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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was problem.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 25% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my relatively simple question is for my distinguished Liberal colleague, who seems to be implying that there could still be military action.

The problem—and that is what I would like my colleague to address—is that the Americans bombed Iraq for 12 years. Nevertheless, the jihadists are still there, receiving financial support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which, I should point out, are part of the coalition. That is rather bizarre.

Furthermore, they are indirectly supported by Turkey, which allows the trafficking of oil and arms and lets jihadists pass through Turkey on their way to Syria and Iraq. Now we are being told outright that we have to go and fight because the Iraqi soldiers refuse to die for a corrupt government.

How will the bombings allow Iraqis to assume responsibility for defending themselves, which they have not done so far?

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by apologizing. It seems that I mistakenly misled the House yesterday. In a question I asked, I said that three Iraqi divisions of 50,000 men were defeated in two days by 15,000 jihadists near the city of Mosul. I later consulted The Guardian to verify the information and cross-referenced it with information from the Iraqi government, and apparently 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and 30,000 Iraqi police officers and constables who were defending the city of Mosul were routed in two days by 800 jihadists. They were outnumbered 75 to 1, but they won. Imagine. We are going to be supporting the people who lost even though they outnumbered their opponents 75 to 1.

Second, my question about the relevance of this debate is this: does this desire to put an end to the debate arise from information obtained today about the fighting, which is that air strikes have been ineffective and the Turkish government has officially called for our soldiers to intervene on the ground?

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I appreciated the speech by my distinguished colleague, but he failed to address a certain problem. To effectively combat a terrorist organization, we must occupy the land. An Iraqi army, 220,000 strong, in theory occupied the land. However, those 220,000 soldiers wasted no time in abandoning their weapons and taking off. Mosul was defended by 50,000 men. The city was abandoned after two days of combat against 15,000 terrorists.

Do we have to do the fighting for them? As long as the local army refuses to defend its territory, we will have to keep coming back. That is the problem with this military intervention. It is military only and does not solve the local political problems that are preventing the Iraqi government from finding anyone to defend it.

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat taken aback by the minister's comments because Canadians would not let 1.5 million refugees die from exposure or hunger. These people have lost everything: their homes, their crops and their means of transportation. Canadians would ensure that hundreds of thousands of people do not die of hunger.

The major problem with the Islamic State is not its barbarism, which has existed for a very long time in that part of the world. The problem is how we can step in for a state that refuses to fight.

Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, was defended by four Iraqi divisions of 50,000 men. In three days, they were soundly defeated by 15,000 men. In theory, the opposite should have happened. How can an army of 220,000 men be threatened by 25,000 terrorists? I do not understand it.

I would like to know how the bombings can take the place of an army of 200,000 men who refuse to fight.

Combatting Counterfeit Products Act October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the NDP will support Bill C-8. Of course we will, because this bill will protect Canadians. We are in favour of that, just as we are in favour of day care and minimum wage. Voting for a good law is fine, but making sure it gets implemented is essential. This is becoming quite scandalous; an experienced leader like the Leader of the Opposition would never have done such a thing. In this particular case, what can we expect from the legislation when the people responsible for enforcing it have had some 500 positions cut? What can we expect from a bill that does not apply to generic prescription drugs? There are criteria governing the quality of patented drugs, but the government takes no responsibility for generic drugs. That is the problem. I would like an answer about that.

Combatting Counterfeit Products Act October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my distinguished colleague for having so ably defended Bill C-8.

Clearly, the NDP always sides with Canadian consumers. The best example of that is when it comes to medication. The government waited three years to take medication with major defects off the market. That is a mistake that an honest and experienced leader, such as the Leader of the Opposition, would never have made. He would not have waited three years, I can tell you that.

Like all our policies, Bill C-8 is very much in line with our support for the minimum wage, our insistence that the health care cuts be reversed and our call for an inquiry into missing aboriginal women. In other words, with Bill C-8, is the NDP not demonstrating that it wants the government to work for Canadians, first and foremost?

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my question is relatively simple. Over the past few years, Canada has been losing industrial jobs and exporting its natural resources almost completely unprocessed. When the United States negotiates a trade agreement, it ensures that its industries are protected and it increases the value of its exports by processing them domestically. It provides those industries with investments, support and industrial policies, which we do not do here in Canada.

I would like to know if we could obtain this same economic agreement, supported by a policy of industrialization, which we currently do not have, since this would provide significant and real economic benefits.

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, for the first time, I would like to indicate my appreciation to the Minister of Labour for speaking French in this debate.

The NDP has indicated that it supports this agreement. However, I must remind the House of the importance of having well-defined criteria. When deciding whether or not to support a bill, we in the NDP do not make such decisions willy-nilly or under the influence of lobbyists.

Does the minister understand that when the NDP supports a bill, it does so based on objective criteria, and that the government should do the same so that, in the future, it always introduces bills that meet well-defined criteria and that are always in the best interest of Canada?

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I took note of my distinguished colleague's strong desire to support international trade agreements. However, the NDP does not support agreements willy-nilly. It imposes conditions.

First, the NDP requires the partner to be a responsible democracy when it comes to social, environmental and labour issues. Second, the partner's economy must be of strategic value. We sometimes want to trade in situations where we are not in competition. We do not want to allow someone to import containers of cocaine, for example. Third, the terms of the agreement must be satisfactory. We support the agreement with Korea because it meets those three criteria.

Does my esteemed colleague not think that those three criteria should apply to all the trade agreements that Canada negotiates?

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my distinguished colleague for his remarks.

One element of his speech really stood out: he referred to this government's most recent throne speech. I clearly remember that in the last Speech from the Throne, the government said it was going to prohibit companies from charging customers a fee for paying their bills through the mail. We are still waiting for that.

Therein lies the problem. We are always waiting for this government to do something positive for Canadians, and I mean for people, not just corporations. That is the crux of the problem. Since this government came to power, the manufacturing sector has lost 500,000 jobs. We would like to know what the Conservatives plan to do with this agreement, which could be very good, to ensure the return of Canada's industrialization and to ensure that Canada is not merely a source of raw materials.