Bill C-20. What they are doing is a disgrace.

Child Pornography October 29th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, talking about third party endorsement, let us have a look at what David Griffin of the Canadian Professional Police Association said before the justice committee. He said:

With respect to the definition and defences for child pornography, we are pleased that the Minister of Justice is taking steps to tighten the definitions of child pornography to address recent court challenges, thereby broadening the application of the law and limiting available defences.

Child Pornography October 29th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as we said yesterday and I have said many times, there is no place in Canada for those involved in such an offence, nor anywhere else in the world.

The hon. member knows very well that the legislation we have in place is one of the best in the world. Bill C-20 is before the justice committee at the present time. There are good measures to answer the Sharpe decision in order to increase the protection of our children.

I count on the support of the opposition to ensure that we pass that bill as soon as possible.

Ethics October 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, to the best of my recollection, the answer is clearly, no. When there is a problem, I ask the ethics counsellor. I am used to dealing with him in a proper manner.

Supply October 28th, 2003

Please let me finish.

People are hearing from witnesses. People will have their say as well and the chance to propose some amendments. We do not pretend that the bill is perfect. As I said, we believe it is a fantastic piece of legislation. If we can improve it, we will. I would be more than pleased to have very positive proposals.

However, what I cannot accept and I will never accept is an opposition party that says “no” to passing an important bill such as Bill C-20, when a minister of the crown has asked for it to be passed. Today the opposition members will have to stand up and tell Canadians that they will support Bill C-20. They will do their jobs at the justice committee and if they do not, they will have to explain to Canadians why they have refused to offer the best protection possible for them.

Supply October 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-20 touches on the question of child pornography. It has new measures as well with regard to the protection of the most vulnerable in our society.

First, we are touching on the question of the sentencing. As a government, we respect the process in place. The member knows very well that the bill is before the justice committee and members are hearing witnesses.

Supply October 28th, 2003

It is true for this government and even though sometimes they make comments, I believe that members on the other side of the House have exactly the same aim and goal.

Look at what we have done as a country over the past few years. First, I said in my remarks that we have one of the best pieces of legislation in the world nationally speaking. We have to be proud of that.

Also, look at what took place in the United States. About a year ago they were discussing the question of virtual child pornography which was maybe or maybe not covered by existing legislation following a judgment of the U. S. supreme court. With the existing legislation that Canada has, virtual child pornography is strictly criminal. As I said, there is no place for such an offence in Canada or anywhere else in the world.

As well we have proceeded as a government with Bill C-15A which created the new offence of Internet luring. It has been used successfully in order to charge people using new technologies. Bill C-15A is quite a nice piece of legislation which ensures that those people committing such an offence will not be able to use new technology in order to exploit the children of our nation.

Look at what we did within the G-8. Canada is actually one of the leaders in trying to increase cooperation to create and develop new tools in order to make sure we deter people from getting involved in such a crime anywhere in the world. We have been working over the past few years and we are going to keep working hard.

Opposition members know very well that we have also established a pilot project with the government of Manitoba and my counterpart the justice minister, Gordon Mackintosh. We have been working together in order to establish Cybertip.ca, which is a tip line for people to get in touch with Cybertip. Let me say that when we look at the stats, it is amazing what they have been able to do working together, working with the population.

From September 2002 to July 2003, 324 reports were made to Cybertip.ca. Ninety per cent of these concerned child pornography on the Internet and 9% dealt with the question of the new offence of Internet luring. Of the total, 152, or 42%, were forwarded to law enforcement agencies for action and resulted in four arrests. Thirty-five other cases are under active investigation.

We on this side of the House, the Liberal government, are working hard in order to take concrete action, concrete measures. Now we are facing a new step which is Bill C-20, an answer to the Supreme Court of Canada in the Sharpe decision, making sure that we will increase the protection of our children, making sure that we will have better legislation as well.

Today I am asking as justice minister those people on the other side of the House to support Bill C-20. What I am asking is that they stand today and say that yes, they will support Bill C-20 because they believe in the future of this nation.