House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament October 2000, as Bloc MP for Champlain (Québec)

Won his last election, in 1997, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Post November 19th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, does the minister not see that his obvious bias in favour of the employer is making him the leading cause of the present breakdown in negotiations?

Canada Post November 19th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for Canada Post.

Since August, the minister responsible for Canada Post has been warning the union that special legislation would be brought in if there was a strike. This week again, the minister said that the union's tough stand would result in the privatization of Canada Post.

Will the minister admit that by promising back to work legislation in the event of a strike, he is guaranteeing the employer's bad faith and making it impossible to bargain in good faith?

Canada Post November 18th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, is the real scenario the government wants to see not a general strike it could settle promptly through special legislation, as the minister let slip late this past summer?

Canada Post November 18th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for Canada Post.

Last night, the minister responsible for the Canada Post Corporation stated that before special legislation could be introduced there had to be a strike. In so doing, he was suggesting that he would not hesitate to use special legislation if there were a postal strike.

Over and above the good intentions the minister responsible for Canada Post claims to have, is he not provoking postal workers with such thinly veiled threats?

Canada Post November 17th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the Minister that the same bargaining agents were there in 1995 and that an agreement was reached. In 1995, a negotiated agreement was signed.

Why are Canada Post representatives leaving the bargaining table this time around when an agreement is still possible? Is it because they are sure that the government will intervene and legislate them back to work?

Canada Post November 17th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour.

Last Thursday, the Postal Workers Union presented Canada Post with a new offer in which they reduced their wage claims. In response, Canada Post representatives left the bargaining table.

Could the Minister of Labour remind Canada Post that such actions are in no one's interest and that they must return immediately to the bargaining table to come to an agreement with the union?

Canada Post November 6th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour.

Yesterday, Marc Gravel, the conciliation commissioner in the postal dispute, tabled his conciliation report. We understand that it will be eight or ten days before both parties receive the report.

Is the minister aware that any delay in making the report public will increase tensions at Canada Post and the likelihood of a postal strike before Christmas?

Parish Of Saint-Rémi De Lac-Aux-Sables October 7th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my warm congratulations to the people of the parish of Saint-Rémi de Lac-aux-Sables, in the riding of Champlain. They are celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding this year.

When the parish began in 1897, Saint-Rémi had 59 families. It now has 1,512 residents. Saint-Rémi de Lac-aux-Sables is an outdoor tourism centre of great attraction to boaters and sport fishers.

I wish to pay tribute to the founders of Saint-Rémi de Lac-aux-Sables and to all those contributing to the success of the festivities surrounding this 100th anniversary.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act December 12th, 1996

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak once again to Bill C-60, an act to establish the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and to repeal and amend other Acts as a consequence.

As I have said before in this House, the need for a federal food inspection agency comes from pressure exerted by municipal and provincial governments, the agricultural sector, fisheries and even consumers.

The setting up of a single food inspection authority was therefore awaited anxiously, but not at any price and particularly not under just any conditions.

When Bill C-60 was examined in committee, and in this House, the Bloc Quebecois presented numerous amendments, which we are to debate today. The reason for so doing is simple: the bill, as presented, is deficient in a number of areas. It has, therefore, been necessary to improve it, primarily in order to reassure the agriculture and agri-food sector, and especially to ensure that the federal government respects provincial jurisdiction over food inspections.

I would, therefore, like to explain to my colleagues on the government side the reasons why the amendments presented by the Bloc Quebecois are necessary, useful, unavoidable even, if we do not wish to see the Canadian Food Inspection Agency become another den of patronage and source of conflict between the provinces and agricultural industry representatives.

I will, therefore, explain why it is vital for the government to accept, and vote in favour of, the amendments we are debating today. The situation is as follows: the initial block of amendments address the appointment of future directors of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Bill C-60, as tabled by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, offers no guarantee of the competency and expertise of those who will be selected as president and vice-president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

We believe it is vital for the bill to be amended so as to ensure that the person directing the agency is not selected for his political allegiance to the party in power, but rather for his real abilities in the area of food inspection. These appointments must, of course, take place after the provinces and organizations representing agricultural interests have submitted to the advisory committee the names of candidates for those positions.

Since this is about the quality of decision making in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the government can hardly refuse to support amendments in this respect. Common sense and a desire to avoid wasting public funds should be more important than the government's partisan interests. This is a matter of fairness and common sense.

The second group of amendments refers to the powers of the advisory board, which board shall advise the minister of agriculture on the mandate of the agency. The Bloc Quebecois wants to make sure that the minister obtains from the advisory board all the data, opinions and expertise he needs to make informed decisions.

To be able to do so, the board must be given broader powers. That is why we suggest that Bill C-60 give the advisory board the authority to speak out on all matters it deems relevant to food inspection.

The amendments we are proposing will give the advisory board the authority to answer all questions and speak out on all issues submitted to it by the inspection industry, the provinces and the representatives of its employees.

We also want the advisory board to be able to give its opinion on inspection service rates, facilities, products and the rights of the agency. The purpose of these amendments is to let the advisory board take a position on the real issues at stake in food inspection. We do not want a puppet advisory board at the beck and call of the responsible minister.

That having been said, the membership of the advisory board will also have to be changed. The amendment we are proposing would add one representative of the union or unions present in the agency. We think it is necessary to include agency employees in the board's consulting process if we want to keep abreast of what is really happening out there in the food inspection sector.

I believe that the quality of the services offered by the agency will be better protected if the advisory board is given a real mandate that allows it to speak out on the real issues.

The third group of amendments deals with the status of the agency and its employees and the powers of the responsible minister and the auditor general. In my opinion, he should be able to consult all members of the industry he considers representative and the provincial governments before drafting his report. This is not currently the case.

This is why the Bloc is presenting an amendment to require the auditor general to consult these people and organizations so they may express their opinions and recommendations on the agency's operation. The aim is to ensure that provincial governments, the public and the users of the agency's services may comment on ways to improve the services, thus requiring the auditor general to take them into account in his report.

As regards the status of the agency and its staff, we believe it would be dangerous to make the agency a separate employer under the terms of the Public Service Staff Relations Act. The intent of our amendment is to avoid describing the agency as a separate employer in order to preserve the vested rights of employees assigned to the agency.

Furthermore, we want to enable those who currently represent unionized employees affected by the agency's creation to continue to negotiate the assignment of jobs and positions within the agency and all matters pertaining to personnel management.

The aim here is to protect the rights of employees to ensure that, after the two year transition period provided in the legislation, they continue to enjoy the benefits of the Public Service Employment Act. Otherwise, the situation would be unacceptable.

Finally, we note that the powers accorded the minister are watered down and at times vague with respect to agreements with the provinces on food inspection. Under our amendment, these agreements would be signed by the minister responsible and the provinces without the need for approval by the governor in council.

Our amendment changes the rule so that the minister responsible for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency alone is accountable for decisions involving the agency.

This leads me to my conclusion that the minister of agriculture and his government should not be reluctant to implement the amendments we are debating in this House, because they are based on logic and common sense. I would like to think they will apply good judgement when it comes to time to vote on them.

Tribute To Mrs. Rose-Anna Nobert December 9th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to mention that a constituent of mine is celebrating her 105th birthday, since she was born on December 8, 1891.

Her name is Rose-Anna Nobert, the wife of Rosaire Nobert and mother of seven children. She is also the proud grandmother of 36 grandchildren and the great-grandmother of 23 great-grandchildren.

I should point out that Rose-Anna Nobert, who currently lives at the senior citizens home in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, lived in her own house until she was 103 years old, which is simply extraordinary.

As the member for Champlain, I am proud to pay tribute to Rose-Anna Nobert. I join all the members of her family, and all her friends at the Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade home, in wishing her health and happiness on her 105th birthday.