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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is liberal.

NDP MP for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 49% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Foreign Affairs October 2nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, horrific scenes that we thought were a thing of the past have been playing out in Catalonia. People have been arrested, injured, and shot with rubber bullets, and seniors have been dragged out into the street simply because they wanted to vote.

Madrid is using force to deny Catalans their right to self-determination. The Prime Minister, who is always quick to preach about democracy and human rights, has said nothing.

Why is the government remaining silent on the situation in Catalonia?

Canadian Heritage September 28th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are sharing our money with the Americans.

Over the past few weeks, the Liberals have been going after little fish instead of big fish. They had a golden opportunity to get it right with the Minister of Canadian Heritage's announcement, which could have required online companies to pay their fair share just like Canadian companies do. Once again, they dropped the ball.

Do the Liberals understand that equality means treating everyone the same? Will the Prime Minister commit to making Netflix pay its fair share, or is he going to pull a fast one, as he and his cronies always do?

Aerospace Industry September 27th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I believe you will find unanimous consent for me to move the following motion:

That the House acknowledge the importance of the aerospace industry and the fact that Bombardier is a major employer in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, as well as reiterate the importance of standing up to protect the industry and jobs against Boeing’s unjustified complaint and the United States government’s preliminary decision.

Taxation September 26th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, she could also just set up a meeting with him.

It is funny how a Liberal's memory sounds like Dory's in the movie Finding Nemo.

A small business tax reduction: never heard about that. However, the Liberals promised to tackle big loopholes for CEOs that cost us hundreds of millions of dollars. Not anymore. In fact, the finance minister said on the radio, “That issue is not something that we've backed away from. It's just not something we've moved forward on.”

Come on. Why are the Liberals targeting the little guys and protecting their wealthy friends on Bay Street?

Taxation September 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, only a Liberal could ignore the biggest abuse in our tax system and call it fairness.

Mr. Speaker, have you ever seen an iceberg? They are as impressive as they are deceptive. In fact, they are exactly like the Liberals' tax reform. If the Minister of Finance were serious, he would keep his promise to abolish the loophole for CEOs, which is costing us $750 million, and then he would go after tax havens, which are costing us billions of dollars.

Could the minister's red herring be a way for him to appear progressive while still protecting his friends on Bay Street?

Export and Import Permits Act September 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. As he mentioned at the beginning, we may have some differences of opinion. However, I believe that we agree on what we have seen over the past two years, which is Liberal hypocrisy, or the extraordinary ability to say one thing and to do the opposite.

This is evident especially when the Liberals espouse reconciliation with the First Nations and refuse to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Liberals also say that they will tackle climate change, but they are not making any significant changes and have even given the green light to some pipelines. They promised electoral reform and then reneged on that promise. They say that they will lower taxes for small and medium-sized businesses, then they do nothing and attack our job creators.

Now, we have a bill meant to ensure that the Arms Trade Treaty is signed and implemented, but ultimately, it is nothing but a hollow shell that will change absolutely nothing. The Liberals, who are happy with the status quo, are again spouting rhetoric.

Portuguese Heritage Month September 20th, 2017

Obrigado, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased to rise today and tell the member for Davenport how much we appreciate her motion. I think it represents a step in the right direction.

Quebec and Canada are societies and communities of people that come from all over the world. With the exception of the first nations and Inuit people, we are all sons and daughters of more or less recent immigrants, some families having settled here earlier than others.

We often say that our diversity is our strength, a slogan that can sometimes ring a bit hollow. We need to live with other people, participate in cross-cultural dialogues, and celebrate together to see just how true this really is and to realize how lucky we are to live in a peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, and diverse society where we can meet people from all over the world. As parliamentarians, we need to recognize that.

The member for Davenport's motion seeks to celebrate our diversity and one community in particular, which is very dear to me for several reasons that I will talk about in the few minutes that I have to speak.

Strong ties between Newfoundland, Quebec, and the rest of Canada and the Portuguese community have existed for a very long time. As far back as the 16th century, Portuguese fishermen would sail the coast of Newfoundland and even make contact with the people living there. Monuments have been erected to remind residents of that connection and of the presence of fishermen and people from Portugal off the coast of Newfoundland and sometimes even on the island.

I did some research, and the first known permanent Portuguese immigrant supposedly arrived in 1677. His name was Pedro da Silva and he was from Lisbon. Mr. da Silva was a family man, and in fact, had 15 children. It is believed that most of the da Silvas in Quebec and Canada today are probably descendants of Mr. da Silva, who arrived in 1677.

In certain communities I know in Montreal, some of which I am lucky enough to represent, the Portuguese community has very deep roots, although the vast majority of Portuguese people began arriving in the 1950s. A strong, vibrant, hard-working community has been established and has integrated well. We know that these are very hard working and entrepreneurial people. They love their gardens, love food, and love making things grow. There are apparently at least 25,000 people of Portuguese descent in Quebec. Most of them are in Montreal, but some have more recently moved to Laval.

I have the good fortune of living in a neighbourhood where my neighbours on one side are Chinese, Fred on the third floor is from Haiti, and then on the second floor we have international students from France. My neighbour on the other side, Annibal, is an older gentleman originally from Portugal. I have to thank Annibal because he takes care of keeping the front of our house very clean every morning. He is there for us. He is extraordinary and he always says hello to us. He is a very nice man.

The closest grocery store to us is a cornerstore called Marché Sá et Fils. It is currently being run by two brothers, Benny and Eddy. My wife and I know them well. There is also the late Fernando, their other brother who disappeared, unfortunately. They know us well because my wife and I are not always very organized and we end up going back to the store two or three times in the same day to get milk, butter, or the ingredient or vegetable that we forgot.

In the neighbourhood, on the corner of Rachel and Saint Urbain streets, there is the Santa Cruz church, a very important place to the Portuguese community. It opened its doors in 1986. Another church already existed in the neighbourhood, but it was too small.

It is a big, beautiful church, awash in colour and bustling with life and activity. During the summer, the Portuguese community begins its traditional religious processions at the Santa Cruz church, and those processions often go right by my house. It is always very interesting to see, and participants even give out food sometimes. These processions are traditions that come from Portugal's Azores and Madeira islands.

Just recently, there was a large parade of Portuguese Canadians that was much louder than the usual religious processions. It was when Portugal won the Euro 2016 final against France 1-0. For a while, I was living in the loudest neighbourhood in Montreal. Everyone was in the streets waving flags and honking their car horns. We came out of the house with our children and walked around and celebrated with our Portuguese friends, who were extremely proud of their victory.

That is how we celebrate diversity in real everyday life, when we are close to a community like this. That is why I am so pleased to see this motion to make June Portuguese heritage month and declare June 10 Portugal day.

I also want to say that Festival Portugal International de Montréal was celebrated for the fourth year in a row this past June, giving thousands of people the opportunity to enjoy Portuguese traditions such as good food, dancing, and music. I hope that the festival will continue to be held for many years to come. I am certain it will, since we are extremely proud to have friends from Montreal and Quebec of Portuguese heritage.

In closing, I am pleased to say that we will proudly support the member for Davenport's motion to help celebrate our friends from the Portuguese community.

Taxation September 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals were really serious about tax fairness, they would have kept their promise to eliminate the loophole available exclusively to CEOs.

We have all heard fishing stories. Here is a good one. Usually fishers throw back the little fish and keep the big ones. Strangely enough, the Minister of Finance is doing the opposite: he is throwing the big ones back into the lake and keeping the little ones.

Why are the Liberals attacking small businesses and doing nothing that might affect their Bay Street buddies, CEOs, billionaires, and tax havens?

Aerospace Industry September 18th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are having a hard time protecting our good jobs in the aerospace industry. Aveos and the 2,000 jobs that were lost at Bombardier are unfortunate examples of that.

When it comes time to stand up to our trade partners, whether it be Europe or Trump, the Liberals always end up dropping the ball. The complaint that Boeing filed against Bombardier is threatening over 6,000 jobs and the future of the C Series.

I attended a protest last week with members of Unifor and machinists. They are worried.

What is the Prime Minister going to do to protect these jobs and these families?

Committees of the House June 19th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Drummond for his remarks and for the important work he is doing at the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

I wonder if he can give us an explanation to the best of his knowledge. For some time now, the Liberal government has been making a mess of the official languages file. My colleague from Drummond said it is important not to leave francophone and anglophone minorities out in the cold, but it seems to me the Liberals dropped the ball. The appointment of a new official languages commissioner turned into a total fiasco. Their pick was too partisan for a Senate seat, but suddenly not too partisan to oversee official languages in this country. It was so ridiculous that even she realized it and decided to withdraw her candidacy.

The interim commissioner's mandate ended last week. My colleague from Drummond very kindly informed the minister of this fact, just in case she had not seen it coming. He made her an offer and urged her not to forget because there were just four days to go. Saturday passed, midnight came and went, no commissioner. We now have no official languages commissioner. Can my colleague from Drummond tell me if this is either negligence or incompetence on the Liberals' part?