House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Environment November 29th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, such an attitude on the part of the government does not bode well for the Cancun summit. While the European Union and the African Union have both announced their positions, we are still waiting to hear where the Conservative government stands.

Does the minister realize that if he goes to Cancun without a road map, he will be regarded not as an environment minister, but rather as a lobbyist for big oil?

The Environment November 29th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, against the advice of Environment Canada officials, the Conservative government lobbied intensely to ensure that certain provisions of the American Energy Independence and Security Act, passed in 2007, would not apply to the oil sands. The Conservative government was afraid that the American legislation would hurt exports of dirty oil to the United States.

Do these revelations not prove, once again, that this government has but one political motivation: to protect the interests of Alberta oil companies?

Federal Sustainable Development Act November 29th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak today to Bill S-210, which we will naturally support, along with all the other parties in this House. This essentially administrative bill was presented in the Senate on April 30, 2010, and it would amend two acts: the Federal Sustainable Development Act and the Auditor General Act. It would ensure that when the environment commissioner provides a report on the progress of sustainable development, this report is tabled in both the House of Commons and the Senate. That is the first amendment.

The second amendment would give the environment commissioner more latitude to decide when it is necessary to table reports on sustainable development. The Federal Sustainable Development Act, which is in its infant stages, since it was just recently passed, was the result of a bill introduced by one of our former colleagues, John Godfrey. He thought it was very important for Canada, and more specifically the federal government, to have a sustainable development strategy. I will come back to this shortly.

Mr. Godfrey worked with all of the parties to ensure that Bill C-474 would be passed. The Bloc Québécois did not like the bill in its original form because it proposed only a national sustainable development strategy. In addition, this bill interfered significantly in the provinces' areas of jurisdiction, such as agriculture and recycling. It was a national, coast-to-coast strategy that would not have produced results at the end of the day.

Following talks, the parties have decided that it is important for Canada to have a federal sustainable development strategy that falls within its own areas of jurisdiction. Thus, Canada will be able to meet the Rio targets and truly put in place a sustainable development plan using resources that already exist in its various departments. This strategy would also aim to increase greening of public services and provide Canada with the means to reach its international environmental goals.

That is how Bill S-210 was introduced. It will ensure that the commissioner has more flexibility in reaching the set targets. We need greater accountability and the environment commissioner must be able to report more frequently. Over the past weeks and months, we have come to realize that the environmental strategy presented by the federal government in order to comply with Bill C-474 contained targets that were vague, weak and insufficient.

Clearly, the government was just paying lip service to the ideas of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting ecosystems and oceanographic resources. We need a transparent sustainable development strategy with clear goals. However, that is what was missing from the strategy that has been developed.

The commissioner will be responsible for assessing whether the government has met those targets. The targets are inadequate, so, naturally, the commissioner will have a hard time in the coming years figuring out whether Canada is keeping the promises made to Parliament.

We need more transparency, more accountability and greater responsibility to ensure that the government is reaching its international targets. That is almost certainly what Parliament has been lacking these past 10 or 14 years. The government was unable to achieve its environmental targets at the international level because there was no oversight and no accountability with respect to Canada's commitments.

The best example of this is the fight against climate change. Since 1997, successive governments have introduced greenhouse gas reduction plans that were supposed to be in line with Canada's greenhouse gas reduction targets. But we are a long way from reaching those targets.

In 1997, Canada promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. Where do we stand now? Our greenhouse gas emissions have risen by more than 25%.

Why have we failed to reach our targets? One of the main reasons is that there have been no progress reports. There has been no way to determine whether the measures, plans, policies and programs implemented are taking us in the right direction. The government can set greenhouse gas reduction targets, but without the right plans, policies and programs in place, those targets will not be achieved. The environment commissioner needs more power to present more frequent reports. That is one of the goals of this bill.

We have already given the environment commissioner a greater role. A few years ago, the Liberal Party's Bill C-288 gave the environment commissioner more power with respect to accountability for reduction targets.

We support this bill. We believe that the environment commissioner must play a greater role in efforts to reach the targets set by Canada and the federal government by focusing on three basic objectives: transparency, accountability and responsibility.

Business of Supply November 25th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I am trying to understand the position taken today by the Liberal member, who made a sober speech. I remind him of today's motion. What does it say? It calls on the government to respect two commitments. The first is the commitment made in May 2006 that any extension of Canada's mission in Afghanistan would be put to a vote in Parliament. The second is the commitment to ensure that if the mission were to continue after 2011 that it would be a civilian one. That commitment was reiterated in January 2010.

My question for the Liberal member is simple. Why is the Liberal Party refusing to demand that any extension of Canada's mission in Afghanistan be put to a vote in Parliament, as the government committed?

The Environment November 24th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, since they want to head to Cancun to undermine the climate change negotiations and since the Conservatives have nothing constructive to offer, more and more observers think that the Minister of the Environment should stay home.

We want to know whether the minister will be a spokesperson for the oil companies in Cancun or whether he will defend the interests of Quebec, which wants to see an effective plan for reducing greenhouse gases.

When will we see this plan?

The Environment November 24th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, here is a perfect example of a minister who does not know his own file.

We learned that in 2009, greenhouse gases reached their highest levels ever since the pre-industrial era, yet the Minister of the Environment is heading off to Cancun with no plan and no objectives. If there is no plan, we can only assume that the oil lobby will represent Canada in Cancun.

Will the government finally decide to present to the House a detailed plan to effectively fight climate change before the summit in Cancun, as the European Union and the African Union have done?

The Environment November 23rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the North American carbon exchanges are collapsing. According to Carolyn Quick, spokeswoman for the Montreal Exchange, there are very few transactions and the “favourable regulatory environment” still does not exist in Canada.

Does the Minister of the Environment realize that his refusal to implement firm targets and regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions is jeopardizing the viability of the Montreal climate exchange?

The Environment November 23rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, a state-of-the-art Canadian Coast Guard scientific research vessel has been leased to Esso and BP for oil exploration purposes. It is surprising to see the most important ship conducting research into climate change in the Arctic being leased to companies that are responsible for global warming.

Could the government explain this decision to us today?

The Environment November 22nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, what annoys the Bloc is that this government is working with the oil companies. That is the reality.

The government lobbyists have developed a number of communication tools to torpedo international efforts and help Canadian oil companies. In one of its lobbying campaigns, the former Minister of Natural Resources even made veiled threats that legal action would be taken against California if it did not drop its greenhouse gas reduction measures.

How can the government justify devoting more energy to fighting international greenhouse gas reduction efforts than to reducing its own emissions?

The Environment November 22nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, according to documents obtained by Climate Action Network Canada, three departments have put in place an extensive international lobbying effort to defend oil sands operations. This “oil sands advocacy strategy” primarily targets the efforts of California and the European Union to improve the quality of fuels and automobiles.

Why is the government lobbying against the environmental policies of countries that want to do more? Why adopt such a strategy?