House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was industry.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Saint-Henri—Westmount (Québec)

Won his last election, in 1993, with 60% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Lisa Campeau February 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, an article in the February issue of Vogue magazine tells the story of a young constituent of Saint-Henri-Westmount named Lisa Campeau.

Miss Campeau, who is 24 years of age, has spent the last two years working at great personal risk on a UN relief operation in Sudan. She has developed a reputation as one of the toughest relief workers in Africa.

When the leader of a group of 2,000 Sudanese people told her to give them food or someone will come in the middle of the night and kill her, she replied: "It is pointless, if you kill me it will stop the relief flights in this area".

Despite the tremendous danger of her job and even the murder of several fellow relief workers, Lisa Campeau continues her mission. She wants to make a career in development and has ambitions of shaping the program she now helps administer.

Lisa Campeau is an example of how many young Canadians are working daily to make the world a better place. All Canadians should take pride in their commitment and idealism and support them in their initiatives.

The Late Irénée Pelletier February 15th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I too served with Irénée Pelletier from 1979 to 1984 and I was deeply saddened by his demise.

Mr. Pelletier came from Saint-André-de-Madawaska, New Brunswick. A former university professor in Sherbrooke with a doctorate in history, he represented the people of Sherbrooke in the House of Commons, as my hon. colleagues pointed out, for 12 years, from 1972 to 1984.

In October 1975 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Eugene Whelan.

Mr. Pelletier was a great champion of the Canadian marketing board system.

At a conference of Canadian grocery distributors in 1977 he decried the sometimes adversarial relationship between government and the food industry.

"An effective food policy, supported and administered through effective programs, is one that can only be achieved by a united approach".

One subject was particularly close to his heart and that was aid to developing countries. He even wrote his doctoral dissertation on this subject. In 1976 he travelled the country with fellow members Andrew Brewin and Douglas Roche to make Canadians aware of the needs of developing countries.

In a speech, Mr. Pelletier said:

"Canadians have not only a Christian responsibility but a human responsibility to help correct inequalities, and if the developed nations do not share with the developing nations chaos will result. Fifteen per cent of the world's population control close to eighty per cent of the world's wealth. Under these conditions we are just not going to have a peaceful world. The Third World is just not going to accept it".

After being defeated in 1984 he became involved in municipal politics, was elected alderman and then mayor of North Hatley.

Three years ago Mr. Pelletier studied in Rome to become a priest. This was to be the crowning achievement of a career in which the emphasis had always been on dedication.

On my behalf and that of my colleagues, I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and friends, as well as to all those who were close to him.

Bosnia-Hercegovina February 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, on Friday a mortar shell landed in a crowded market in Sarajevo killing 68 persons and injuring 197. This is the largest number of persons killed in a single attack since the beginning of the war in Bosnia. I am sure all members join me in condemning this massacre of innocent civilians whose victims included Muslims, Croats and Serbs.

The impulse is to lash out or strike back but as British foreign secretary Douglas Hurd warned, a retaliatory air strike may simply yield one day of satisfaction followed not by the lifting of the siege, but by its intensification.

In order to put an end to the fighting both the United States and Russia must become more actively involved. The United States has criticized various peace plans and has proposed actions which many believe would intensify the war. The United States must show more leadership if we hope to bring an end to this bloody war which has dragged on far too long.

Bosnia February 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Peace negotiations among the belligerents in Bosnia are to resume in Geneva on February 10.

The United States is being asked by Britain and the United Nations to take a more active role in negotiating a peace settlement. The Russians have a key role to play as well.

Does the minister agree with the British foreign secretary, Douglas Hurd, that the United States should be more active in seeking a negotiated peace? Can he tell us what the Government of Canada is doing to forge a common international approach?

Cigarette Smuggling January 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I simply want to ask the Solicitor General to investigate a very serious situation, to determine whether the law was broken and, if so, to lay accusations under the appropriate act.

Tobacco smuggling is obviously a very serious problem in Canada, Mr. Speaker. This illegal activity is carried out by criminal organizations who take advantage of the same channels they use for drugs, arms and alcohol.

Victims of this activity are numerous and include law-abiding retailers, individuals and communities, and especially young Canadians.

Cigarette Smuggling January 31st, 1994

Last Friday, the Bloc Quebecois member for Argenteuil-Papineau took part in a demonstration where thousands of dollars of smuggled cigarettes were sold.

The hon. member stood next to the mayor of Lachute for the opening ceremony.

Yugoslavia January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

I believe Canadians would insist that as a complement to our military role in the former Yugoslavia we contribute to the efforts to arrive at a negotiated settlement.

Could the minister tell us whether the government plans to take a more active role in diplomacy? As part of our contribution to the negotiations, would the minister consider convening a meeting of knowledgeable Canadians to explore ways to bring an end to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia?

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, before getting into the subject of the debate, I would like, in this first speech in this Parliament, to thank the voters of Saint-Henri-Westmount for their confidence.

With the enormous challenges facing Canada and the world, I am very privileged once again to represent Saint-Henri-Westmount in this House of Commons.

The question we ask ourselves today is whether Canadian soldiers should remain in Bosnia. Ultimately, this decision must be made by the government, after consulting our allies.

To begin, I would like to mention that many reservists from several regiments in my riding have served in Bosnia and many are still there. These soldiers belong to the Royal Montreal Regiment and the Maisonneuve Regiment, among others. I wish to point out their courage and their desire to serve the cause of peace and I hope that they return safe and sound from their mission.

Earlier today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs told us about some of the factors that the government will consider in making its decision.

I believe that in the final analysis, there are good reasons for continuing our humanitarian mission. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross have both confirmed that aid is arriving in spite of the difficulties. People who would have died without protection and international aid are still alive today.

The international effort has also successfully prevented the conflict from spilling over into the neighbouring republics of Macedonia and Kosovo. Canada also has a long-term commitment to peacekeeping and international institutions like the United Nations.

We contributed, we tried to contribute to European security when we took part in two world wars, in NATO and in the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Since Canada's decision will probably influence other countries, we must ask ourselves if the international community has a role to play in Bosnia. I believe so, Mr. Speaker, for the reasons I just mentioned.

Future peacekeeping missions will probably experience problems similar to those in Bosnia. Since Canadians have played a leading role in developing peacekeeping, we surely have a role in finding solutions for these problems.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that one of the questions we must address is whether the danger to our troops outweighs the benefits of the mission. Like all Canadians and all members of this House, I would not want our troops to be exposed to needless risks and certainly they need to be able to defend themselves.

There is uncertainty about the rules of engagement and command and control. But I would like to suggest that these are questions that should be debated in perhaps a more expert forum than on the floor of the House, in committee. The ultimate decision as to when the risks or the dangers outweigh the benefits must be left to the government and the military.

Another important question we must address is whether there is a reasonable prospect for progress in the peace process as the minister mentioned. As I have said, one of the reasons for remaining in Bosnia is our desire to contribute to European security. I think Canadians would insist that there be a clear link between our role as peacekeepers and a place at the table. In fact Canada has had problems in getting the Europeans to the table. I understand it has been difficult even getting information about what is discussed at Geneva, let alone getting some input.

The House of Commons and the government should insist that our military role be accompanied by a diplomatic one. The international community has made serious mistakes in dealing with the crisis in the former Yugoslavia. One such mistake was the recognition of Croatia without considering the position of its Serbian minority which made up anywhere from 12 to 20 per cent of the population. While a ceasefire has been established in Croatia the threat of renewed war looms large.

Bosnia also was an ethnically heterogeneous republic. Although some Bosnians lived in ethnically distinct areas, most did not. History and intermarriage had created an ethnic jigsaw puzzle. The Europeans, followed by the international community at large, also recognized Bosnian independence without considering the objections of its Serbian minority. Similarly, various attempts to broker peace between the parties have

revealed serious shortcomings. The Vance-Owen plan was criticized for rewarding Serbian aggression.

The Washington agreement of May of last year which provided for so-called safe areas or enclaves was widely criticized in the western press for accepting ethnic cleansing and herding Muslims into small areas in which living conditions are horrible. The Owen-Stoltenberg plan to divide Bosnia into three ethnically pure states has also been widely criticized.

I spoke yesterday with the former Yugoslav ambassador to Canada, Goran Kapetanovic. He is a Bosnian Muslim and today a refugee in Canada, a fellow with the Canadian Centre for Global Security here in Ottawa. He believes that international forces will not accomplish much in the absence of a viable plan or framework for peace. He believes the major drawbacks to solutions being negotiated at Geneva are that they accept the idea of ethnic purity and are partial solutions which do not address the problem that I referred to earlier of Croatia. All of the former Yugoslavia has to be dealt with in a settlement.

The former ambassador asks how at the beginning of the 21st century the international community can accept introducing apartheid to Europe. What precedents would we be setting for future conflicts and for existing conflicts in eastern Europe? He believes that as a prerequisite to peace the UN Security Council must decide the pre-conditions of a viable peace. By way of example he suggests the following principles: that nothing can be achieved by violence; that refugees should be able to return to their homes; that people should be able to move freely and meet their family on one side or the other of borders, in essence that minority rights should be secured.

These are principles which are upheld or which are spoken about pretty well every day of the week in the United Nations. It seems to make good sense to me that they form the basis of any peace proposal.

I remarked earlier that Canadians see a clear link between their role as peacekeepers and a place at the diplomatic table. I urge the government to take up the challenge of assuming a greater role in seeking a negotiated solution to the conflict. As a successful multicultural country with a constitution that contains elaborate guarantees for minority rights, we Canadians have much to contribute.

The government is launching a foreign policy review. In the context of that review I believe that the government should convene a meeting bringing together the best minds in the country to develop proposals to end the conflict.

The world community needs leadership. Indeed it is crying for leadership. Let Canada provide that leadership.

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to congratulate the hon. member for Portneuf on his speech. It was all the more appreciated because the Valcartier base is in his riding. The personal testimony of soldiers and their families contributed very much to this debate.

I would like to ask the hon. member a question on his notion of what he called a new peacekeeping role for Canada. He talked about the need to protect people in distress. If I got it right, it all boils down to intervention on humanitarian grounds.

Is that the new role he contemplates? Does he advocate intervention on humanitarian grounds only or does he want to take that further and include some diplomatic or negotiating role?

Speech From The Throne January 20th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I will perhaps have an opportunity to participate in this debate in the coming weeks.

I listened with interest to the member's speech, but I think that in it she ignored globalization. Her economic analysis is quite simplistic; of course, she blames poverty on our federal system without considering the economic changes throughout the world which Quebec and Canada as a whole cannot help but feel.

I must say that I also find it rather funny to see how she as a federal member of Parliament wants to pass off responsibilities given to her by her constituents. Why not make recommendations to improve the unemployment insurance program instead? The minister is here and he would probably listen with interest to her suggestions or those of her colleagues. But no, her solution as a newly elected federal member is to transfer all responsibilities to the Government of Quebec.

Does she not recognize that the federal government has an important role to play in economic interdependence and mobility, as my colleague said a few minutes ago, and the distribution of wealth? Does she not recognize, as the Prime Minister said today, that giving Quebec full power to manage unemployment insurance would deprive Quebecers of important resources that could come from the total wealth of Canada?

Those are some questions that come to mind, Mr. Speaker. I will have a chance to ask some more in the coming days.