House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was divided.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Independent MP for Beauce (Québec)

Won his last election, in 1993, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Employment Insurance November 27th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, part time workers, women for the most part, are penalized by the new employment insurance rules that require far too many hours of work for them to qualify. They will have to work 910 hours, or the equivalent of twenty-six 35-hour weeks.

Under the old legislation, anyone who worked 15 hours a week or more was covered, but now there are workers who, while paying premiums and theoretically being eligible for employment insurance, will in fact never qualify because the number of hours of work required is excessively high. Nor will they qualify for a rebate on their premiums. This is a grey area.

In a region like ours, in Beauce, requiring so many hours of work to qualify is tantamount to excluding part time workers from the program. I suggest that the legislation be made more flexible so that part time workers are not made poorer still.

Credit Cards November 25th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, last March and May, I raised in the House the question of the usurious interest rates charged by banks and major department stores on credit card balances.

I am pleased to note that 84 of my colleagues have decided to join with the member for Beauce in denouncing this shameful practice and asking that they reduce by at least half the interest rates on their credit cards.

If the major banks and department stores do not respond promptly to this request, I think that the House of Commons should bring in legislation to resolve the issue. The time is long overdue to end this scandalous practice, which hurts not just the most disadvantaged members of our society, but also the middle classes, who may not be middle for much longer. I implore the government not to side with the bankers on this issue. Having sounded the alarm, let us take action.

Employment Insurance November 18th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the new employment insurance legislation requires 26 weeks of insurable employment in the case of workers who did not claim benefits in the past two years. This is unfair.

The construction industry, among others, has experienced particularly difficult years, and workers who were not able to qualify last year because they had not worked long enough will be even less able to do so this year, since they will be deemed to have been out of the workforce for two years. In other words, they will need 26 weeks of insurable employment in the past year.

Their only option is to go on welfare. The situation is urgent. A solution must be found to avoid penalizing even more an industry which, in Quebec, has had more than its share of problems in recent years.

Adisq Gala November 4th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, five young people from the Beauce region were incredibly successful at last night's ADISQ Gala held in Montreal and broadcasted by the CBC. Their band won three Felix trophies as discovery of the year, band of the year, and for best rock album.

Noir Silence is a band the entire Beauce region is proud of. These young people are models for our youth. They come from a very humble background. Through their tenacity, determination and hard work, they have achieved this level of recognition within the artistic community.

I would like to pay tribute to their parents, their teachers and all the others who believed in them for their steadfast support. Our young people can be tremendously successful when they are encouraged and supported.

Again, to the members of Noir Silence from the Beauce region, congratulations on your achievement and thank you for who you are.

Beauce October 29th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Beauce region is leading the way. Three levels of education-high school, college and university-and the private sector worked together on a joint project: the business innovation and technological transfer service or SITTE in French, which is supported by the federal government and whose mission is to help businesses design or modify equipment or prototypes and analyze manufacturing processes.

I want to stress the significance of this co-operation among the private, education and parapublic sectors in our region. Achievements like this can make the difference between regional development and the international competitiveness of local businesses.

I salute the initiative of the Beauce community. This is a first in Quebec.

To supplement government funds, $263,000 was raised in a drive among businesses in the Beauce region. The committee was chaired by Marcel Dutil of the Canam-Manac group. The SITTE is a great project that looks to the future of the Beauce region.

Prisons And Reformatories Act October 1st, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am voting for the motion.

The Laval Cosmodôme September 30th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the white elephant known as the Cosmodôme in Laval is another fine example of wasted public funds. It has already swallowed up $31 million and there is talk of another $10 million being needed to keep it going.

I am in no way questioning the educational value of the establishment, but I think there is a serious management problem. I urge the provincial and federal governments to resist the temptation to pour more money into this losing concern and I hope that the City of Laval will get its act together and quit thinking that the solution to its problems lies in our pockets.

This reminds me of something former federal minister André Ouellet said a few months ago about the Mirabel airport. "After twenty years", he said, "it can be concluded that Mirabel was a mistake".

Taxpayers have already contributed more than their share to pay for this white elephant: another bottomless pit just like Mirabel airport.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police September 24th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, did the government intend to give members of the RCMP the right to collective bargaining and binding arbitration before Bill C-30 is passed?

In the wake of the task force appointed to review the Canada Labour Code and led by lawyer Andrew Simms, it was specifically recommended the government seriously consider this possibility.

All police corps in Canada enjoy these rights. Why not the RCMP? I think its members should be treated impartially, and that will happen only if they have a union that is recognized by and above all independent of leadership.

Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act June 4th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I will be voting in favour of the motion for third reading.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Old Age Security Pension May 29th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the reform proposed in the federal budget relating to the old age pension has upset the plans of those who have been saving for years for their retirement.

As well, some of the provincial governments are not being too kind to their seniors. The ones feeling the effects are not the rich but the middle class, who are finding the substantial sum of $1,000 to $5,000 lopped off their incomes, a considerable blow to their standard of living. The ones who will pay for this reform are not the privileged members of society, but the people who have planned ahead for their retirement.

Can the government make adjustments so as to encourage people to save, rather than discouraging them? Couples who have made preparations for retirement, who have put money aside, particularly in RRSPs, instead of spending it, would lose their pension, while others with the same income would not.

I do, however, approve of the more well off not receiving the pension anymore, since they have to pay back what they have received when they file their income tax return.