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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament November 2009, as Bloc MP for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Pre-Budget Consultations February 1st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's speech made me think about the issue of natural resources. I must say that I agreed with him, but I wish that we could find a way to ensure that the productivity gains made in recent years and which will be made in the years to come as a result of the use of equipment are channelled back to the forestry workers, because today, machines are being used to cut far more trees and far fewer workers are needed to operate this equipment. However, the resulting productivity gains stay in the companies and are not reinvested in workers who are laid off and often left to subsist on unemployment insurance or welfare.

I think the budget should contain mechanisms, through the tax system or otherwise, for putting workers back to work. For instance, in the forestry industry, some people do not get retraining, and not everyone can be retrained for high tech jobs. There will always be people who prefer and in fact have the ability to work in forestry operations.

Again, I agree with the hon. member who just spoke that it would be useful to find ways to involve these workers in the industry, so that the forest is given a chance to regenerate and become the forest of the future that can fulfil our requirements. Today, with our huge lumber exports to the United States, we may run out at any given time, and that is something we have to plan for.

The hon. member also made an interesting point when he said it might be a good idea for the federal and even the provincial government to withdraw from certain tax areas and let local governments manage local facilities. And of course in my case, the example that comes to mind is the wharves. It does not make sense for a wharf 300 kilometres from Quebec City and 800 kilometres from Ottawa to be managed by officials who have only seen photographs and plans and are not familiar with the day-to-day concerns and the importance of this infrastructure for the community. I ask the government to consider whether it would be appropriate to withdraw from an area where it cannot really play an effective role, and I also refer to what the previous speaker said.

Pre-Budget Consultations February 1st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, let me start by saying that I agree with the hon. member who just spoke about the urgent need to act. He made a number of suggestions and while I do not necessarily agree with them, I do nonetheless find many of them to be interesting.

Perhaps I could add to this by saying that what really matters is not necessarily reviewing all social programs or adding to the tax burden, but rather taking advantage of this pre-budget period to review expenses carefully. On this point, I would like to draw the attention of the House to three areas in which, in my opinion, significant waste occurs.

With respect to manpower, among other things, government duplication costs Quebec $250 million annually. The same holds true for regional development where fixed costs are estimated at $26 million.

Lastly, there is much duplication as far as officials are concerned in the fields of education and social affairs. I believe it is important for the federal government to seriously consider withdrawing from these areas. Tangible savings would be achieved and the goal of increased efficiency would be achieved.

Regional Development February 1st, 1994

The Quebec government has recognized that advisory regional development councils must play a decisive role, giving Quebec regions control over decisions which determine the development of their area.

The federal government should pledge to respect the priorities set up, through strategic planning, by each regional municipality in the ridings and regions of Quebec, so as to maximize the impact of measures taken by Quebec regional leaders. The economic revival of Quebec is at stake.

Social Security System January 31st, 1994

Very well, Madam Speaker. Then my question is for the last speaker. He talked a lot about social issues and a bit about human resources, towards the end of his remarks. Regarding social policy, he wondered if it would not be better to turn over all responsibility in that matter to the provincial jurisdiction.

My question deals with employment policy. Does he believe that a coast to coast employment policy, with uniform standards from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Vancouver Island, could be efficient when we know that the situation is completely different from one place to the next, in terms of language of work, training, industrial structure and labour mobility?

Social Security System January 31st, 1994

Madam Speaker, I would like to put a question to the member for Broadview-Greenwoods.

Social Security System January 31st, 1994

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the member for clarification. Unfortunately, I do not recall the name of his riding and it has already taken up a bit of time. Would it be possible to have an answer to my question?

Social Security System January 31st, 1994

Madam Speaker, I have a question for the member for Prince George-Peace River. I very much appreciated in his speech the way he mentioned his concern for the people in his riding. He also recognizes the enormous human resources contributed by those who supported him during his campaign. Here is a man concerned with human resources and I would like to ask him the following: Does he believe in a Pan-Canadian employment policy with the same criteria from St. John's, Newfoundland to Vancouver Island?

If you compare, for example, his riding to mine, Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, there are important differences; working language, training, industrial structure and manpower mobility. Could he tell us if he believes a Pan-Canadian full employment policy can be efficient and implemented properly.

Social Security System January 31st, 1994

Madam Speaker, I was just saying that I disagree with the hon. member who spoke last, because she said she supported the position taken by the minister about the timetable. I was saying that I do not approve of her supporting that stance.

What I might also add, since I feel it is important, is that the social program initiatives which will be taken should include a regional view of the workings of these programs. I have experienced first hand the effects of overlapping in the area of manpower-and this is particularly true in the regions where we have witnessed a proliferation of organisations like Community Futures Committees, Business Development Centres and other provincial and even municipal organisations-and I do believe

that we should consider that manpower comes under the provincial jurisdiction, at least in Quebec. The same with social services, because it is important to recognize what the government of Quebec has done in this area.

I realized during the election campaign that it was more than a simple question of money, it was a question of being treated like human beings rather than social insurance numbers. In that sense, it will be important in this debate to go beyond the simple economics and into respect for people concerned.

Social Security System January 31st, 1994

Madam Speaker, I would like to follow up on the speech by the member for Calgary-North with a comment. Ultimately, I do not agree with her idea that the timetable planned by the minister is relevant.

It seems to me that there is a sense of urgency in that whole issue of job creation and, also, in the insecurity that the people are feeling towards those changes. We need to get clearer and more rapid explanations instead of talking of years of reform, because, in the end, governments are elected to govern and not to conduct studies.

On that, I would like to give a certain number-

Postal Service January 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that no post offices have closed, but I think we should also admit that this comes as a result of the residents' fight.

Is the Minister going to meet with rural residents to consider solutions that are less costly but different from those favoured by Canada Post and that will satisfy rural residents in the end?