Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Bloc MP for Chicoutimi (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 1997, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply February 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the member's speech. She gave us a impressive image of the training within public service, she listed all the services, and let me use her own word, the affordable services she can offer to the population with this new technology.

But the hon. member never said a word about the Bloc's motion proposing the review of an existing committee or the creation of a new one to examine public expenditures. In answer to my colleague's question, the hon. member finally addressed the motion for the first time a while ago but she spoke about everything else but that.

This morning, I took part in a preliminary meeting, the first meeting of the transport committee. Let us look at the committees' expenditures. There are 20 House committees and out of total expenditures of approximately $2 million, about $592,000 are spent on public consultations of experts, friends of the government, et cetera. The committee we want to create would prevent such useless spending.

Are we not, as members of this House, the most suitable and accessible group if committees want to consult anyone? That makes all the difference. As for the public accounts committee, its actual mandate is simply to check on certain elements. It does not analyze thoroughly the Auditor General's report or recommendations. We would only have to determine the exact difference between that committee and the new one which would look especially at expenditures. I would like to know the member's opinion on the motion of the Bloc Quebecois.

Fishing Industry February 8th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, like many Canadians, I was shocked when I read in this morning's paper that the fisheries and oceans department is approving some travel expenditures in excess of $175,000 for two of its senior officials while the fisheries industry is battling very serious economic difficulties and lack of financial resources.

Since the application of the moratorium on northern cod fishing by the Fisheries and Oceans Department, thousands of workers and fishermen have no more job in the Atlantic region.

In such circumstances, some senior officials of the Department dare to organise a northern cod celebration and spend taxpayers' money when coastal communities have no idea yet what amount of financial assistance they will receive once the northern cod adjustment and recovery program ends on May 15, 1994.

That kind of unforgivable waste-

Social Security System February 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I must congratulate the member who just finished her speech. I certainly share some of her concerns and I also understand why many Canadians want democratic debates like the one we are having right now. But Canadians also expect us to take immediate and concrete measures.

Up to now, this government has made no major decision. Nothing has been done to tackle great priorities like the deficit or the social security system reform. We must remember that during the campaign, the Liberals promised they would maintain the status quo in that area, particularly in the case of welfare.

I would like to know if the member thinks job creation might be a good way to begin the reform. The government announced an infrastructure program to put people back to work, but we will need more than that. What is the government waiting for to launch job creation projects which would at the same time lead to this reform?

It is clear the announced reform was only an excuse to cut social programs because the government is unable to create jobs. We cannot train welfare recipients if that training does not lead to enriching, creative and well paid jobs. Otherwise, as someone said before, we get into a vicious circle and go back to square one.

The number of people living below the poverty line keeps on increasing. We must therefore, first and foremost, focus our efforts on job creation. As her government said: jobs, jobs, jobs, I say jobs, jobs, jobs, yes, but with concrete projects, and reform will follow. I would like to have her comments on this.

Speech From The Throne January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I must congratulate the hon. member on the quality of his message concerning health. We all know that health is very important. But, to stay in good health, we must offer favourable conditions. That is why we should keep our social programs.

What I liked about the hon. member's speech is that he was suggesting that the government freeze transfer payments to the provinces. Not only freeze these payments but also try and find additional savings in other government expenditures.

I would ask the hon. member whether, in addition to health, he was also thinking of social housing. We all know that inadequate housing can have a detrimental effect on people's health and lead to massive expenditures for the state. These people are usually families and households where the main breadwinners are women. It is under such circumstances that children are ill-treated and become sick. I would ask the hon. member whether he considers the social housing issue as important as the health issue, so that we can continue to protect the health of Canadians?

Speech From The Throne January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the two previous government speakers, the hon. members for Brant and for Vaudreuil, for their very pertinent comments on youth employment. These two hon. members told us that they were willing to take a lot of steps and participate in a lot of discussions to allow our young people to work, and I congratulate them on their position.

On the other hand, I thought that the hon. member for Vaudreuil gave a very evasive answer to the question posed by my Bloc Quebecois colleague concerning the decentralization of job training in Quebec. His response gave me the impression that he was not ready to transfer all this responsibility to the Quebec government. We are perfectly aware that the people who know best what our young people need are those closest to them. As a teacher I can say that to offer our young people an interesting lifestyle and lasting employment, we must bring them closer to the decision centres, namely the schools, or to the government that is more attuned to their needs.

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have a comment and a question.

I am somewhat surprised by the remarks the hon. member has made, especially when he talked about withdrawing from Bosnia, while several of his colleagues have told us that withdrawing would mean abandoning the people, who would then starve. It would also cause a crisis in neighbouring regions, with everything that entails. The aggressors would have won and it would mean rape and famine for an entire population.

Am I to understand that the member who just spoke will not support in his caucus a government position which should be first to ensure that Canadian troops are safe and second to help Canada live up to its reputation as a champion of peace on the international scene?

So, the member will be against giving this House the assurance that the Canadian peacekeepers will not be unilaterally pulled out of the former Yugoslavia.

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, thank you. I hope that you will give me enough time to ask my question.

I listened with great interest to the hon. member's comments concerning Canada's participation in UN peacekeeping missions. Even though I do not have his experience, I share a lot of his concerns regarding the safety of Canadian peacekeepers.

Canadian troops are, of course, going through a difficult time. But their well-known professionalism enables them to overcome these difficulties and accomplish their mission in a very satisfactory fashion. Finally, the very positive results of their humanitarian aid efforts and of their strategic operations to contain the conflict within the current borders have been pointed out on several occasions today.

I would like to remind you that 80 per cent of the members of the 12th Armoured Regiment of Canada and the Mechanized Batallion of the Royal 22e Régiment from Valcartier come from Quebec, including many young people named Bergeron, Bigras, Simard, Gagnon, Dugas and so on from the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. We can all be proud of the excellent job done by our soldiers. In this regard, I would ask the hon. member who spoke before me if he thinks that the withdrawal of troops by Canada, especially if it were done unilaterally, would bring our allies to question the firmness and durability of our commitments?

Speech From The Throne January 24th, 1994

I will ask a question with a preamble. Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the first member who spoke for the Reform Party.

In his speech, he mentioned seven or eight points, and I certainly share some of his opinions. He indicated the need for renewal through the infrastructures program. He also mentioned increasing government funding for research and development and also said that the government should control-this was very important in his speech-its spending to create the right economic climate for creating jobs.

He also said a few words about education and manpower training.

He referred to the feelings of freedom and sense of duty Canadians should have if they were to be more progressive and creative. He also asked this government to provide the requisite funding for small and medium sized businesses to invest and create jobs.

However, and that is my question, the hon. member will have to admit that to meet these objectives, which are quite praiseworthy as such, we need a compassionate government that does not attack those who are less well off or the neediest in our society or the middle class to get all the money it needs to boost the economy. We need a government that is not afraid to cut the tax shelters enjoyed by some families and corporations. I want to ask the members of the Reform Party to support and join the Bloc Quebecois in asking this government to guarantee that

Canadians will be able to keep their vested rights with respect to social housing, health-

Speech From The Throne January 24th, 1994

Madam Speaker, on a point of order. Since the hon. member did not take up all his allotted time, may I respond?

Speech From The Throne January 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by congratulating the minister on his infrastructure program which is to be launched very soon, witness the announcement concerning construction of the convention centre in Quebec City.

I represent the riding of Chicoutimi, which includes the municipalities of Rivière-Éternité, Petit-Saguenay, L'Anse-Saint-Jean, Saint-Félix-d'Otis, Ferland-et-Boileau, Ville La Baie and Chicoutimi. The unemployment situation in all these municipalities is very bad. In the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area, the unemployment rate is an unacceptable 16 per cent, and there is nothing in the throne speech to indicate that this percentage will go down.

This government's infrastructures program will certainly not be enough to turn around the economy, either in the riding, Quebec or Canada. We must break the vicious circle of unemployment insurance which means that people work four months a year on a government project and then are unemployed for the rest of the year. If they are lucky, after using up their unemployment insurance benefits they might qualify for another government project, but that is it, and then they end up on welfare, which makes it even harder to get back to work.

Economic recovery must be achieved through regional development by giving the regions all the infrastructures they need, not just the road networks covered by your program but infrastructures for water and air transportation which provide links between the regions and give them access to major urban centres.

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the infrastructures program, could the minister confirm there have been cabinet-level discussions on other programs aimed at a sustainable reduction of the unemployment rate, which the government will be tabling very shortly?